Q&A with Urban Decay - A Follow-Up on Animal Testing and Entry into China

Urban Decay reached out to me yesterday, shortly after I published the press release, and said that they were happy to take any questions I might have. On behalf of readers, I took the opportunity to ask several, and I also included a couple asked by Twitter followers. I’m still waiting on the answer to another question (and they’re working on it), but here are their answers to the questions I had and a reader question:

What has Urban Decay done in the past to proactively change the way animal testing is done or perceived in the US? Have measures been taken beyond being a cruelty-free brand? Does UD fund alternative testing research?

Urban Decay has been a cruelty-free band since our inception in 1996 and was one of the first few brands to adopt the Leaping Bunny Logo. We created our “How Could Anyone” campaign to raise awareness about animal testing in cosmetics. Bracelets with our “vegan paw-print” and “How Could Anyone” statement were sold at all retailers to benefit the Humane Society of the United States. We do not work with any manufacturers that conduct animal testing. We work regularly with organizations such as PETA and the HSUS to raise awareness and funds for alternative research.

We have turned down several opportunities to participate in high profile fashion shows and designer collaborations that use or promote fur. Despite that fact that many cruelty-free brands sell brushes made with animal hair, we only manufacture our brushes with synthetic fibers. We do not make donations to organizations that conduct or condone animal testing. We are the first brand ever to create a vegan shopping section on our website to cater to our vegan fans. We have made, and continue to make, monetary donations to further research into alternative testing.

How does Urban Decay intend to change the mind of Chinese government regarding animal testing and women’s rights?

We will continue to seek out alternative methods for testing and creating a demand for them in the industry, as well as influence the community to request this of their government. By creating new jobs for women and putting them into positions of importance, we hope to influence the community and our consumers via education and brand messaging.

How does injecting money into a country that has historically been difficult to persuade put either Urban Decay in a position of power or China in a position to listen? When major business and brands, both within and outside the cosmetic industry, can’t create impactful change in the country, how does Urban Decay intend to do so?

We are working with cruelty-free organizations on the ground in China to focus our efforts and make sure we are making the most impact. We consulted with the Feminist Majority Foundation and learned from them that giving Chinese women professional opportunities is an important step in creating cultural change. As we gain an understanding of the market, we plan to develop creative solutions to drive awareness about these issues.

With Urban Decay’s home country still requiring and allowing animal testing, why is the push into China so vital – particularly when UD has stated that they don’t even plan to make money for quite a while and the market isn’t quite ready for the brand? Did UD consider participating in the dialogue as a potential market entrant, thereby still holding onto all of the potential dollars and business to bring into the country?

While me may not be out of the woods yet as far as eradicating animal testing in the US, there are approved alternative methods approved and available for use here. We are implementing additional efforts in China where immediate change is necessary to provide alternatives in order to continue our fight to end animal testing.

How is UD planning on enacting the changes? Will the brand hire experts in Chinese culture to make an education plan? (Asked by Phyrra)

UD is working on developing a team based in China who will drive our education program and media outreach. They will train and educate our employees who will then pass our message on to the consumer, thereby raising awareness of the issue. We also plan to support via marketing and social media as we have successfully done here in the US.

Comments are now closed. Readers are disrespecting each other and their beliefs. 

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!


Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

I am very disappointed in them. They try to make it sound like they’re trying to make a change in China, while everybody knows the only reason why they’re going to sell their products there is to make money. I definitely won’t be buying anything from them anymore.

Their marketing still claims they are cruelty-free and vegan, and their answer to these questions as well as their original statement contains more spin than your average Tilt-a-Whirl.  I don’t buy exclusively cruelty-free products, but given Urban Decay’s handling of this situation and their shady, dishonest marketing, I’m done with the brand.

“I don’t buy exclusively cruelty-free products, but given Urban Decay’s handling of this situation and their shady, dishonest marketing, I’m done with the brand.”
This describes me exactly. The lack of logic exhibited in the press release was borderline offensive. I would seriously be less irritated if they had just come out and said they want to expand their company and profits. Now I can’t even look at my Naked palette with rolling my eyes!

 @ejleigh Agreed completely!  They really think we are all fools who will buy into their martyr-complex statement.  I’d have had a lot more respect for them if they’d just come out and said “look, this was a hard decision for us to make and we know you aren’t going to like it, but at the end of the day expanding into China was too lucrative for us to be able to continue our image as a cruelty-free company.”

I noticed that while the PETA and Leaping Bunny symbols are gone from their website, they still have the “Vegan” pawprint logo.  What Vegan will buy from a company that allows their products to be tested on animals?

So they’re claiming that empowering woman makes it okay to test on animals in the mean time?  New welfarism anyone?  They skirted around your questions a lot and made a lot of broad statements about “planning to plan to change things”, basically.  Excuse me, Urban Decay, but stop lying; you’re selling out.  Thank you for taking the time to question them and not looking the other way like so many others, who are choosing to believe Urban Decay’s naive statement that the Chinese government “might” test their products.  I’m so disgusted.  I feel like my best friend just ran over my dog.  Imagine that feeling every time you look at your 13 office dogs.  Imagine the dogs in China that will now suffer because of your products.  You disgust me, Urban Decay.  Pathetic, hypocritical.. ugh.  I’m just going to stop there.

 /eyeroll Ugh. No. I’m done with them. They should just own up that this is simply about money, and stop with the supposed activist BS.

I don’t buy a single word of their propaganda. The organizations in China are powerless against the government, a government that doesn’t value animals and barely values their own people (melamine in the milk sickened hundreds of thousands!).
They are only in it for money and market share. Their smoke and mirrors campaign isn’t going to work with those of us who are smart enough to see right through it.

 @hjc628 What else is it about if not money? They’re throwing away their cruelty free branding for. . . . not money? 

 @hjc628 It seems completely at odds with their for-profit structure to go into a major market like China, which represents a business opportunity, to knowingly lose and lose money. Doesn’t it seem odd to say that they would invest money to create a brand presence, hire local employees, get the products to the country, create storefronts or displayers, and the like – only to lose it all? I would certainly expect that initially they could be little to no profitability, because there are many one-time costs to expansion and launching in a brand new region. This does not mean they don’t stand to profit in the future.  There is no way for us to know what kind of profitability UD has currently, what they expect to make in the future, and what the timeline looks like. 

 @Christine (Temptalia)  @hjc628 Short-term = little to no profit. But the long-term revenue will more than make up for it.
No company in the world would invest so much into expanding without some sort of financial gain. And they certainly wouldn’t go against their core value to do so without some gain. I’m guessing their business model shows HUGE profits within the next 12 – 18 months.
I don’t buy that this is some sort of humanitarian mission. They could have created an organization to go there and promote change without compromising their values by allowing their products to be tested on animals.

 @Kelly88  @hjc628 I’m guessing about 12-18 months as well. They’re investing in the country by expanding, and it’s always going to cost them a whole lot more money to launch than it does to sustain, but there’s nearly no logical reasoning for why a brand would invest in expansion only to knowingly fail. That screws your investors, hurts the business, and ultimately effects whether the business is viable going forward, because any U.S. profits would have to cover those losses.

 @Christine (Temptalia)  @hjc628 
That’s just it – they won’t fail in China. They are jumping on gaining market share before other companies decide to move in and saturate the market. With their exciting new Human Rights propaganda campaign, the women in China will eat it up – people there are so hungry for something like this. But I doubt any real change will come as a result of their presence, aside from UD’s financials. The government controls everything and one company will not make a difference with their fancy words and pretty products.
I am guessing they didn’t anticipate such a huge negative reaction to this news and it has turned into a PR nightmare for them here. I’m sure the eventual profits in China will make up for the loss of customers here. I feel betrayed and played as a customer. Which is why I will no longer buy their products. 
If they valued their customers, they would have said something to the extent that they are looking to expand, that it is about money and not keep feeding us a bunch of silliness.

 @Kelly88  @hjc628 I totally agree, Kelly. I don’t think they will fail (though it’s possible they won’t be able to capture as much of the market as they’d like). If major brands, particularly larger houses like P&G, Shiseido, L’Oreal, ELC, etc., all worked together to put pressure on the government, I’d be less cynical/skeptical. Not optimistic, just less cynical.

 @Christine (Temptalia)  @hjc628 It would be amazing if they could band together to push hard for change. But I think doing business in China is a delicate thing. Pressuring the government or telling them their ways are wrong can be considered insulting and it may not bode well if a company wants to stay and be successful.
I do believe someday things will change in China, but not optimistic that it would happen in the near future. Would totally love to be proven wrong and see a positive change happen soon – for the animals there AND the people!

 @Christine (Temptalia) Leaping Bunny Program Removes Urban Decay: China’s Animal Testing Requirements are the Reason June 6, 2012
PHILADELPHIA—The Leaping Bunny Program, administered by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC), regrets to inform compassionate consumers who look for the Leaping Bunny Logo that Urban Decay is no longer certified as cruelty-free by the Leaping Bunny Program. The company has notified us that they have elected to sell their products in China, which, due to animal testing requirements in that country, will cause them to be in violation of our Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals. Concerned individuals may be aware that animal testing requirements implemented last year in China have caused other companies, such as Mary Kay, to be removed from the Leaping Bunny list due to similar concerns. And there may be more, as CCIC continually investigates reports of companies that may be a party to animal testing in order to sell in China. The Leaping Bunny Program sets itself apart from other cruelty-free lists by reviewing companies’ adherence to a strict no animal testing standard and removing those companies that no longer comply. “The tragedy of this is that testing cosmetic products and ingredients on animals is cruel and unnecessary,” commented Sue Leary, Chair of CCIC. The certification program remains in dialogue with companies and other experts on the issue, and supports efforts to persuade Chinese officials to accept non-animal alternative test methods. Companies certified through the Leaping Bunny Program pledge to eliminate animal testing from all stages of product development. The company’s ingredient suppliers make the same pledge and the result is a product guaranteed to be 100 percent free of new animal testing. All Leaping Bunny companies must be open to independent audits for verification, and pledge commitments are renewed on an annual basis. Since 1996, the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics has been connecting compassionate consumers with cruelty-free companies. The CCIC is made up of the following organizations: American Anti-Vivisection Society; Animal Alliance of Canada; Beauty Without Cruelty, USA; Doris Day Animal League; Humane Society of Canada; The Humane Society of the United States; and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society. CCIC’s international partner is the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments. On the web at http://www.LeapingBunny.org. For more information, contact Vicki Katrinak at (888)546-CCIC or [email protected]

 @Christine (Temptalia) They will build it there to only lose it here. The Bunny just revoked them. Thanks for asking those questions. But I don’t like their answers….you cannot agree to go into a business in a country where you don’t like their practices, and then say change will happen after.  “Continue to seek alternate methods, only means that they will follow the ones that are being used right now.”  Although their makeup is great, I am really resenting what they are doing. At least “man up” and say what you are going to do and be honest about it, don’t be deceptive.  Next thing you know, you will be finding lead in their product, and they will deny it……..Sad to say, not buying anything else from them…..and I think they should be boycotted.

 @vtach126 They probably did analysis of how many customers they would lose vs. how many customers they’d gain – I presume the analysis was still in favor of the decision. They absolutely knew that the decision was going to result in an initial loss of customers.

 @Christine (Temptalia) But, maybe, just maybe WE, on this make up blog, and all the other make up blogs CAN make a difference……..there still is power of the pen, and power in numbers, and there always will be……
Here is a link..so we can all know what really happens during cosmetic testing…everyone should look at it so that the issue remains close to their hearts…….God rest their little souls…..

 @Christine (Temptalia) Plus, wouldn’t it likely be the case that Urban Decay would stand to “lose” money initially whenever they enter a new market, not just China?  It takes investment to expand, and unless you’re in a really hot business environment, the return on that investment is never instantaneous.  I would think even if UD was rolling out in a country like Australia, an English speaking country where there’s more likely to be some existing brand recognition, that that would still be true.  It struck me as really really sketchy that Urban Decay pointed out that their investment seed money wouldn’t be made back right away as a way of proving that their decision to enter China was about their idealism rather than profit.   Like they expected us to be too stupid to realize that no company can make money without spending some first.

I’m done with UD. While I understand business decisions, just be outright that this is about money and not a thing more than that. 

Again, I just wonder how many US women will be losing their jobs once UD makes the move to China. While I don’t condone animal-testing, I actually find it disheartening noone else is showing any concern for the many who may be facing layoffs in the worst economy in the US since the Great Depression…

 @xamyx I’m guessing at some point they would plan to manufacture everything in china for cost-savings. I hadn’t even thought about that as a long-term goal. Shady!

 @xamyx Why would this happen? Honestly, I’m not the most knowledgeable when it comes to economics. It seems to me like they will be hiring more people, Chinese and US citizens (to work in China).

@jeneyg Many US brands are moving overseas to save money in manufacturing, IT, & customer service, just to name a few industries. As a result, they close up many offices & factories in the US, resulting in layoffs. While it may seem they’re expanding personnel, they are in fact, downsizing. Not only are labor costs less in these countries, corporate tax rates are lower, and with the current tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year, UDs move seems very orchestrated. It also seems to me they’re using the animal-testing rhetoric to take focus away from the fact they are pulling jobs out of the US.

exaclty. we continue to let companies do this- take jobs from americans and continue to contribute to the downwards spiral of our economy to make a few extra bucks. and americans continue to support these companies because i feel many just dont care…

@Beta Sharron While I agree there is a difference, my feeling is that this is merely a first step in the direction of moving overseas, especially given the fact they are currently owned by a private equity firm. I sincerely hope they don’t, but I am prepared for the possibility. This just seems like a step in that direction.

You know this is very nice and everything but it doesn’t really say anything.
For starters I didn’t even know they were “so active” in the cruelty-free and woman rights, if they really wanted to prove they should say names and numbers, not something as vague as this.
It’s not like I disapprove of them going to China but I think it’s fun how they are trying to save face. If they really wanted they could go to multiple countries they don’t have presence, yet they choose China because it’s a big market, good for them but I don’t think they can longer call themselves ‘cruelty free’ I guess only time will tell if this was a good decision.

All I read was blah, blah, blah blah, blah. I can appreciate their we can change the world attitude but for me it’s all about money. period.

I’m wondering how this will work in conjunction with the law in Europe that’s coming into effect within the next few years that forces brands not to test on animals. (Supposedly in 2013, but who knows.)

 @KelseyWillis Since UD will probably use a company to test for China, it’s probably that they’ll exploit the fact that the specific products they’re shipping to Europe haven’t been tested. If that makes sense.

Thank you for following up with them. I’m still disappointed with their decisions and PR statements and have decided to stop buying Urban Decay, but I sincerely do appreciate your dedication to providing us with this news.

The one thing I’m still a bit confused about, is how they’re going to market themselves as cruelty free in China, when they technically will not be cruelty free due to China requiring testing on all cosmetics in the country. Did they explain that, and I just missed it?

I doubt the men in China care much about cosmetics or that they are tested on animals.  By giving women jobs in the cosmetics industry, and thus power as professionals, they will give them more of a voice. In addition, the saying that “money talks” fits this situation perfectly. The important people that make decisions about this kind of thing are not going to care about testing makeup on animals if they don’t think it’s worth it in the end. Most of them are men & they probably don’t care about makeup, especially some weird brand from the US, much at all. But if it’s something that making a profit, it’s make more of an impression on them. It sucks that this will take time or that it may not work at all, but there’s a chance that by UD entering the Chinese market, the topic of animal testing will become a bigger issue in China & therefore more Chinese citizens will learn more about what goes on in their country & other countries and be able to take action if they want. Showing the plight of the animals that are being tested on for now may be able to save so many animals in the future. 
I hope that UD makes more information available for us to read online, not just about their own doings, but about how things are in China right now that they’re hoping to be able to change. Have any cosmetics bloggers in China or Asia said anything about this yet? They might be able to tell us more about what the industry in China is like now and how that might have led to the choice UD is making.

How is that a Company who was building an Empire of values, morality and caring for the helpless…. ends into a deep torturous hole?
Remember China is a Communist, the same way Chinese population can’t stand for different ideas will be the same way they won’t let Urban Decay change them, at least not like this as the government won’t listen to the people proofs in so many News Articles talking about how protests or different ways of thinking are stopped in China.
A brand is cruel either they do the animal testing or a third party do it for them/in their name/to be approved to sell. In meantime the products will be tested on animals! They won’t be cruelty-free anymore!
You allow them to make such an unimaginable pain to the animals that has no forgiveness to who conduct or allow it. Its not matter of how many tests will be done, even if its only one single bunny you have condemned his life to agony til the end of his days.
China won, they laugh of your credo right now as you betrayed your own beliefs.
Seriously guys, you have killed one of few lights that keep this world alive.

 “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.” – Mahatma Gandhi

I love UB’s products and concept very much, but i feel that after their reformulation campaign, their greediness really came through… Now, i don’t mind UB going to China, but just a word of warning to UB’s executives: if anyone translates that message into Chinese, the Chinese consumers and government will be furious. seriously, after reading the massage, i had the urge to translate it-but i have to study for MCAT.  UB dissed a country with a strong sense of superiority, and its people won’t be happy. of course, if government mad= ban.  i don’t know if it is just me, but the writer of the message have an attitude problem.

I wish they just said point blank that they were expanding their brand into other countries rather than all this stuff about animal testing and their “plan”. Companies need to expand and I’m sure everyone understands, but to cover it with this weird press release is what pisses people off. Like a commenter below, I don’t buy cruetly-free products exclusively (let’s be real, a lot of our favorite products are not), but this just confuses their current market and aggravates a lot of people due to the lack of facts and real details about this whole expansion. Are the just selling in China or are they moving all manufacturing over there? It’s two different things and I wasn’t too clear on it.

“Are they just selling in China or are they moving all manufacturing over there?”  This is a good point. UD has not been too clear on that whole thing. i also agree on what another person who posted said that the US needs more jobs…we are letting companies contribute to the continued downfall of our economy by going overseas for everything and we are letting them! we are not doing anything to help ourselves!

I’m not buying it. The questions you asked sound a lot more informative than the answers provided. I’m trying to picture this customer education they are talking about. “Hi, this product was tested on animals and we are completely against that because it’s cruel and unusual, please do buy it from us though.” o_O*?
I don’t see how pumping more money into the Chinese economy is philanthropy.  We could use more jobs in the US and Europe. The “we don’t expect to make much money” argument is just a standard business plan. Most successful new businesses will lose money first year, break even second and make a profit third. And in China the profit potential is huge. A brand like UD can potentially accomplish this even quicker. The way to put pressure on China is to not do business with them. Something most US businesses are sadly incapable of because they see $ signs overseas.
The only good thing that can come of all this is that it brought to light a lot of these issues to the US consumer. Hopefully we will start making better choices. I know I’m starting to pay a lot more attention to where things are made, how and with what ingredients. I did this before to some extent as well, but the UD news were the last straw.

UB stated that they have had campains against animal testing, but they are still going to enter a market that tests on animals. UB is willing to compromise their company’s core values for profit. I’m actually glad that UB came out with this press release .. it has allowed me to look into companies that test on animals (Avon, Mary Kay, L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, Fekkai, Kiehl’s, Maybelline), the list goes on .. all 13 .pdf pages. And this will give me a chance to support companies that don’t test on animals .. you can find these companies on the peta web site. I’m not a supporter of Peta .. I think they go a bit extreme with their campaigns, but I’m willing to look into cruelty free products. I do hope Peta finds out about UB, because the UB logo is smack dab in the middle of the their web site:


I really really wanna believe this is for good, but experience tells me nothing that starts with violence ends good, i do not think this is the right way to change things in China.You are creating this by accepting the violent terms of testing, how are gonna be able to call yourself Cruelty-free if a third party will do the tests? and how is that you will tell people “Please care for animals” while your products are stained in blood?You wanna make vegetarians by eating meat burgers!
What a difference with LUSH statement about china…” http://www.lushcountries.com/partnerships/china.html
How is that Cruelty-Free companies didn’t gather to make a campaign asking other companies to do not go to China? Wouldn’t be better and keeping your honor intact?
Going to China should have been the very last option or better not even considered.

 @Phyrra Yeah, i take my hat off in front of Lush. A company/person needs guts to really remain standing for what they believe in, no matter what.
I agree with you, total respect to Lush and all add full support.
I guess Lush do understand there are better ways to change this world without hurting anybody coz nothing justify the pain and agony those animals will suffer.

 @jessettery Wow. Thanks for posting. I’m really impressed with them, but I also think that they have a handle on a core issue: opposition to animal testing is part of their brand identity. Selling out that principle actually harms their brand, because it takes away a point of differentiation for the company. Without those commitments and beliefs, they really aren’t the same company that they were. 

 @jessettery Wow, much admiration for Lush!!!
If Urban Decay did this, they’d probably gain MORE followers here in the U.S.
Such a dumb move on Urban Decay’s part. Despicable.
They obviously don’t care about animals and only claimed to be cruelty free to up there image for the time being and the sell out of themselves to make more money (which they will eventually lose because 90% of their American following seems to be lost already if you read all of these comments and bloggers who have decided NOT to purchase from them anymore)

Thumbs up for Lush!
I like to believe best of everyone, and even though want to believe UD is truly dedicated to animal protection i don’t think this is the right way to create a change and by accepting China’s terms they simply put their years of effort in the garbage coz they will be tested on animals, and when they create new formulas for new products in China will have to be tested on animals.
Meanwhile animals in labs are waiting for a sunny day.

 @jessettery Lush is one of the few big name companies (if an independently owned company can still be called big in the world of giant multinationational conglomerates!) who I consider to have unquestionably stellar credibility on the issue of animal rights.  They always put their money where their mouth is, and do a ton of advocacy for the cause.  

<i> We also plan to support via marketing and social media as we have successfully done here in the US.</i>
HAHAHA SOCIAL MEDIA IN CHINA. They must be joking, right? Do they know citizen searches are blocked for controversial terms, and bloggers are routinely arrested? Do they know China doesn’t allow Facebook? 
Sorry, I really want to make an insightful comment but this is just. Like. What.

 @Christine (Temptalia) , thank you so much for the questions you asked and all the clarifications you obtained for us!
I was kind of like ‘meh’ in the beginning of this (because a brand is free to do whatever they want, in the end), but their PR spin is a bit tiring and condescending and this whole thing has tainted the image of UD in my mind. I’ll think very hard when (or more likely, if) I ever buy from them again.

This whole thing just seems backwards–I would have so much more respect for Urban Decay if they had refused to expand into China *because* of animal testing. It conflicts everything they stand for with their “we don’t test on animals, how could anyone?” viewpoint. I think if it were another brand doing this, one that hadn’t placed such an emphasis on being cruelty-free, people wouldn’t be nearly as upset. But since it’s Urban Decay, who placed great importance on cruelty-free cosmetics since their inception, it feels like a betrayal. They’re going against everything they used to stand for. It’s disappointing.

YES! I understand this from a business standpoint. More than anything, this is about money, and wanting to gain early entrance into the Chinese market. They built their brand up as something, and rather than say this is too good to pass up from a business standpoint, they are spinning it as some do-gooder nonsense. They act as if this is more about changing the backwards ways of China than a competitive business move. It’s hypocritical while insulting our intelligence and insulting/condescending to China/the Chinese people.
I wonder if they are dizzy from all this spinning!

You raise a really good point here, and one that I hadn’t really considered before – there’s definitely a sense of white knighthood here, this idea that they’re enlightened Westerners going in to save the silly Chinese from their backward, primitive ways. Ugh.

Thank you for the follow up, Christine. I’m still seeing a heaping pile of bullshit, though, lol. Their answers are all nondescript, vague responses to the questions. Let’s go to China, where animal testing is mandated by law, and somehow preach a message of cruelty-free when we will no longer be cruelty-free… Their last response is just laughable. This is just a careful rewording of the original press release.
I am not exclusively cruelty-free when it comes to cosmetics, but this garbage they’re spewing out is insulting to the intelligence of their customers. Watch out China, Change for China 2012 presented to you by Urban Decay!!!!

Good luck to Urban Decay in attempting to change China’s stance on animal testing since human rights groups have been fighting for so many things like the end of female fetus abortions, the end of sweat shops, the end of children working in factories along with so many human atrocities for the last few DECADES. If human rights groups can’t change the Chinese perceptions and laws then a makeup company can’t.BTW – Avon (Mark), Mary Kay and Estee Lauder who were all against animal testing are all now being sold in China as well. Urban Decay follows their recent footsteps to start selling in China.

 @Zadidoll Good point.  My friend’s mom has sold Mary Kay for a long time- I brought this up last night while talking to her, and she mentioned that Mary Kay has similar stances against animal testing and women’s rights but has been selling in China already.  Interesting, and I’d like to know what other companies like them have been doing to make an impact (if anything).  

i would think the animals of china has much more serious threats to them than being tested on for eyeliners, eyeshadows, etc. heck, i bet there are many people in china willing to take the place of animals for testing of cosmetics…

Thank you so much for posting this interview.  These were EXCELLENT questions, and unfortunately Urban Decay responded with a lot of vague bullshit.

This is ridiculously vague. The following:”We are implementing additional efforts in China where immediate change is necessary to provide alternatives in order to continue our fight to end animal testing.”could mean ANYTHING. I mean, I’m still impressed that UD are so willing to engage in dialogue with their audience about this, but the trouble is that the more I read of said dialogue, the more I realise that they’re not actually saying much of any substance. They’re not making any claims that they could be held accountable to in the future.

These were some great questions, and like many others, I just kind of shook my head at the answers. Good for them for trying to address the discussions and concerns that were raised on your previous blog post, but they didn’t help themselves much with this. We’ll see what happens…

I just came across an article on, peta.org (PETA’s *official website), dated May 07, 2012, that states China is in the final stages of approving cosmetic tests *not* requiring the use of animals. Apparently, PETA scientists have been working with officials on the eficiency & efficacy of these tests, and China is *on board*. Unfortunately, I’m a technological moron, so I can’t link the page, but if you just go to peta.org, you can find it. I hope this info can help.

@xamyx I’ve read the same article. Basically there’s a proposal that’s up for approval that’s expected to be decided upon this summer. I wouldn’t go as far as to say to call it a done deal. Our own FDA has rejected all sorts of proposals that everyone expected to see passed. I’m sure that happens in China too. It makes me wonder though why UD didn’t wait until the Chinese government made a final ruling either way on those alternative testing methods.

I find it interesting that people expect Urban Decay to change China, when no one else has been able to for hundreds of years.

Good questions Christine. I am still not pleased with their decision, and I am glad you asked them the tough questions even though the answers were kind ‘meh.’

Christine, you rock. Thank you so much for not lying to your fans for the sake of companies. My admiration for you increased when you were so honest about your views of UD’s custom palettes, and your efficiency regarding this current issue is amazing.

No one actually expects UD to change China, and neither does UD. This is simply about money, they just are being too cowardly to say it.

I don’t buy a single word of their propaganda. The organizations in China are powerless against the government, a government that doesn’t value animals and barely values their own people (melamine in the milk sickened hundreds of thousands!).

They are only in it for money and market share. Their smoke and mirrors campaign isn’t going to work with those of us who are smart enough to see right through it.

Yeah Brittany Reaves, I wasn’t exactly expecting really great, transparent, full answers, but at least they didn’t kick me in the shins for asking! 😉

This breaks my heart. I have always been an advocate of UD because of their quality but mostly because of the NO ANIMAL testing part of their brand that really inspired me to continue to buy from them. I agree with Kelly Baker Dangzalan on this matter and I’m very saddened by the news.

I can understand why this would be important to people, however it doesn’t matter to me. my mind didn’t change after this happened. maybe it’s because I am not vegan or vegetarian. and the fact that I am against animal rights. Yes I think so. I think they’re extremists. however if anything I am worried about when it comes to this, is American jobs. And that’s about it. I thought I would comment. It seems to be no one on my side of the matter is commenting. so I thought I would.

What I find especially despicable about this is they held the moral high ground quite loudly and proudly before as their slogan “how could anyone?” basically condemns all companies participating in animal testing, and then they go into China under the guise of trying to help? I find that to be incredibly high handed and a slap in the face to loyal customers who were willing to pay a higher price for vegan and animal friendly cosmetics. They have permanently lost my business.

I’m extremely disappointed in Urban Decay’s decision. Like Sara stated, I would have a lot more respect for Urban Decay had they refused to do business with China for the reason that it would require animal testing, similar to what Lush has done. Seems a bit like a sell out if you ask me. Besides, if the governement in China has already seen that Urban Decay has wavered from their Cruelty-Free values in order to do business in the first place, I doubt they’ll be the ones willing to change because they’ve already seen that Urban Decay will do so. I think their logic is a little backwards so it will be interesting to see how well this plays out for Urban Decay. Seems more like a profit move than campaigning to change China’s culture.

With the recent news from PETA about China being in the final stages of implementing non-animal testing means for cosmetics, as well as the knowledge that Burt’s Bees – who still have their Leaping Bunny – have managed to work with companies that avoid AT in China… All I am reading from UD is BSBSBSBS.

“as well as influence the community to request this of their government” : this is so naive… is UD really aware of the form of government running China? Not really the kind that’ll make changes because of the public opinion. 
They can’t possibly believe what they say, unless they’re being seriously misinformed about the realities of the Chinese political system and what the civil society is struggling with. You know, like limited freedom of speech, human rights being disregarded, the almighty communist party controling everything, censorship on the internet?? Can they really believe Chinese citizens can demand something from their government?

I don’t know if anyone has read this…..but the leaping bunny revoked them today, and took away their certification…..SO THAT HAS TO MEAN SOMETHING!!!!! Also……the Chinese cultures is well known for eating dogs, and anything else with four legs except for a table, so it is built into their culture that animals are quite disposable.

they were one of the first to get the leaping bunny logo…well now they are being removed from that list. i hope they are as happy about that…

Christine, you do not have to answer this but I’m quite curious as to how you feel about all of this? Will you still be buying from them or no? Just a curious reader!

More or less, the questions I asked were questions I wanted to ask – so I think those sort of already show where I stand, and I’ve participated in the discussion both on this post and the initial post. I’m mostly bothered by their press release, which I felt was patronizing, deliberately confusing/contradictory, and treated its customer base like we’re stupid. I expect a lot of spinning and generalizing when a company is responding to a PR crisis, but not nearly as much when it’s a very planned, deliberate dissemination of information.
But lots of press releases do the same – think the consumer is less intelligent and won’t be able to read between the lines. It’s like anti-aging products that claim the moon, mascara ads with lash inserts and photoshopping, it’s photoshopped color swatches, photoshopped promo ads. So like we would most press releases, we take it with a grain of salt. 

boo! That seemed like a lot of vague rewording of their press release. I have lost SO so much respect for them and honestly don’t plan to purchase anything from them anymore. 

No no no I don’t believe them, they shattered everyone’ s illusions about what their real intentions and objectives are.
Sorry, but I do not think they are acting in good faith at all, I am deeply and bitterly disapponited in UD and about the sly moves they are making to attempt to save their face and most important their earnings.
I do not think UD is still worthy of having my confidence after they did chose of their own free will to expand to China and drop their past much advertised commitment against animal testing.
I totally do not trust their replies and do not think they are even the least sincerely concerned about anything else other than money, neither about their loyal and badly deceived customers nor about the poor animals and their sufferings.
Besides, China government is notoriously knowed for not allowing any sort, even the slightest, of  internal and external dissent in the country.
China executive never accepts any involvement from either international or worldwide human rights’ organizations or Western countries’s pressure to change their oppressive regime and respect human rights.
Imagine then if there realistically can be possibilities of UD’s” revolutionary plan” (ahah) to even attempt to persuade China government to renounce to the very very profitable business of animal vivisection for cosmetic reasons whereas in that country that is not even an issue, pure science-fiction and devious cunning gimmicky from UD which I absolutely doubt has ever seriously meant what it stated about trying to change China’s law requirements for cosmetics.

“Besides, China government is notoriously knowed [sic] for not allowing any sort, even the slightest, of internal and external dissent in the country.”
That’s a gross generalisation. What you have to realise is that oppression operates primarily through fear and paranoia; the State Security Bureau is notoriously arbitrary and known to use intimidation tactics on individuals suspected of going anti-government activities. However there are many forms and levels of dissent and dissatisfaction, some of which are tolerated (sometimes) because,
a) it is taking place in a very public place and it suppressing it creates too much bad press;
b) what is being protested is not deemed to be crucial to the maintenance of government authority (and I think animal rights might fall under this category).
If you are in Shanghai, the largest metropolis in China, which has a lot of overseas visitors, it’s not that unusual to see protests from citizens about urban development projects, food safety, and so on. It’s not necessarily effective at creating change, but it does it get media attention.

So basically UD are talking in circles and hoping people don’t realize they are completely full of shit. At this point I don’t even think they know what they’re saying, it’s word vomit and it’s not helping their flimsy case in the least. This whole situation sucks and it makes me very upset as someone who supported this brand from the get go.

Oops, was so into the issue I forgot to say -thank you Christine for listening to our opinions and concerns and following up with UD. It’s interesting to follow the discussions on it now that the news is circulating.

I think this was a very unwise PR move on the company’s part, and their press release only becomes increasingly demeaning as they press forward.  While I’m not a completely “cruelty-free” consumer, I admit this does make me a bit leery to repurchase from the brand.

@Sarah, to my knowledge this shouldn’t affect American jobs. They are at the moment not moving production to China, they are just selling their products in China.

(OT- Livefyre is really kicking my tush this week. Today, it’s been over 7 hrs since I could post! I like Livefyre but I’m starting to wonder if there are perhaps “peak times” and the extra user postings impact the system somehow.)  Anyway, this is what I wrote hours ago:  a huge “thank you” to you, Christine, for asking those follow-up questions and making them so specific as to try to elicit the utmost detail from UD. And some credit should be given to UD for reaching out to begin with and for answering.
However, I don’t buy any of it. I must be slow because, to me, their answers essentially amounted to: we will create some change by hiring people and we will work on some (vague, as of yet amorphous, unspecified) things to create real change. “We are implementing additional efforts in China” — like what? If they’re so concerned that they’ve already met with tons of people to get an “understanding” of the market and to come up with “creative” solutions, what are they?  Hiring Chinese people, marketing, PR and posting on China’s FB-equivalent? Ok, that’s a start. But I think that’s about all they can really do.
So, UD, what are the animal rights groups in China,how big are they, are they spread out all over the country? More importantly, what, if anything, have those CHINESE groups achieved in terms of changing the mind of the Chinese govt? If they haven’t, how do you as an outsider expect to change Chinese policies? So, you’ve spoken to a women’s group in Washington, DC about what to do in China and their advice was hire Chinese women? Have you spoken to CHINESE womens-rights groups and, if so, what did *they* say about it? Shouldn’t you be reaching out to see what they have to say?
Why so vague about everything, UD? Notice how their response to your question about how to change the mind of the Chinese **government** amounted to “by creating new jobs for women and putting them into positions of importance”?  Um, it’s going to change the mind of the *all male* Central Committee and make them institute policies of progressive change for women just because UD hired some Chinese women as makeup artists, sales assistants, or VP of marketing??! Surely you jest!  You answered as such, UD, because you KNEW there was nothing that you can do to change the mind of the Chinese govt. and you had nothing else to say.  You’re not delusional, UD, you’re simply paddling as fast as you can to spin things with your back against the wall while hoping we’re all idiots. 
Oh, and I hope you enjoyed your big UD launch party at the Sephora on the Bund 2 days ago, *before* you even announced your big China changes. Did you drink tons of champagne as you listened to those cash registers ring? <snort>       

 @Kafka Maybe the press release and subsequent Q & A was done while drinking some of that champagne, lol. They probably thought, “SHIT! How do we spin this?! Ok, ok, let’s get out our thinking caps, guys! I KNOW! BLAME CHINA! We’ve come to guide you to the light, China! UD CHANGE FOR CHINA 2012!”
Love for Kafka and this post. Urban Decay, you’re ridiculous.

@Miss J, hahaha, at least champagne would be some sort of excuse! After that insulting press release with its missionary undertones, I think the Chinese women should glitter bomb UD with some of their more over-the-top eyeshadows. It would be the cosmetic version of the Boxer Rebellion and they could call it the Stardust Rebellion.  Or Midnight Cowboy Rides Again….  <smirk>

I wonder how long their PR department took to come up with this total BS? And if they all thought we would really buy this and accept this? I cannot accept this from them and am moving on. They will never get another dime from me again. And I will never recommend them again.

I think what offends me most is that they’re suggesting that they’re going to be heroes and save China from its own backwards values. Really, UD? You want to bring your products into a new market whilst simultaneously insulting its people/culture/values? 

Right. My hope is that Chinese-speaking audiences will hear about this condescending look on them and a backlash will spread before UD even launch their products in China. It would serve them right.

“We don’t test on animals. How could anyone?” …More like how could I purchase anything else from this hypocritical brand? So dissapointed & frustrated. I was a customer for years but I won’t be any longer.

Although it is still a fairly new phenomenon, in the cities at least, the idea of “voting with your dollars” is not unknown to the Chinese middle class. In Shanghai, I have often seen in taxis (which have small TV screens showing ads and events) public service announcements which raise awareness about the cruelty of shark fishing and other types of popular Chinese traditional foods; their slogan is “没有买卖,就没有伤害“, which translates as “No demand, no harm.” Public consciousness about cruelty toward animals is on the rise among a certain sector of the population. So change is possible, but I don’t know how genuine UD are about participating in that dialogue.

The fact that they work with HSUS and PETA are reason enough for me to never purchase anything from them again.  While I don’t support animal testing, I also don’t support extreme groups such as those.  And HSUS does not fund nor is is associated with your local animal shelter.

Thanks Christine for this post and the responses.  There are so many emotions I feel towards this press release, and it’s funny because I’m not even vegan or vegetarian so it’s not like I buy a product because it’s cruelty-free, though it’s always nice.  What bothers me from reading these PR pieces is that they 1. don’t care about their existing loyal customers who are educated women who can read between the lines of their PR.  2. Kind of insulting to the Chinese and Chinese women. 
I’m Chinese Canadian. I’ve visited China many times over the past few years.  I know that blogs are blocked there.  So their “social media’ impact will not really be as big as it is in North America.  in their answer for PR, UD mentioned about creating professional opportunities for Chinese women so that they can be educated in terms of animal testing, etc..  I’m assuming UD will enter big cities, not the poorer parts of the country.  Well in the big cities, women are pretty well educated and have good jobs.  Of course there is a range of jobs that they have but they can hold a bank job, or like media, etc. and are competitive in nature.  These professional women like high end everything, including make up.  Now if these women care about cruelty-free products, how would they feel if the company gave that up so that they can market to them?  In the West we have an idea of how China is like.  Just reading their PR makes me feel like they are trying to go into the market, somehow educate all these people about how it is possible to not test on animals..yet the way they entered happens to have the government test their products on animals. It just seems so strange to me, and insulting to everyone, existing customers and the potential customers in China. 
I just hope their market research department did an extensive job because when I’m in China, most people either have no make up or very minimal/neautral make up.  There’s also a wide range of Asian make up that are very good quality, and made to fit the Asian market. 

 @Robba The way to use Chinese social network media is – surprise, surprise! – to use CHINESE social network media. That means NOT Facebook, NOT Twitter, NOT Blogger. It means getting a local CHINESE marketing team together who understands the cultural trends here, and building up a presence on 163.com, on Weibo, on QQ, on the social network platforms that CHINESE people have access to and use in great numbers.
I doubt that UD will do any of these things, however, as from my experience, few people from outside China ever bother to learn how the society actually works here, preferring instead to impose their own practices from abroad – and then blaming the Chinese people when that tactic doesn’t work.

 @Li Wen
 Thanks so much!  I honestly didn’t know which type of social media they had but then again it’s because I can’t read Chinese (it’s shameful, I know), so when I’m in China, I try to access blogger and Facebook. 
I just think their entire PR about how they will educate people but in order to do so, they are essentially destroying their foundation of being cruelty-free,  seems very hypocritical. 

 @Robba You’re welcome, Robba! I’m Australian, but I’m currently working for a consultancy firm in China, and it amazes me that even within my own company, there is so much ignorance from other headquarters around the world about China and how social networks operate here.
The Great Firewall does not stop you from accessing banned sites if you really want to. I use a VPN as a rule when I’m online, because I couldn’t get by without Facebook and Blogger to keep in touch with my overseas friends. But what the Great Firewall creates (especially for Chinese nationals, who have more to fear from the Security Bureau) is an impediment to harmonising and integrating with the “free” (in the liberal sense) social networking platforms. So Chinese sites stay in their own (very large) self-contained bubble, and speak to one another in Chinese, more or less isolated from Facebook/twitter. Meanwhile, the outside world more or less ignores it because they think it can’t be very important because it’s all in Chinese.

 @Li Wen OMG well said. Thats exactly what I was thinking when I read the page. And from what is already going on I think their PR team in china is not doing a very good job either (seriously?! with a brand like urban decay, much loved by MANY, and i do mean MANY, chinese beauty bloggers, there were only around 10 posts on weibo that talks about the launch in sephora?! WTF?!)

 @Li Wen  @Robba I know, right?! I have Chinese friends and they all joke that when they go home, no Western social media network for them: it’s not even easy to ‘cheat’ and get access!
You must use weibo, QQ, etc, and, for example, some searches for the scandal by the politician guy (Bo Xiang, and then the guy who’s name also means ‘river’) were blocked automatically. That also means ‘normal’ information (like information about rivers, for example), is also stupidly out of reach because the bans are not selective, but that’s a whole other story… 
Am really not very impressed by the UD spin, and I think I will avoid them from now on. If there is something that grates, it’s their attitude towards women: middle class Chinese women are currently working very hard, getting good and sometimes powerful jobs, and trying to buck the trend. They’re not waiting for UD to save them!

@Robba I just wanted to say that I totally agree with your point regarding the status of Chinese women in cities and that I find the UD statement very patronising in this respect as well. I had the opportunity to work in a Chinese city for a year after graduating from university and the childcare, higher and further education and employment opportunities for women were at least equal and often times higher than the standards I experience and witness in the UK (my home country) where we still have MASSIVE income and opportunity disparity between the genders. There are of course class issues but these are separate and also largely experienced in all countries around the world.

Just read on Lipglossiping that UD is no longer licensed to carry the BUAV Leaping Bunny trademark, which indicates whether a brand is cruelty-free. That’s all I wanted to say.

The fact that they support PETA and HSUS are reason enough for me to never purchase their products again.  I don’t support animal testing, but I also don’t support extreme activist groups such as those.  HSUS isn’t even associated with (nor do they fund) local animal shelters.

yes I do…I made a video on youtube urban decay testing + alternatives
wet n wild has some pencils that are similar, veggiebeauty has a cruelty free list on her website
there are other options as well

Why China? If they are looking at markets to enter why not austraila where we are all employed and have money to spend? China may have a large population but most of them are poor, why not enter markets that are richer and don’t test on animals, if making money and keeping there reputation are key? Seems retarded to me, I was going to order naked 2 online and have it shipped to Sydney, they can get jammed now…

 @BridgetP No, it’s actually a sound business decision, if you don’t actually care about animal testing. Most of China’s 1.2 billion people are still poor, but the middle class in absolute numbers is still massive, and a lot of money gets spent on skincare and cosmetics. According to one Chinese consultancy company, cosmetics retail sales was valued at more than 110 billion Chinese Yuan for 2011 (which is about 17 billion USD, or 13.8 billion EURO at the current exchange rates), which makes it comparable to individual European markets, like France, UK, and Italy. There are more than 1.4 m millionaires in China. Australia could not really hope to compete.

@Li Wen 1.4 million millionaires isnt many, is this for cash asssits or total wealth? Cause the median house price in Sydney is 634,000 so add in a couple of cars, cash assets and what ever else, that would make almost everyone in Sydney a millionaire, that’s 4.5 million people even half of that is more than chinas if your figures are correct. Also take into account that in AU we pay 3x the amount for a product than the USA, expample: Revlon lip butter retails for AUD 21.95 each here, and our currency is not that different… You can’t tell me American companies wouldn’t make money here, but this is just my personal opinion of course. Perhaps they only do this so the can stop counterfeit products being made for the Chinese market? Give them the real thing so the crap stuff won’t sell, no demand = no copies…. Something to mull over perhaps

 @BridgetP Via The Guardian (31 May 2012):
“The eurozone plunged into crisis and unemployment soared across the globe, but 175,000 people still made enough cash last year to join the global millionaires’ club.
“The new entrants, mostly from China and India, bring the number of millionaire households across the world to 12.6m, according to a global wealth report by Boston Consulting Group [BCG].
“The US still boasts the most millionaires with 5.13m households in the top bracket, despite a fall of 129,000. China, which added 193,000 to 1.4m, is within touching distance of Japan, which is in second place with 1.58m. Britain is in fourth place with 411,000 millionaires.
“The influx of oligarchs and other wealthy foreigners enabled the UK to boast the second highest number of “ultra high net worth” [UHNW] individuals, with 1,125 households holding financial assets in excess of $100m (£65m).”

 @BridgetP  @Li Just to clarify, the likely reason Australians pay higher prices for cosmetics than Americans is a combination of exchange rates and taxes.  Your consumer goods cost more for the same reason that they’re more expensive in Canada and Britain – to offset the costs incurred by socialist programs.  The company only benefits from the original price of the product, not the part of the cost that’s tacked on by the local government.
The motivation here is numbers.  It doesn’t matter what the median household income of Australia is.  It doesn’t matter if China is still lagging behind them right now.  Millionaires are not the issue – the middle class is the sweet spot for all but the most elite of consumer-based business.  Forbes magazine projected back in 2011 that the Chinese middle class would reach 1.4 billion by 2030.  UD wants to get in on that early because it means pay off later.
I’m not defending UD’s choice not to expand into the Australian market.  Due to trade agreements between the U.S. and Australia, there is no import duty on cosmetic and beauty products between the two countries.  There’s very little excuse for them not to expand there given their (original) ethical stand on animal testing.  That’s part of what makes the financial motive to move into China so glaringly obvious.

 @BridgetP  Australia is nowhere close.
“There are now 132,000 millionaire households in Australia, up from 128,000 in 2010 according to The Boston Consulting Group’s 12th annual global wealth report, titled Global Wealth 2012: The Battle to Regain Strength.

“Australia was again ranked 17th by country in terms of number of millionaire households.”
“The United States topped the list with 5.13 million millionaire households, followed by Japan with 1.59 million and China with 1.43 million.”
http://www.smartcompany.com.au/wealth/050044-break-out-the-bubbly-australia-hits-132-000-millionaire-households.html (5 June 2012)

@BridgetP Australia is also Socialist, and there are several Australian cosmetic companies already in place. It stands to reason that the Australian government would like there to be less competition for Australian companies, which is why there are so many taxes, levies, tariffs, etc on foreign goods, as with other countries. Therefore, the Australian government won’t make it easy for a foreign market to enter, which really does make good fiduciary sense. It sucks for those living in such nations who want the goods, but it’s also good for the nations economy. Here in the US, we have alot of goods that are imported and sold at a good price, but our economy is also suffering. You really need to look at both sides.

 @BridgetP  @Li just to clarify, goods here in canada do not cost more “to offset the costs incurred by socialist programs”. the government does not control the prices of cosmetics/etc, only the GST which is applied to everything. the GST is not included in list price. the list price is higher here regardless.

 @BridgetP Please don’t make irresponsible remarks if you don’t know about China very well. There are lots of Chinese women are willing to spend money for Skincare and Makeup! Not only Australia  is a rich country.

@Shirley527 I lived in hong kong, I know how the Chinese people think and spend, I’ve walked into a LV store and seen it bare as it gets sold out on a daily bases, I’m just saying if they want to make money (which this is clearly about) then why not explore other countries that do fit with in the brands ethics and wait for china to sort out their animal testing policies before entering the market?

 @BridgetP  @Shirley527 I know what’s your meaning. Some Chinese women have wondered-why?? Urban Decay wants to make money absolutely, but on the other hand, they claim that they are cruelty-free but Chinese Government compels them  to do the animal test . Actually they don’t understand the basic condition in China at all. It seems like that they are building a chastity memorial arch to belie the truth of making money.

 @Shirley527 Geez, do you know how much it costs to buy cosmetics in Australia? A f***ing arm and a leg. I’ve been there before and I am sure not paying $50 for a Clinique Moisturizer when I can pay $25 in the US… and I hate Clinique. As a Taiwanese-American which means I do have Chinese roots as well, I do know how we have a lot of women loving make up. If you’ve ever gone to Duty Free stores (DFS), most of the people there are Asian and multilingual. The Chinese LOVE to spend a lot on luxury products.
I really think this is really experimental.
Anyway, attempting to use what I learned in Marketing Management, this will be a major PR incident and a flop. I think my professor said you should sell the values of your product, not focus on profits. Sorry, but business now is driven by products, not selling values.
But when I buy my cosmetics, I want to make sure they are safe, I want to make sure they are for HUMAN CONSUMPTION. Animals have a MUCH different chemistry than us. To those who don’t care if they are tested on animals, please remember not only animals are getting hurt, but we can be harmed. Some chemical compounds may not harm animals due to immunity of the compound or toxin, but can be harmful to humans.
Sorry if I seem scattered brained, but I’m tired and shocked so I’m trying to compose my ideas together, but I’m not really doing such a good job at that.
But everyone let’s please calm down and think before we leap? Is that a shade?

 @BridgetP The People’s Republic of China has more than ONE BILLION people within its borders.  In comparison, Australia has roughly 23,000,000 (and that’s rounded up by 700,000 people) – that’s not even a third of the buying power!  Even while dire poverty still exists in non-industrialized areas of the country, the growing power of the Chinese middle and upper class is something no globally expanding business can ignore.  There is no market in the world that can compete with that – even the wealthy United States will eventually fall to second place.

Before anyone starts having a tanty, I firmly beleve that they should enter other markets BEFORE china, then get people IN china to rally for the brand to enter and for UD to publicly say no unless you change your polices on animal testing, you will won’t get change by giving them what they want then saying “oh but I’m going to change the way your entire society works” I don’t really see how they plan on doing this. What they have done however is sold their core ethic for money and that in my eyes is pretty dam crappy…

@BridgetP I agree! Why not go to other countries first and let Chinese customers know that they want to sell in China but won’t until the policy changes. That way those who are interested in UD can petition to their government. True, hard to do, but at least you won’t abandon everything you stand for.

@BridgetP One reason UD chose China is likely because China is making it easy for them to do so. A company can’t just decide to enter a market one day and do it the next. China not only makes it easy for US companies, they actually give incentives. Also, you have to look at who UD’s parent company is (I’m not sure who it is now, as it has changed more than once over the years), and look at their ties to foreign markets. In addition to expanding to China, the move may also help them supply to other countries in that part of the world. They may have tried Australia, but officials may have turned them down. There are so many things we just don’t know. We don’t even know if China has in fact engaged in animal testing at all (if someone has irreputable proof of this, please post a link or info).

Has anyone else noticed they continue to claim they’re a cruelty free company in their twitter profile? I, along with some other users, have already asked them to change it (with no response/result). Aren’t THEY trying to make change (sort-of) through public pressure in China? (or so they claim- ha) It’s obvious they’ve become a giant, deplorable joke, but why not at least PRETEND to practice what you preach?

” UD准备进中国市场啦,但肯定不是一天两天的事了,因为我国有权对化妆品进行动物实验,和他们品牌坚持的cruelty-free不符。 现在UD既不想放弃中国市场又不想动物实验,所以“幻想”努力迫使中国做出改变,,,” TRANSLATION: “UD is entering the chinese market! but probably not for a while, because our government has the right to test cosmetics on animal and that’s against the brand’s cruelty free policies. So now UD doesn’t want to give up the chinese market but they don’t want to do animal testing either, so they “FANTASIZE” about forcing china to make a change…” – 7th june, written by meeniemeenie on weibo. Just in case if anyone of you are curious as to what LOCAL chinese people think…(I’m assuming all chinese temptalia readers are hardly…like 100% LOCAL local?) This is one of the FOUR posts on weibo that comments upon UD’s market entry.

I’ve already posted about this on Weibo, and I have also just sent a tip to the editors at Shanghaiist.com, linking to this page and the previous one containing the press release. I bet Urban Decay never anticipated the possibility of a Chinese backlash from its press release, in addition to a backlash in US/Europe – maybe because it thinks Chinese people don’t use social media! But let’s do all we can to make it happen!

 @Li Wen It is really weird that there wasn’t a huge media outreach to Chinese bloggers given that they did have that big party – sure, not everyone is local to the party, but I get tons and tons of press releases every day about some NYC event – and I live 3,000 miles away. And you’d think that just entering the market would be a reason to start trying to reach out to bloggers to start working on out reach – so given that you’ve told us how they haven’t, I’m shocked!

 @Li Wen Thanks for the update here, and for spreading the word on Chinese SMS!! I have no idea what they were thinking with this one. Common sense should have told them that this PR release would come across condescending and insulting. Did they think they could release this in America and not have it get to China?! WHAT THE HELL, URBAN DECAY?!
Please keep us updated on the buzz about this going on on Chinese SM.

Thank you for asking some really great questions. I’m incredibly disappointed that Urban Decay has made this decision, and honestly don’t understand why they feel this is okay, when in the past, their ethics have made them turn down shows that have fur.

 @lipglossspandex I was wondering that too– why point out that they’ve turned down previous opportunities because of the animal-cruelty element or the other party? Turning down a fashion show doesn’t equate to having your products tested on animals.

A thought just came to me. With the resent news that China is “in the final stages of animal testing” and finding alternative testing methods; if this actually goes through, wonder how much of this change UD will claim to be because of their actions.

 @candleashes As I commented in the other post (yesterday’s), I’m sure that this is what UD is counting on. Also, when the laws go through, and other companies who have stayed away from China because of their animal testing practices rush in, UD will potentially have early-entry advantage over them.

Lisa, Sarah~ um~ actually they already manufacture products in China, they are only going to begin selling them in there.

This is as good a place to ask this as any; I’ve been a fan of UD’s eyeshadow primer for years. In light of this new information does anyone have a good substitute to suggest?

@Coraline – NARS smudgeproof eyeshadow primer.  Even before all this, it was what I used. Love it.  It’s what Christine generally uses as well.  NARS does not test on animals.  

 @Kafka  @Coraline Nars does test on animals, and carries neither the leaping bunny logo nor the PETA logo. It is not on any conscious consumer lists that say that it is an acceptable company to use. Don’t spread misinformation on this topic.

 @CallieOliver  Why don’t you email NARS as many have done in the past and ask them? Their answer will be what I have said.  Just because PETA does not include them on the list does not mean NARS tests on animals; PETA does not include a number of no-testing brands and PETA can often have its own agenda in things. Like most things in life, it’s not perfect. Google the issue and you will see page after page of people/reports saying NARS does not test. Just because *you* require PETA or the Leaping Bunny Logo to be convinced does not mean that NARS is lying in its official statement on the subject: http://www.narscosmetics.com/customer-care#Does-NARS-test-on-animals_3F00_   
If NARS is lying, why hasn’t PETA brought a “truth in advertising” lawsuit against them? Why hasn’t the FDA or the similar agencies of other countries forced them to take off that statement, when they have made companies like L’Oreal make changes for their false claims (re mascara/lashes)?  Why, in this crazy litigious society of ours where people sue for the smallest thing, why has no-one sued NARS to force them to drop their official statement as a pack of lies? Why hasn’t PETA? PETA has sued Mars (candy), Seaworld and a whole other host of companies. So, again, why hasn’t PETA sued NARS?
I don’t know why NARS doesn’t have a Leaping Bunny logo. Maybe it’s because this: “We are continually evaluating alternatives to animal-derived ingredients and have replaced many ingredients with vegetable derived substitutes. However, certain NARS products may contain animal derivatives, such as lanolin. If you would like further information as to which NARS products contain animal derivatives please contact customer care and we will provide that information.”
Or, maybe it’s because PETA/Leaping Bunny have issues with NARS’ parent company. If it’s the latter, then to me, that is a separate issue. Shiseido tests, NARS does not. At what point do you stop going back up the corporate ladder? Your point, PETA’s point, and mine may differ. If none of this satisfies you, then I don’t know what to say beyond suggesting that you take it up with NARS about whether or not they test on animals. Or email PETA and tell them to sue NARS for false claims. For me, I’m satisfied that they don’t put animals in cages and torture them with experiments.   

 @Kafka PETA would be foolish to sue if they can’t prove NARS tests, and the FDA doesn’t regulate truth in advertising – that’s the FTC. The fact is, companies CAN get away with lying about their policies, and they do get away with it. It’s naive to believe what a company says about animal testing.
I’m not at all arguing that NARS *does* test. I have no idea. But I wouldn’t just take their word for it.

 @CallieOliver  @Kafka  @Coraline NARS does not test on animals, nor do we have any other parties, such as suppliers, conduct any animal testing on our behalf. NARS uses only the highest quality ingredients which have a proven safety record and are widely used in the cosmetics industry.  (directly on their site).There are companies that do not pay for the Leaping Bunny logo. Many indie companies, such as Fyrinnae, are cruelty-free and do not pay for the logo, but make explicit statements such as the one NARS makes.

 @Phyrra  @Kafka  @Coraline Fyrinnae is a very small company. I would love to believe that NARS DOESN’T test, but there is evidence against them. It’s not just the leaping bunny logo. Websites like PETA contain a huge list of cruelty-free products without a logo (Revlon and Prada are on it), and NARS is not on it.

@CallieOliver @Kafka @Coraline PETA and the leaping bunny are businesses that sell the right to use their name as support. They are not a sanctioned mark of a cruelty free product and you don’t have to have one to sell a cruelty free product.

 @CallieOliver  @Phyrra  @Kafka  @Coraline unless you know the exact reasons why PETA hasn’t included them on their list you can’t automatically assume NARS is lying and does test on animals. PETA isn’t the gospel.

The NARS Smudgeproof is excellent. It’s a little more expensive, and doesn’t come in the squeeze tube like the newer UD tubes, but it’s an amazing primer to consider! Have you tried the Too Faced Shadow Insurance, as well? Many find this very comparable to the UD one.

Agh, wait…! I don’t believe the TFSI is cruelty-free! I’m sorry about that! The NARS one is fantastic, though, and they have always stated they do not do animal testing.
I will do more research on this because I don’t want to suggest anything unless it’s for sure cruelty-free.

 @Christine (Temptalia) Thanks for the additional information, Christine! I really appreciate it because I don’t want to suggest something that may not be cruelty-free, and it seems to be a tricky subject. It is a PITA that it isn’t always clear!

Okay, NARS specifically states that it does not test on animals, but that their products may contain animal derivatives. Okay, and Too Faced is listed on PETA’s website as a company that does not test on animals. Tarte is also listed for brands that do not test, and I know they have a new lid primer that you may want to get a sample of to check out, too. HTH!

This is crazy! UD may be going in to the Chinese market to gain new customers but did they consider how many of us they are going to lose by this decision? And the fact that they were one of the first companies with the “leaping bunny logo” is even more distressing to me – they destroyed their reputation after all this time with a single press release!!!
What makes this whole fiasco even worse and proves to all of us that they are entering this marker NOW purely for profit is the FACT that China is currently working on their animal testing policy!  To know that there are new methods available and to know that China is changing (or at least trying to) only solidifies my suspicions about their motives. Why not wait? Why not stick to your principles and delay market entry until its policies dont contradict all that you stand for? If their own finances are an issue then raising our prices here would be more acceptable than testing eyshadow on bunnies! We would all pay more to keep that from happening! Its almost like they were going ahead with this by assuming we wouldnt do our research and be pacified by a bunch of BS in the press release. I wonder if they were ready for all the backlash! UD is done for me and i doubt i would buy again even if they retract their decision at this point!

 @SanjaMacGillivray It’s sad, but they actually did consider how many people they’d lose before they made this decision.  You can bet their team sat down and came up with a number of how many customers they’d lose over this vs. how many they’ll make in China, estimably.  They considered their loyal buyers as expendable when they chose to do this…they figured they could afford to lose us because there is such a high population, profit to be made in China.

 @SanjaMacGillivray BUT there is almost no profit to be made in the long run! Like i said in my comment, unless they work on introducing an entirely new line of chinese-targeted products, that can indeed be superior to luxury brands like Dior and Chanel or to familiar Asian cosmetic brands, like Shu Uemura, then UD doesn’t stand a chance, at all. They will earn money in the start, due to the novelty factor, but in the long run, they may be forced to withdraw from the chinese market due to losses.

 @Amanda Val Someone said maybe they will lower their prices, take a whole new approach so that the brand will appeal more?  MAC also went into this deal so there must be something to it if they’re doing it, I don’t buy that UD would do this if it was so risky.

As a frequent visitor to the MAC stores in Hong Kong, I can tell you for certain that prices in HK are wayyy less than those in Mainland China, partially because of a “luxury goods tax”! And besides, despite all these mainland chinese swarming to HK to buy such goods, and the fact that even MAC is not seen as high class enough, UD will have to compete with long-standing brands like Dior. AND to advertise, UD will have to fork out a lot for TV adverts to compete with Fancl and SK II – even though they’re skincare brands, usually mainland chinese classify them into the same category. I believe that even though UD has assessed the risks, I think it is a little more risky than they may have anticipated. Yes, they will earn a profit, yes, maybe they might do more for society in some aspect, but in the long run, I doubt they could stand twenty years in the chinese market.

I’m a chinese american, but I’ve lived in china all my life and I speak two dialects of chinese fluently. Basically the point I want to make is that I understand why UD would want to make an entry into the Chinese market – that’s one reason why my parents actively came back to china, because there was money to be made. But in the end, UD won’t make all that much money, and may even be forced to withdraw from teh chinese market, because the noveau-riche of Mainland China want luxury goods like Dior and Chanel. Unless UD is planning to expand their product line to include skin whitening serums, goods that reputed to be crazily expensive or in general, products that are targeted specifically towards a chinese audience, then they almost don’t stand a chance in china.

 @Amanda Val Once UD is in China, could a market for their products open up? Are there any companies there that produce the kinds of products &/or produce the same sorts of looks that UD does over here? Could their style catch on with teens & younger women? If it does, I’m sure there will be companies that will make dupe of the products that are cheaper, but some might still want to pay more for the UD name/products.

 @auroragyps UD’s image – glamour with an edge, can actually be duped currently by the Japanese brand Kate Cosmetics, a drugstore level of Kanebo – or even Majorca Majolica, an offshoot of Shiseido for young women and teens! The thing about being pricey is that chinese consumers want the prestige. When you can pay for DiorShow, I doubt you want BigFatty. Why? To show off your wealth. And even if you would want something less pricey, BigFatty still wouldn’t be on the top of their lists because most chinese consumers who could afford UD are willing to swing between two extremes. Why pay for a foreign brand with no experience with Asian women when you could pay for a product line that was specifically designed by the Japanese, the veritable Asian cosmetic goddesses, and a nicer price?

 @Amanda Val Thanks for answering my question. Now I’m wondering what would happen if UD was available in Japan though? :sigh: Every time I learn something new about this whole thing, my brain comes up with more questions.

Thank you, Christine, for allowing us a platform to discuss these issues! It is a real testimony of the power of your site that UD has come to you and is hearing you (and thus, us) out! 

Sorry, UD, I will no longer be buying your products.  You can’t proudly claim “no animal testing” when you know your products are going to be tested on animals.  It’s a lie and you know it and now we know it.

Ooooh, so they lost the leaping bunny AND PETA took them off the “cruelty free” list? That’s huge. Hope UD is happy now. I honestly can’t wait to see how they’re going to “spin” that. And, again, I hope they take any reference to “cruelty free” OFF their site(s), marketing, and product packaging!Like I said in the last post, I won’t be recommending UD to anyone, anymore. They have been my number one, go-to brand, until now. I’m not a die-hard when it comes to animal testing and cruelty free, but it definitely made me feel tons better about spending the money UD charges, knowing they were genuinely cruelty free. However, I will NOT support hypocrisy and double speak, especially when they’re treating the consumers like idiots and trying to blame the Chinese government and people like they’re doing something wrong when UD are the ones who made the choice to market and sell their products there. No one is forcing them to do so. It’s not like China has their hands tied on this (as they are trying to imply…). If you don’t agree with the government’s philosophy and the consumers’ ethics, then don’t sell there, period. Then, you maintain your integrity and values. But, you might miss out on that money…which is clearly the important factor here. Shameful.

UD, save your condescending gesture of ‘saving chinese people’ , ‘bring the enlightment to chinese people’, you’re being hypocritical, naive, and you also don’t know chinese people. you probably think we are all idiots and under educated and need your salvation. no, you’re wrong. please just go ahead entering the biggest market on the planet but cut the crap! all those sh*t you wrote are insulting. you insult the western die-hard vegeterians and you insult chinese more. because we know make-up, we are rich, and educated, and in total aware of animal protection!! we are not barbarians awaiting you to save! you, UD, and many of the commenters, insulted our country and our people.

I’m very dissapointed in UD. Though I like that they at least provided a statement, the statement seems to me, after reading it twice, to be full of contradictions. For example: How can they bring change from within by promoting cruelty free products when their products won’t be cruelty free anymore? I find the answers in the Q&A to be too vague. People who care about CF products educate themselves, don’t be wishy washy and think we won’t notice. 
There are so many countries where UD isn’t available yet, Belgium (my country, yes small, but still a possible market), Japan, Australia, New Zealand, … So why China? The only answer is: money. It is understandable that a company like UD needs to make money. But it just doesn’t sit right with me that to increase revenue they are basically selling out and giving up the foundations and ethics of their brand.
If they continue with this business plan I will not buy any more of their products until there is proof that they are actively taking steps to change consumer views and the legislation in China. Words are easy, I’m waiting to see the actions.

 I recently started using Urban Decay after finding out that Clinique, MAC and Mary Kay now test on animals. This is disgusting. I will never buy another product from UD again.

 @Samuelmorgan  @creepykatie Actually, they do. Neither of them are on any lists stating that they do not test. MAC is owned by Estee Lauder – which tests on animals.

@Samuelmorgan @Holly Guess you guys haven’t heard that, back in March Estee Lauder co. (who owns, among other brands, both Mac & Clinique) have decided to sell in China. So they, too, allow their products to be tested on animals.

 @Samuelmorgan  @creepykatie Yes they do. They used to be cruelty free but now they do animal testing in China. Both of them. look it up. Peta even took them off of their cruelty-free list.

@creepykatie Selling in China does not mean that MAC or Lauder test on animals. As a company they do not. If a third party requires animal testing then that is of no fault of the corporation. Also, not ALL products sold in china are tested on animals. The Chinese government reserves the right to test on animals.

@ocelot1 @creepykatie Being sold there does not mean they are tested on animals and if a product is tested, it isn’t by MAC or Lauder.

 @Samuelmorgan  @ocelot1  @creepykatie 
yes they test “as required by law” selling their products in China, maybe you can email or call them directly and ask what their policy is, you will see that they do.
“February 16, 2012
Without notifying their customers or PETA, Avon, Mary Kay, and Estée Lauder—which have been on PETA’s list of companies that don’t test cosmetics on animals for decades—have been quietly paying for poisoning tests on animals at the behest of the Chinese government in order to market their products in China. Because they no longer qualify as companies that don’t test,Avon, Mary Kay, and Estée Lauder have been downgraded to PETA’s “do test” list.”

 @Samuelmorgan  @creepykatie MAC has been testing on animals for a while because they started selling in China, and they didn’t make a press release about it. It was extremely upsetting the way they hid it.

Urban Decay is threatened, L’Oréal will probably buy the brand ( I am saying probably ), which would mean lack of creativity and more a low cost make-up brand. They’ve been cruelty free for 15 years or so and now they are about to accept cruel methods towards animals ? Just for business ! This is not acceptable at all ! Please sign the petition ( given nicely by a member of Spektra ) this is to be found on the Care2site ( link available ). Many people already signed. Thanks for reading.

@Dominique33 This explains alot. After initially reading this comment, I went back and looked up some information about Urban Decay’s ownership, and it seems it has changed hands several times, with the last being a private equity firm. Private equity firms typically come in with funds from private investors when a company is not financially sound and pull them out, and then sell them again for a profit (this is how Mitt Romney has made his money). There is nothing wrong with this, and many companies are saved by this, which also means many jobs are, as well. The firm that bought UD is likely behind the expansion to China, and UD really has no choice, other than to shut down, which they likely can’t do anyway, as they are owned by someone else. So, at the end of the day, this is not UD’s choice.

 @cosmeticcouturier its annoying that in the US economy, they are continuing to take jobs out of the country. people need jobs here, but no one seems to care…

@cosmeticcouturier There’s so many awesome small indie companies out there that we should pay attention to them regardless. It would be cool if Christine did a feature on an independent brand every month so the word can get out!

I’m curious to know how many people who buy cruelty free cosmetics buy things that contain animal by-products such as leather, meat, clothing etc. If someone is firmly against animal cruelty, then they should drop animal byproducts all together and commit to a vegan lifestyle. Because there is cruelty going on in factory farms, animals in India are slaughtered for their leather, and of course there are plenty of companies, including pharmaceutical companies that do animal testing. It’s a very big issue, and adhering to a vegan lifestyle would technically be the only way to ensure that your not contributing to any animal cruelty.

I feel that it’s not necessary to be vegan in order to care about animal testing in cosmetics.  Food isn’t on the same level as cosmetics, cosmetics are a luxury, and it’s really needless to be doing it for make-up.  I think most people who care about the issue are careful with their clothing choices, as well.

While cosmetics aren’t on the same level as food, there are still other avenues to which there is animal cruelty being done on a much larger scale than animal testing done for cosmetics. To ignore this fact is very contradictory to your beliefs in animal welfare. Not that I’m saying this about you specifically, but, it also applies to people who don’t consider animal cruelty in all forms. And, some of the ingredients tested on animals for cosmetics often do not need to be retested.
There is endless footage documenting the cruelty to animals that is being done on factory farms; the factory farms that were documented are very well known, and they supply huge amounts of meat every year, and the animals killed every year are well into the millions. Of course the same goes for leather tanneries across the country, particularly in India where little safety precautions are taken, and people living in close proximity to these tanneries are developing cancers like Leukemia. Notice how most shoes these days are made of leather. 
I think it’s great that people are passionate about cruelty free products, but there is a bigger picture. Until that is address, animal cruelty will persist. 

Luna, you are right that just as much cruelty goes on in the meat business. I wonder why everyone cares more about animal testing than the way animals are tortured before slaughter. I’m not saying people shouldn’t eat meat, the problem I have is the condition the animals are kept in before slaughter. Why is this getting so much more attention??

 @Andrea21 It’s just better known. People have been talking about this stuff since at least the 80s, when Mary Kay was pressured into quitting testing (1989) and others followed suit. Maybe no one knew about corporate farming horrors yet, or maybe they hadn’t gotten so awful quite yet (I’ve seen the documentaries, but I’m not sure of the history and dates).
It’s also appealing because it *seems* easy: just buy stuff that’s cruelty free (except, as we’re seeing with NARS and Revlon and others here, it’s not that easy to figure out who’s truly cruelty free). With meat, you can choose free range or something, but you don’t know how cruelly the animal was slaughtered, so it’s even more difficult to buy meat that’s “cruelty free.” And I know a lot of people think we should all go vegan, but that’s not practical for everyone. A number of medical conditions make it very hard for some people to live without meat.
Not that anyone asked me, but I personally feel boycotts don’t help. We need to pressure lawmakers to (a) ban cruel practices in farming and make sure companies are abiding by the new standards and (b) eliminate all animal testing that really doesn’t need to be done. Like, it should be illegal to do testing on ingredients that have been tested before. And also, those who can afford to do so should be donating money to any charities or groups that are supporting research into alternative testing methods. We should maybe also pressure the governments to require companies to be clear about their testing, their parent company’s testing, any third party’s testing, etc., and get inspected every now and again to make sure they’re telling the truth.

 @GlowMyWay personally i’d like to know ONE “medical condition” that requires people to eat meat.
that’s right, there isn’t one.

@watchthesky The fact that we’re humans, we are designed to be omnivores. It may not be “medical”, but it is biological. Also, there are thousands of people out there who can barely afford the basic essentials, and coming up with the money to afford such a detailed, specific vegetarian diet is beyond their means. It’s been recently documented here in the US that the fastest growing group suffering from obesity, are the impoverished. Then there are the myriad of neurological disorders, such as autism, that cause some individuals to not be able to incorporate more than a handful of foods into their diets, and often times pureed meat is their sole source of protein, because they won’t eat anything else. Should they just be left to starve? Besides, think for a moment, what would happen if *everyone* suddenly stopped eating meat. We would not be able to sustain enough vegetation, water, or land to accomodate human or animal life, causing *suffering* for all.

 @watchthesky There’s kidney failure, for one. Happened to a friend of mine, and while waiting on a kidney transplant, his doctors instructed him to eat nothing but meat because his body couldn’t break down plant matter.
And while many anemics can get by on plant sources of iron, some of us are apparently unable to process it the same way or something, because nothing short of meat-sourced iron will get us through it. That’s two.
BTW, your holier-than-thou attitude does not do your cause any favors.

 @GlowMyWay Thanks for your response. I know this is a makeup blog and some may say this is not the place to discuss the meat industry, but I want to point out that just as much if not more cruelty goes on in the meat factories. I believe you are right-that many people are not aware of it. I’ve seen many videos, recent ones, of animals being unnecessarily tortured in ways I will not repeat on here just for the factory workers entertainment. I was shocked that protests are not mainstream! I’m not suggesting everyone become vegetarians I just wish more people knew about what goes on to possibly enact change in that industry.

@shii There are those who can (and often *do*) argue that eating meat and wearing clothing made with animal derived product is also unnecessary, and a luxury, as there are other (often *cheaper*) alternatives. I’ve had many discussions on this topic with hardcore vegans. Of course, if everyone on the planet turned to veganism, there would be an unsustainable animal population, which would lead to both human and animal suffering. Again, when UD allowed themselves to be purchased by Moet-Chandon Louis Vuitton, that was the biggest “sell-out”. Every company, regardless of its convictions has some sort of ties with at least one other company that engages in activities that go against their beliefs, whether it be producing leather goods, animal testing, etc. Short of wearing a burlap sack with a handmade hemprope as a belt, with no shoes, and eating twigs & berries, everything we wear or eat has ties to “animal cruelty”. Perhaps this is a slight exaggeration, but I think my point is clear.

@xamyx LVMH owns UD now? They’re the same company that owns Sephora. Now I’m afraid that eventually Sephora’s (currently CF) private brands (kat Von D, Tokidoki;etc) will have the same fate as UD and the Sephora collection.

@Killerteeth Moet-Chandon Louis Vuitton bought Urban Decay several years ago, but UD has since been sold and resold a few times. At the *present*, they are held by a private equity firm, which is basically a group of private investors who invest their own funds (there are no public stock available), and when they can sell to a major conglomerate (Dominique said possibly L’Oreal), they do sell at a major return of their investment. This would explain why UD is entering China, to make a possible sale more appealing to a larger company. UD really lost any leverage once they initially sold to MCLV, though. This entire thing really is alot more complicated and goes alot deeper than most realize. Unless we do research, or buy from completely independent companies, we don’t always know who or what we support. Private equity firms also own *several* interests, so in order to be completely C-F, *those* companies need to be boycotted, as well. Honestly, that is just way too much work for me.

 @Killerteeth  @xamyx LVMH was the first major company to buy UD.
From Wikipedia: “Urban Decay was bought by Moet-Hennessy Louis Vuittonin 2000, before being sold again in 2002 to the Falic Group. In 2009 it was acquired by Castanea Partners, a private equity firm.”

 @xamyx  @shii
 I’ve seen a lot of your comments and your main argument seems to be “We can’t be perfect, so why bother?” I think that’s such extreme thinking.  UD has demonstrated a lack of ethics.  They’ve been really blatant about it.  It makes sense to boycott them (if it bothers you enough. It bothers me enough, and I won’t be buying from them).  Even if I can’t know that *every* company that gets my money is being honest, I *know* UD was not, so striving for perfection is no excuse.  If your desire for their products outweighs the slight guilt you might feel, nobody is going to crucify you.  You can do what you like.  But I don’t think boycotting them specifically while not boycotting *everything* is meaningless.

 @Sarah S I don’t think her point of view is extreme at all. It’s completely logical to consider the bigger picture when it comes to animal cruelty. If someone is going to stop buying from a particular company because the said company does animal testing, then it makes sense to also stop buying from other companies that do animal testing as well.
The issue with avoiding animal cruelty is it involves a lot of planning and research as well as a lifestyle change. It’s contradictory to not support animal testing from a cosmetics company yet purchase household products, groceries, etc. from companies that do animal testing.

@Sarah S Perhaps my views *are* extreme, but are they any more extreme than the others posted here (albeit on the opposite end)? The point I’m trying to make is, although I do not condone animal testing or cruelty, for the majority of UD’s consumers, such policies are not an issue as to whether or not they buy the products. I can’t think of one blogger who did a review (Christine included) who did more than a mere mention that the brand was “cruelty-free”; nor did many readers post comments on that being the reason they were loyal to the brand. Quality and pricepoints always seemed to be at the forefront of concern, along with packaging. Now suddenly, UD releases this statement, and everyone is up in arms; a few quick google searches would have let everyone know who their (past & present) parent company was, and where they stood. The fact that their primary retail outlet is Sephora, who has a store in China, and is manufacturing alot of their branded items there, should have been a clue. UD never lied, nor did they hide anything; it’s always been a matter of public record for anyone who actually cared to find out. I don’t think anyone cared enough. I get that it’s the PC thing to do, but I’m not going to be a hypocrite and stand on a soapbox preaching how one company is “bad”, yet buy from others that haven’t been called out yet. If it was a selling point for me, I would make sure I did all my research, first. Even indie companies may be getting their ingredients from China; they may not be doing their research either. The facts are (1) we don’t know that tests are even being conducted on any brand, and (2) unless we boycott Sephora (and the like), we are in fact supporting China’s right to test. I don’t think anyone will go that far, though, it’s just something to think about.

 @xamyx  @Sarah
 @Luna too, I simply disagree.  Personally, I *do* avoid/boycott buying from all companies that I *know* animal test now. I decided to only a couple of months ago, in part because at the time I was confident that companies with quality products (like UD) would never test on animals (but here I stand, betrayed) so I wouldn’t have to go without.  I often bought from UD directly, as well.  And just because I can’t know beyond a shadow of a doubt that all my money goes to truly cruelty-free companies, why should I *knowingly* give my money to companies that have released asinine statements about the fact that their products will likely be tested on animals?   I think knowledge of the fact that UD has failed to uphold their cruelty-free mission is exactly the reason to boycott.  It is impossible to know if all my money is supporting things I personally believe in (it is impossible for anybody to know).   What you’re saying is the equivalent of “Police can’t stop ALL crimes, therefore, why bother having police to stop any?” It’s just silly.  I know I’m not being hypocritical.

@Luna, thanks for your comment. We really need the Vegan Police.
Seriously, though, as a customer who LOVED Urban Decay for their cruelty free and vegan-friendly stance, how can I not feel betrayed?  My husband isn’t vegan and eats meat; should I get a divorce, or eat meat even though it sickens me?  Most of us live here in reality where we can’t be perfect, but that doesn’t mean we should just give up on trying to live our beliefs to the best of our ability.  I don’t ask people who are *certain* they’ll DIE if they stop eating meat to stop – I mind my own business.  I try to live by example (Hello, I’ve been vegan for nearly six years and I am super healthy! Maybe it wouldn’t kill you to eat less meat!) and promote the idea that being vegan or nearly vegan is healthy and not extreme. Also, I will boycott any company that blatantly lies to me, and that just happens to be Urban Decay right now.

 @Sarah S Well said!  There was a particular, uneducated comment on here I read last night about veganism/vegetarianism that made me want to rip the internet in half.  With that said, your comment pretty much mirrors exactly how I feel about everything. 

Apparently Urban Decay “sold out” several years ago, when it allowed the company to be bought by Moet-Chandon Louis Vuitton, who last I checked, produced leather goods and accessories, and unless I missed something, leather is not “cruelty-free”. Where were all the threats of boycotts then? It would seem at *least* one person who truly cared about buying CF products would have researched this, and then got word out. Apparently, this did not happen; everyone just took the word of what was written on the label. Why, PETA didn’t even research this fact. Ignorance truly is bliss. The ironic part is, while noone has offered up substantiated proof China *will* conduct animal testing (I would love to see a link if anyone has this info), we’ve all had proof that Louis Vuitton condoned the slaughter of innocent animals for the sake of fashion (yet the turned down runway shows?). We will all draw our own lines somewhere, and mine will be if /when they decide to manufacture in China, or someone delivers irrefutable proof China is testing UD products. Otherwise, I’d just feel like a hypocrite.

Further to my previous comment, I was thinking of their decision making and marketing research.  I believe that as other people have said UD has considered a backlash.  With PETA is currently working with the Chinese government to have cruelty-free testing.  If UD enters now and that passes, then they were the first in the market and because of them, China now has cruelty-free products.  then they can take credit.  Right now they are taken off the PETA list and leaping bunny, etc.  This is only because they want to enter China and the Chinese government will test on animals.  I’m pretty sure they are betting on that once China has changed and allowed new technology to be cruelty-free, then they will be back on PETA’s and leaping bunny’s list (I’m assuming companies are on the list as long as they are cruelty-free). Then their argument can be, well UD never tested on animals, but the Chinese government did.  On their website their animal testing stance is that they do not believe in animal testing or allow others to test their products on animals, except when required by law.  Then they are hoping that the loyal anti-animal testing group that left them for this move will forgive and forget as they will probably be back on those labels/lists.  Or, a new group of people to buy their products.  So in the short term, they do expect a decrease in sales, but long term, they are hoping for a lot of money.  This is probably the reason UD has kept that they are cruelty free on their twitter and website because they feel they aren’t testing directly and will eventually be back on the lists anyway…. 

Here’s some western companies, media and individual’s attitude: Let’s blame China! Everything is China’s fault! We lost our jobs – because of China, the war is launched – because of china, my brother’s married to a terrible woman – because of china, I caught a cold – because of China!

UD just treats its customers like idiots. In terms of women’s right, what I want to say is that Chinese women have highest social status among other Asian women, so UD why don’t you go to help Japan, korea, thailand and other countries in Asian???

@Wenita Noone is blaming China. I think everyone is blaming UD, which since selling their interest to a conglomerate several years ago, is also not at fault. Perhaps they were at fault then, but it has been completely out of their hands since. Not only should people who are passionat about UD’s move into China boycott UD, they also need to boycott any and all interest held by the private equity firm that holds UD.

I would love to know where everyone stating China is, in *fact*, actually practicing animal testing. I have not been able to find anything that states as fact animal testing is going on in China, and that they only *reserve* the right to, should it become *necessary. It seems everyone is in agreement it isn’t a necessity, so would it not stand to reason the Chinese government doesn’t believe it is either at this time, nor will the in fact think it is at a later date. Again, if anyone has irrefutable information on the subject, I would love to read it. Until then, I will continue to buy UD products.

 @xamyx  http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2012/02/16/3-companies-booted-off-cruelty-free-list.aspx
“After two decades of touting their “no animal testing” policies, Avon, Estée Lauder, and Mary Kay have quietly resumed paying for cruel tests on animals—without letting consumers know about this stunning about-face. After confirming with each company that chemicals are being dripped into rabbits’ eyes and that substances are being rubbed onto animals’ skin because of requirements of the Chinese government in order to market products in that country, PETA has downgraded the companies to our “do test” list. ”
Urban Decay indeed is testing on animals in China, not “going to” already happened and happening.

@Luke This is all well and fine, but I’m actually interested in scientific, irefutable evidence, not merely propoganda and rhetoric spewed by PETA. A group like that only exists through public donations and support, so it seems they have it in their interest to “fuel the fire”, so to speak. Again, I would love to see evidence produced by someone who doesn’t have a vested interest in the matter.

@Luke This is all well and fine, but I’m actually interested in scientific, irefutable evidence, not merely propoganda and rhetoric spewed by PETA. A group like that only exists through public donations and support, so it seems they have it in their interest to “fuel the fire”, so to speak. Again, I would love to see evidence produced by someone who doesn’t have a vested interest in the matter.

@Luke I just watched your youtube video, and nowhere do you mention any *facts* about China actually testing, other than Leaping Bunny & PETA say they are. Everyone is so quick to believe a brand when they say they are “cruelty-free”, and the same people are as quick to believe any rhetoric spewed by PETA & Leaping Bunny, but when someone questions whether China is forcing these brands to test, noone can recite or put forth *evidence*, aside from mere statements. Like Urban Decay, PETA & Leaping Bunny need money to sustain their interests; the only difference is PETA & LB rely on donations/support from the public. However, without these funds, they will fold. They have a vested interest in making these lists, so of course they’re going to say all brands sold in China test on animals. PETA also released an article saying China is looking into non-animal testing (dated May 07, 2012 on their website), so which do we believe? I’m looking for a statement of fact from a party that does not stand to make or lose money off the information. PETA & LB will say China does, UD will say they won’t; again, both sides have vested interests.

As for the Shanghai Sephora release party being “low key”, perhaps a marketing ploy to build up *hype* for the brand? A different spin can be put on anything; there are always at least two ways to look at something. Based on your assumptions, we should all be boycotting Sephora, too. After all, they have a store in China that sells makeup.

A thought just occured to me: Should we also be boycotting Sephora? After all, they are (1) the primary retail outlet for Urban Decay, and (2) the fact they have a store in China means the brands they are carrying are being tested on animals; does that mean Sephora supports/advocates animal testing? We can also take it a step further, and boycott *every* brand sold at Sephora. After all, if they pulled out of Sephora stores, Sephora would be out of business. While we’re at it, we can also boycott JCPenney, and every mall that has a JCP inside. Again, where do we draw the line?

 @xamyx i don’t think anyone would go to those extremes because of one brand. though sephora’s own and exclusive brand are likely being tested on animals in order to be sold in china so i would boycott those. sephora as a store is not the problem.

@watchthesky Sephora is a brand, both the store and the cosmetics, and therefore, owned by the same entity. So, by supporting the store, you are supporting the brand as a whole, whether you buy the branded cosmetics, or not. All the proceeds go into the same bank account at the end of the day, regardless if you buy Sephora brand or Tarte, so the store is just as (if not more) responsible for perpetuating animal testing in China, if in fact that is actually going on. I’ve done a few searches and came across an article stating that the Chinese have been maintaining a database of what ingredients & formulas have *already* been deemed “safe” as a way to curtail additional testing of things already tested.

 @xamyx  @watchthesky you’re being a bit extreme about it though. if i applied the same logic to other areas, ie food, i would have LITERALLY nowhere to buy food from. every sore carries meat or dairy or other animal prodcuts to some capacity. i can still stand by my values and only buy vegan food items. i imagine every clothing store carries leather, or wool, but i can still buy cotton from these stores and stand by my values. sephora is the only place i can find these cosmetics, so that’s where i will go. sephora obviously gets some kind of pay from these companies in order to carry and market their products, but buying other products from sephora is not the same as buying sephora brand. don’t treat it like it is and don’t expect everyone else too either.

 @xamyx  @watchthesky you’re being a bit extreme about it though. if i applied the same logic to other areas, ie food, i would have LITERALLY nowhere to buy food from. every store carries meat or dairy or other animal products to some capacity. i can still stand by my values and only buy vegan food items. i imagine every clothing store carries leather, or wool, but i can still buy cotton from these stores and stand by my values. sephora is the only place i can find these cosmetics, so that’s where i will go. sephora obviously gets some kind of pay from these companies in order to carry and market their products, but buying other products from sephora is not the same as buying sephora brand. don’t treat it like it is and don’t expect everyone else too either.

@watchthesky First of all, veganism in itself is extreme, so I don’t see how my views are any more extreme than yours. Second, to say Sephora is the *only* retailer where you can purchase your cosmetics is also extreme. There are many stores & websites that offer the same brands. The same goes for clothing, although I will concede in the area of food (though for alot of people, vegan grocery stores do exist). If, for the sake of convenience you’re willing to blur the line, that’s fine. Just know that in doing so you’re supporting companies that go against your values rather than those who share them. It really is that simple.

 @xamyx  @watchthesky
 xamyx is apparently of the “all or nothing” school of thinking.  It isn’t really “that simple,” and it isn’t hypocritical to try to limit suffering by boycotting known guilty companies where you can.  You can’t be a *perfect* vegan today and coexist in society with people who eat meat. Anyone who calls themself a vegan is prevented from being a perfect vegan by simply living in society, but the majority of us vegans are NOT striving for perfection.  We are all just doing our best to limit suffering. To say “because we can’t be perfect, why try at all?” is just stupid!  I don’t know any vegans who are *that* extreme.

@Sarah S Where is it mentioned, in *any* of my comments that *anyone* should be “all or nothing”? Nowhere. The fact that *you* refer to yourself as vegan implies you have adopted an inherently extreme, limited lifestyle. As for stating you can’t be a “perfect vegan” simply by existing, well, to use *your* words, “is just stupid!” I’ve known many vegans that have bought food, clothing, toiletries, etc from purely vegan sellers. Yes, they were indie sellers, and they didn’t have a vast choice of goods, but they made it work. As difficult as it was, some 20+ years ago (*before* online retailers), I actually knew several vegans who managed to find all man-made ballet shoes. So, if you’re willing to put the effort into it, you *can* bypass supporting companies that go against your principles. It may also take some sacrifice, but again, it *is* possible. Also, a few google searches will tell you what brands/parent companies to avoid. You can also find message boards to find out where others buy their goods. I’m not telling you, or anyone else, *not* to shop at Sephora, I’m merely pointing out that *if* you choose to, you should know that you are, in fact, supporting animal testing, if you truly believe it *is* happening in China. Honestly, no vegan I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing would spend one cent there. Veganism is, in fact, “an all or nothing” lifestyle choice, inherntly, and is not a word that should be tossed around indiscriminately.

@Sarah S Where is it mentioned, in *any* of my comments that *anyone* should be “all or nothing”? Nowhere. The fact that *you* refer to yourself as vegan implies you have adopted an inherently extreme, limited lifestyle. As for stating you can’t be a “perfect vegan” simply by existing, well, to use *your* words, “is just stupid!” I’ve known many vegans that have bought food, clothing, toiletries, etc from purely vegan sellers. Yes, they were indie sellers, and they didn’t have a vast choice of goods, but they made it work. As difficult as it was, some 20+ years ago (*before* online retailers), I actually knew several vegans who managed to find all man-made ballet shoes. So, if you’re willing to put the effort into it, you *can* bypass supporting companies that go against your principles. It may also take some sacrifice, but again, it *is* possible. Also, a few google searches will tell you what brands/parent companies to avoid. You can also find message boards to find out where others buy their goods. I’m not telling you, or anyone else, *not* to shop at Sephora, I’m merely pointing out that *if* you choose to, you should know that you are, in fact, supporting animal testing, if you truly believe it *is* happening in China. Honestly, no vegan I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing would spend one cent there. Veganism is, in fact, “an all or nothing” lifestyle choice, inherently, and is not a word that should be tossed around indiscriminately.

 @xamyx  @Sarah
 Well, there you go. You just told me, a vegan, what it means to be vegan.  Do you also tell people they aren’t Christians? Please see my comment about how unnecessary it is to have vegan police… especially non-vegan ones.

 @xamyx  @Sarah you clearly don’t know many vegans or much about veganism but please continue spilling out bullshit 🙂 you also have no idea where i live or what is available to me over here so making generalisations like that is unfair. no one said it was impossible, and no one said i, or others, don’t try. am i supposed to never eat? walk around naked? never clean my house or myself? never see a doctor? because everything, in some way, contributes to some form of animal cruelty. we all know that. the point is, as sarah said, to minimise suffering as much as possible. just because you claim i can’t be vegan and shop at sephora doesn’t mean i’m not vegan. get off your high horse.

@Sarah S Again, where is it stated that I am not now, nor have ever lead a vegan lifestyle? Again, nowhere. For the record, I did spend several years as a vegan. Then I realized (1) I wasn’t any healthier, and in fact, there are debates whether things like soy are actually healthy, (2) it was honestly too time consuming, and (3) I wasn’t willing to make the *extreme* sacrifices necessary to lead a *true* vegan lifestyle. And yes, I still consume animal products only on occasion, and I only by leather items in a charity shop (noone actually profits from *my* purchase). So, there you have it; I have done my research on, and have experience with, veganism.

UD’s parent company Falic Group owns many duty free shops in airports which carry brands that both test on animals and contain animal products. I think if you dig deep enough, almost all widely available cosmetic companies can be linked to animal products or testing one way or another. I think that Urban Decay is digging themselves a hole by not acknowledging this in the first place. The fact is they are a company who’s goal is to make money. I don’t think that if animals were really their number one concern that they would have sold to LVMH or Falic. If someone is really concerned about avoiding any ties to animal cruelty it is best that they make their own cosmetics at home.

@archexpert Actually, UD is currently owned by the Castanea Group, a private equity firm, but I totally agree with the rest of your statement.

@Archexpert, I fully agree. Globalisation and corporate ownership complicate everything and make true theoretical consistency regarding animal testing extremely difficult, particularly if one is not a vegan and does wear leather. When you have a conglomerate like LVMH or L’Oreal which own a ton of luxury brands, as well as smaller cosmetic companies, how can one truly avoid animal testing if one goes far back enough up the corporate ladder? According to the link below, LVMH owns Guerlain, MUFE, Dior, Benefit, Fresh & some others. http://thebeautyjournal.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/something-you-should-know-in-the-cosmetic-industry-who-owns-whom/   Estée Lauder owns:  Aveda, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, M.A.C, Origins, Jo Malone, La Mer, etc.  L’Oreal owns YSL, Giorgio Armani, Kiehl’s, Shu Uemura, La Roche Posay, The Body Shop, Keratase and others.  Shiseido owns NARS, Cle de Peau, etc. (I don’t know anything about the inner workings or thinking of PETA but I suspect corporate ownership may be the reason why PETA doesn’t have NARS on its “no animal-testing” list.)  Where someone draws the line in the sand regarding animal-testing has to be a personal decision, but it does seem (to me, at least) that the only way to *truly* avoid *all* ties to any problematic corporate overlord or to a country with policies one disagrees with (whether animal, human labour, civil rights, etc.) is to stay at home and make things oneself (and probably without any technology made in China).       

I just had *another* thought (yes, I *do* think alot!). Urban Decay just unveiled their “reformulation” a few months ago; did it occur to anyone else, perhaps this reformulation was done to comply with Chinese regulations, therefore nullifying the need for *any* testing? The timing is in synch with this announcement, and I’m sure the decision to expand to China has been in the works for some time, which correlates with the timing of the release of the 15 Anniversary palette nearly a year ago. Like I said, just a thought…

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!