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Urban Decay Press Statement: Animal Testing and China

From Urban Decay:

Urban Decay is going to sell our products in China. Because of China’s policies on animal testing, we know that this will not be a popular decision with some of our loyal customers. But the decision is a thoughtful one.

For 16 years, we have been committed to two key causes: women’s rights, and the fight against animal testing. Our dedication to those causes will not waver.

For those of you unfamiliar with China’s policies, the sticking point is this: the Chinese government reserves the right to conduct animal testing with cosmetic products before the products are approved for use by Chinese citizens. The government has not told us if they have exercised this right with our products. So, our brand does not test on animals, but the Chinese government might conduct a one-time test using our products. Do we like China’s policies? No…and that is really the point. Going into China was a huge decision for Urban Decay. But, we believe that change cannot and will not happen by outside pressure alone in a closed market. Change can only happen from within. When we enter the Chinese market, we will do our part to help make those changes.

When we were considering expanding into China, a group of marketing consultants told us to remove the section of our company history that describes our crusade against animal testing. “It doesn’t mean anything to the Chinese beauty customer,” they said. Of course, we refused. Our “no animal testing” policy is part of who we are, and has been since day one. The news that animal issues don’t even register with the average Chinese consumer was one of the biggest factors in our decision to go there. During Urban Decay’s infancy, we worked hard to inform consumers about animal rights in the United States and Europe. The battleground for animal rights is now in China, and we want to be there to encourage dialogue and provoke change.

We also hope to shed some light on women’s rights issues in China. As a company that caters to a female customer, this is extremely important to us. For one thing, going into China is a way for us to advance women into important professional positions. We will help grow the cosmetics industry, which primarily employs and creates career paths for women. Although workers’ employment rights are a relatively new concept there, progress has been made partially because of pressure from businesses, consumers, and advocacy groups from other countries. Based on this, our belief is that both an outside force and inside pressure for change can result in helping transform both the importance of women and animal testing policies in China. And more importantly, we hope to influence the perspective of the citizens on both of these issues.

If we don’t go to China, other companies without our beliefs will, and the culture will never change. We want to encourage a culture of consumers who care enough to buy cruelty-free products, and who view professional women as role models who influence their lives on a daily basis.

Yes, we are a for-profit company. And yes, we would eventually like to make money in China. But we don’t stand to turn a profit in China for quite a while, partially because the market isn’t quite ready to sustain an untraditional brand like ours. If it were only about the money, we would wait a few years. But our foray into this market is also about participating in an amazing time of change in China. We don’t like animal testing (and neither do the 13 dogs in our office), but we are trying to change the world… even if it is one eye shadow at a time! Sitting on the sidelines isn’t our style. We understand that you might not like our decision, but we hope you can respect it.

For any advocates or Urban Decay fans interested, Urban Decay founding partner Wende Zomnir will host a live chat on urbandecay.com to answer questions about our entry into China.

Please keep comments respectful, thoughtful, and refrain insults, personal attacks, and the like. I know that this is an issue that is near and dear to many readers’ hearts, and sometimes passionate beliefs can inspire equally passionate, but sometimes hurtful, disrespectful, or disparaging responses. I ask that readers give each other the respect that each of us as human beings deserves.

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

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Why can’t they all do this? If a company wants to sell in China, that’s their decision but if China demand animal testing then THEY should be the ones to do it rather than the company, who, in turn, are losing millions of customers across the rest of the world.

@CherrySueDoinTheDo I was under the impression based on the backlash MAC received that others are testing on animals themselves rather than getting people in China to do it. This whole hoopla is incredibly unclear – I sincerely hope I’ve misunderstood. I think everyone here thinks companies should make it crystal clear as to who is doing the testing.

I think Christine and another commenter explained that in order to pass Chinese regulations, a company has to show that certain standards have been met.  These standard require animal testing– so UD WOULD be carrying out the testing in that case.

@Sarah it says in the article that UD will not be doing the testing, China’s government will. i do find it interesting that china requires the testing at all when they are so lax about making products full of dangerous things.
i am not upset with the decision, as it is their decision alone to make. i do understand why some people are though, and it is sad that so many fans will be disappointed in the long run.

@Sarah yes it is their decision…of course it is…..and yes that’s just business….but they can no longer stand on one side of a line and say they don’t support what they have chose to allow.

“Chinese government reserves the right to conduct animal testing with cosmetic products before the products are approved for use by Chinese citizens”
 
UD will not conduct the animal testing. However, the Chinese government conducts testing on some cosmetics because they think  this will ensure safe products for consumers. Thus, UD’s products could be tested on animals which is contrary to their mission statement, but the company’s US products would remain cruelty free I believe.

 @decembeir I definitely understand why people are mad, they’re pretty much urinating on their own doorstep. I see it as products sold in the UK WONT have been tested in such ways which, although selfish of me to think like this, wont make me feel AS guilty.
 
Fortunately I’m not the biggest fan of UD in the first place, but again I admire how honest they are being about it – although not completely in laymans terms for any idiot to be able to understand, it’s definitely clearer than what MAC offered.

Chinese government is the one who will be doing the testing, but if UD is condoning it, it doesn’t really matter who is actually going to perform the tests. If you hired a hit man, you’d still be responsible for the crime.

 @candleashes See, this just confuses me further. A comment not that further up says Christine and someone else have said it will be UD themselves performing the testing.
 
Either way, they’re still making a lot of people angry.

Wow… an unexpected move from Urban Decay. Although I do see their point, and where they are coming from. For that reason I support them in their decision. I’m assuming/hoping that this doesn’t affect their animal testing policy in the US and Europe? Does anybody know? I’m not too familiar with reading between the lines of policies – am I missing anything here? Many thanks. x

 @squigglyee Basically all the testing will be done in china with companies the government sanctioned for the job. Until they get their foot in, the government can and will white wall any outside movement on animal testing without public support of awareness from the inside. There is a huge moment going on right now and bring all the issue that have been berried and it makes scene that brands are going to push the market to get those exposed. (much like Victorian England with the industrial revolution we seeing the same movement in social changes in china).
 
I know this is going to frustrate a lot of vegan and anti Animal Testing supporters.

I can’t say I’m happy about their decision to sell in China, but I really respect the fact that they’ve taken the time to write such a thoughtful and in depth post about it, it’s certainly more than MAC/Estee Lauder gave us (as far as I know, at any rate). I’m also extremely pleased to see them addressing the topic of women’s rights.Hmmm. Don’t know how to feel about this, in other words. I don’t buy all that many Urban Decay products in the first place (I only own a few palettes) so I guess it’s not a huge deal for me to avoid their products as far as possible, but I honestly don’t know whether I feel this warrants a boycott in the first place.

I don’t see how it’s going to change anything in China to cave in on your company’s (and customer’s) beliefs by engaging on animal testing so you can bring your goods to market.  The “if we don’t do it, someone else will” argument leaves me totally cold.  Just sayin’.
 
This statement was written by a PR rep who was well aware of the backlash against MAC for doing the exact same thing.

I’m extremely disappointed but not surprised.  Their pathetic excuse about “if we don’t go in, others without our values will” is PURE BS.  They are doing this because they want to make billions in China. Proving that their commitment against animal treatment is easily outweighed by their greed.  I’m extremely ashamed of them.  

Vegans will notbuy Urban Decay products anymore, I agree with that. China has a reputation of being very cruel towards animals, it’s no secret, well it’s a bad news for all UD fans, including myself.

 @Dominique33 I’m definitely not buying their products anymore and I’m not even a vegan. I’m just strongly against animal testing. It sucks because Urban Decay was my favorite makeup brand. 

Thank you for spreading the word on this, Christine. I’m sure this is an issue that is important to a lot of your readers. And because it is such an important issue to so many, I really hope you don’t have to shut off the comments due to abusive comments. This is a topic that needs to be talked about, and I hope people can be respectful to one another.

I can see their reasoning but there is a part of me that thinks that they could have exerted pressure on China and companies within China because they were already manufacturing cosmetics there! If they already produce cosmetics there, wouldn’t it be possible to negotiate for better salaries and better welfare for their employees (similar to the way LUSH tries to) and have upkeep on that? I’m a little skeptical of the way they are portraying themselves as a white knight and I am disappointed in the move. I mean, why not try to form a coalition with other cosmetics companies to negotiate a pull out of their manufacturing unless the mandate was changed? I suppose I just see other alternatives.

 @stefanily I agree — I think there are likely other alternatives available. I’m also not clear or sure what Urban Decay does here in the states to change domestic animal testing requirements/laws. e.g. I know some of the REALLY big conglomerates (P&G, L’Oreal, etc.) spend money on finding alternative testing methods, which is really the only viable way to convince a government to accept alternative test results. I’m not saying UD doesn’t – I just don’t remember seeing/reading it, so I’m not sure if they do, but I would be curious what their plan of attack is to NOT participate in animal testing and how they intend to fight against it in China. I think outlining some kind of plan of attack would be better. There are a lot of moving parts to changing any law, let alone within a government setting that isn’t particular conducive to it.

 @Christine (Temptalia) @temptalia My understanding is that companies can use ingredients that have been previously tested on animals and proven safe. In other words, they can say “we don’t test on animals”, but they’re still profiting from past animal testing. That may be how UD avoids required testing here in the USA.

I have to say I feel very betrayed right now. I love most of their products, but they always positioned themselves as though they really cared about animal testing. I guess I have enough Urban Decay eyeshadows and eyeliners to last me a lifetime, but it’s sad that companies like MAC and Urban Decay aren’t even as ethical as Revlon. It’s annoying because I had been planning on picking up some more UD lip junkie glosses for the summer, I guess I’ll save money and buy the store brand from Sephora. I think I’m going to mark this occasion by stopping at Walgreens on the way home from work today and buying one of those new Revlon balms.

So they ship in a load of products to China, knowing they’ll be tested on animals yet claim to be totally against it.  I just can’t reconcile that at all, sorry!

Hmm. I’m not sure how to view this. Although I can see where people may be upset towards the animal testing and things, I also understand that they are a business which needs to expand. However, I’m not sure whether this a good or bad decision for them.

 @macyxmakeup Urban Decay isn’t even largely available internationally, so it seems like there are other markets available. They even mention that the market isn’t exactly receptive to their non-traditional platform!

 @Christine (Temptalia) They should go to other markets first. Their message is the best written I saw so far, but in the end they’re still saying “sorry, animal testing is going to happen, deal with it”.  ‘Change comes from within’ is a lame excuse. I know it’s idealistic, but if all the companies refused to sell in China unless they change their policies, instead of saying “we’ll bend to your rules hoping that one day you’ll change them”, then maybe the country would really feel forced to consider other options. Especially when it comes to UD, China is not the only market available.

Even if it doesn’t appeal to the over all demographic, the sheer size of China’s population may more than make up for whatever loss they take on initially to get into the market.  China may appear conservative to an outsider, but the country ia also home to the most financially powerful black market on the planet.
 
Something else influencing this decision – which I doubt any company would own up to directly – is the fact that the PRC recently decided to cut tariffs on several luxury items, including cosmetics.  The regulations and import duties may be a deciding factor in Urban Decay limiting their expansion to other countries.  (The rather bizarre exception to this would be Australia, which according to severeal sources actually has extremely low to zero tariffs on American cosmetics due to previous trading agreements between the two countries.  I honestly can’t explain or defend the lack of a UD market expansion there.)

so are they starting to test on animals? i dont get it its a bit confusing to me! China have always been cruel to animals its a disgrace they are just as much human as we are 🙁

 @Christine (Temptalia) thats awful! 🙁 why would you want to sell products in a place that condones that it baffles me!

 @k11y  @BethaneyMars  No, animals aren’t “just as much human as we are.”  In my personal opinion, they are BETTER.
 

 @Kafka  @k11y  @BethaneyMars
 Ok… How so? Anything you see that humans do cruely, animals do to. Animal species engage in the seven deadly sins… and they only reason we ruin the world better is because we are smart enough to cater the world to us. If being smart makes us horrible… well then I have nothing really to say to that.

@BethaneyMars From what I understand, Urban Decay won’t be conducting any animal testing itself, but by entering the Chinese market they’re agreeing to allow China to do its own animal testing using their products.

Why? Because they want to try and change another countries policies? After women in China see how awesome UD’s products are AND that they are made without animal testing, then they will start to see that it is not necessary and possibly help cruelty free movements take a foot hold. It’s a small price to pay for starting change.

 @ValerieAllison It’s an authoritarian country. That’s why.  People barely have control over what internet  sites they are able to access or what they’re allowed to post on BBs.  I highly doubt ANY women will have access to information on UD’s prior stance or their (naive) hopes regarding change in China, whether to animals or to women’s rights.  The ONLY difference between China and pre-1987/Vaclav Havel Czechoslovakia is: 1) the general standard of living of some of its citizen in the wealthy cities (and if you look at demolished zones and the squatters’ issue, even that is questionable); 2) moderately greater movement into China by the average person; and 3) the amount of luxury and other Western goods flowing into China. 
 
In terms of all the ways that matter when it comes to CHANGING MENTAL PERCEPTIONS, China is probably worse than Soviet Bloc Czechoslovakia.  Their power is based on mental, intellectual repression. It was the implicit deal that the Govt. made after regaining Hong Kong and after Tiananmen Massacre: we give you some economic freedom and capitalism, and in return, you will never, EVER revolt again. You will put up and shut up with whatever, in return for being able to buy a car and eat a hamburger from McDonald’s.  This is not a country that is going to change its views and policies just because some Gaijin Western company that caters to women — women of all people! — has decided it wants to come in, sniff the daisies and make women & dog’s lives better.  And let’s not even START on the issue of dogs in China or how many basic dishes involve dog meat. This is not a country that is going to care about what happens to Fido!
 

For the most part, I agree with your statement, but I find it somewhat ethnocentric to criticize the country for its use of canine meat.  I get that the Western relationship with to the dog can generate a lot of emotional controversy in the face of Eastern practices, but I think it’s rather unfair to implement a universal morality on the issue when we’re speaking of a culture that’s been in existence for 2000+ years.  Always keep in mind that opposite – in America, we produced more than 26 billion pounds of beef, something that I’m sure doesn’t go over too well with parts of Hindu India, where cattle are considered a sacred animal that must never be harmed.

@Veronica,  You’re absolutely right. On almost all of it. Except that I don’t criticize China just for its use of dog meat. As you’ve noted, I have a lot more issues with China that predominate first and foremost. To clarify things, I’m very much a gastronome and understand eating things that some Westerners would have issues with. I also completely agree with not making a universal judgment on a country *SOLELY* because of its culinary practices. And I don’t, for *any* country. (Not even Namibia which eats warthog rectum without cleaning it so that it’s…. er…. gritty. I criticize that just on culinary/food prep grounds. LOL!) 
 
That said, I *FULLY* admit to a totally irrational, utterly emotional, subjective problem with eating dog, horse or cat. I’m not imposing Western ethnocentrism — since I don’t usually have that when it comes to food — but my own personal biases & neuroses. Animals are my weak point. I can’t even watch a movie trailer for a film like War Horse because it upsets me. I will sob over a Sarah McLaughlin commercial for abused animals. But none of that is the sole, driving force behind my condemnation of the Chinese government’s policies. And, FWIW, I love China (the country) and its people, and seriously contemplated moving there with my German Shepherd in 2008.

I completely respect UD’s decision. While I do not go out of my way to avoid products that test on animals, it is clear that it was a hard decision for UD and they wrote a very thoughtful piece on their reasoning behind it. 
 
Yes, I can see that some people are upset about it, but this is a business world, and this is completely out of UD’s control. They could withhold from selling their products in China, but they are right in saying that other brands, including those who could be advertised as animal-cruelty free, will go into China regardless. I completely respect their honesty!

 @messharma
This is definiely not “completely” out of UD’s control, it’s TOTALLY in their control, its voluntary to get into the Chinese market. Look up the testing that is done, it is cruel. I was not completely certain of the testing until I looked it up, animals go blind and worse during some of these tests, its disgusting.

 @messharma If they stood behind what they supposedly believe in and advocate for, they wouldn’t be selling to China.  They’re hypocrites.

 @messharma “They could withhold from selling their products in China, but they are right in saying that other brands, including those who could be advertised as animal-cruelty free, will go into China regardless.”  …so why does that mean Urban Decay has to do it?  Just because other companies might enter business with China doesn’t mean Urban Decay suddenly has to.  There’s no necessity here.  I don’t think it was a hard decision for them to make; as a company who made themselves out to be staunch animal rights supporters, there should’ve been no possibility in their eyes of expanding business to China until the laws there were changed.  That they went ahead and did it anyway proves that they don’t care about what they purported to care about.

It’s a shame they’re going to sell in a country that requires animal testing on cosmetics and their products are still not available here in Australia (where animal testing is most definitely not required!) I’ve seen several Australian fans on FB in the past pleading for them to sell their products here but they only do it through an online retailer but for me personally, I like to see & swatch products in person (thought I’ve never done it, I assume returning packages internationally would be a pain). Oh well, at least I won’t feel like I’m missing out on as much anymore! 

 @jeanniesmiles Australia doesn’t have over a billion people!  Urban Decay would rather go against everything their brand was supposedly based on to sell to this newly available money maker!

@jeanniesmiles I know what you mean. I have family in Sydney and Adelaide and have a friend who have sent urban decay numerous emails to them with no avail. Simply put, more people in china = more profit.

 @CandaceMarkerhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_testing Essentially it means that they will test these products on animals before humans use them.  They will apply them to the animals, often in a cruel way.  Such as they will put it into the eyes of animals with no tear ducts to see if they cause blindness etc.

 @CandaceMarker The chinese government in order for urban decay to sell in the domestic chinese market requires samples of UD products for testing on animals  that is it in a nut shell.

 @CandaceMarker Please google it.  It is absolutely disgusting and torture of the animal and just the thought of it makes me sick.

 @CandaceMarker they put the makeup on animals like beagle dogs often to see if it may cause skin conditions and they like in humans. obviously thats a very simplified explanation. google ‘vivisection’.

I do not understand how people can be mad at UD. Its a business decision to enter a country to sell their products. How many post on their facebook page have you seen asking if they sold products in China. One company can not change a country’s policy, China will change its mind, look at what is going there. It sucks but bottom is a business decision and they are a business. They did not have to write a letter to their loyal fans and they did explaining their side. Don’t mad at UD, its stupid to be. Other women deserve to have their wonderful products just we do. Our country is very different than China, we have the right to voice our opinions, not alot of countries do. So get it over, there is a whole world out there that does things we do not like but its their country and their policies. Like I said they are more important things to worry about in this world.

I came here to say something very similar to this. First and foremost UD is a business. That is the bottom line. Businesses want to make money. Why are people all up in arms about a company wanting to make more money? Of course they do! And China is a huge market!
I’m sure many of the women in China will be thrilled with this news. I don’t see it as wrong to try to expand a company or to allow people all over the world to have access to wonderful products. It is not UD’s fault that China requires animal testing. It sucks, sure, but you either deal with it or stop using the products.
 

 @jeneyg They wouldn’t be up in arms if Urban Decay hadn’t made “we don’t test on animals!  how could anyone?” and “cruelty-free is part of who we are, and has been something we stood for from day one”.  They’re going against their original ethics, their moral stance, which shouldn’t be expendable just to gain a bit more money.  If they weren’t a company so vocal over being against animal rights, there wouldn’t be as much anger over this.  Urban Decay made a hypocritical decision when the extra money to be made in China wasn’t necessary.

I feel the only people that have the right to criticize Urban Decay’s decision are true vegans… People who don’t eat mean, and do not use -any- animal products. OTHERWISE, Urban Decay is trying to make money in a market that is traditionally not friendly to animals… meaning they are trying to competitively sell their products over products are are cruel to animals… meaning less cruelty all around. Why is this worth a boycott to people? They will raise awareness and create jobs for women in China. Thank you Christine for bringing our attention to this, and UD for expanding into the market.  

 @MarioInvincible Make-up is not the same as food or other necessities (though the latter has alternatives, I believe, such as deodorant and the like, in some cases there might not be a choice available to consumers but in that case there were no alternatives, unlike in the cosmetics market, where there are several make-up companies for the consumer to choose from who are cruelty-free).  Make-up is a luxury, and one that can be found with cruelty-free products.  Advocating cruelty-free make-up doesn’t need to be something that only vegans or vegetarians can care about.  Something that sustains life and can be done swiftly isn’t comparable to a lipstick brought about by prolonged torture.

OK then.  Hey China has how many billion people??  So this means that UD wants some of that paper. It’s a shame they will go ahead with KNOWING their products will be tested on animals.  China will do it!  So by them saying they don’t know this or that is baloney, but hey it is what it is.  In other words, the UD brand now tests on animals period…I wouldn’t be commenting like this if they didn’t boast non-animal testing, but now they do.

Their PR person should work for a political campaign the way they spinned this. Sheesh! I support a company trying to make money by venturing in to a new market like China (especially when the US market is not what it was a decade ago), but changing your core values to make a buck makes me angry. Is UD trying to say that it is okay to have your company back something up, but if it interferes with your ability to turn a dime, then you should no longer stand for it? 
 
 The plus side to being in the US is that I can voice my disdain for their policy by choosing not to support their business with my US dollars.     

Oh Puhlease..I’m sure it has nothing to do with the massive profits they will see..sure, it’s all about women’s rights and getting the message across about our non-animal testing policies…  cough..  bullcrap!!!!!!!!!  There is nothing I hate more than companies positioning themselves as touchy feely in the name of greater profits.  It makes me want to barf.  Seriously!!  And this just smells like teen spirit to me..’kay!  ’nuff said!  Grrrrrrrr

I kind of want to cry.. ;{   I watched a video a very long time ago about animal testing and the like.. I was horrified, and in short changed my life and the way I think about things.. I’ve not yet been able to try out their products, and it’s sad to say I wont ever.. 

This is completely unexpected and utterly disappointing. UD has been my favorite cosmetics brand since they first launched, and a huge part of the reason was the fact they didn’t test on animals. As someone who does not purchase cosmetics tested on animals, I will no longer be purchasing UD and that seriously breaks my heart. What happened to “We don’t do animal testing, how could anyone?”. Well China does, and UD are allowing them to do so, therefore they are no longer a cruelty free company. Integrity is worth way more than money, and for that reason they will not be getting any of mine ever again.

I’m sorry but one small cosmetic company cannot change China.  I understand their want to improve women’s rights, but there are so many other countries that want their product that do not require animal testing.  I don’t think it is a good decision, and it definitely disappoints me.  I cannot express in words the deep love I have for animals. 

Urban decay was the first makeup brand that made me love makeup. I adore their products and many are go to products for me, but I honestly have a hard time tin this decision. I understand wanting to expand their brand, but why China when there are other markets that don’t require animal testing? I have a big issue with this decision and I likely will not buy their products anymore. This is a shame and I wish they would realize that to the costumer this makes me question their united states no testing policy. Good bye Urban Decay.

Everyone has a price. China will yield profit. Call it what it plainly is. UD wont animal test unless its the law of a country who they wish to expand their business to. Then standards get watered down. UD controls their products. UD says cruilty free. UD stands for this 100%……well not anymore. This is like saying “I don’t punch my kids in the face…..the babysitter does. I hope the baby sitter learns from my example.”

When the phrase “no animal testing” appears on a cosmetic product’s label, it may be slightly less than true. Even though the label states that the makeup product you’re holding hasn’t been tested on animals, it doesn’t mean that the ingredients inside never were tested on animals by the manufacturer. In addition, an ingredient may be used in cosmetics by a number of manufacturers and one of themanufacturers may have tested it on animals. It would take considerable research for youto determine whether a cosmetic’s ingredients had undergone animal testing.
 
As for actual testing, I did find this article- not sure how factual it is, maybe the FDA can explain more on what is done during animal testing. If it’s anything that harms life, I am opposed. ANIMAL TESTING – http://www.idausa.org/facts/costesting.html

I respect Urban Decay in their decision, but doesn´t mean i’ll support it.Its true when they say to create a new culture of only buy cruelty-free products, yet their products wont be cruelty-free any more as one or so will be taken by government to test on animals to be approved or not.Sadly i say Goodbye to Urban Decay, too bad another brand with an empire, built of values and not a single drop of blood, will get a permanent stain.And Good luck fighting for the cause, i really with all my heart hope China change their politics, i just wish there would be a way to do it without the suffering of the innocents.

I feel horribly naive on the whole animal testing subject, though I do support companies that don’t do animal testing. But gosh, just one look at google images for cosmetic animal testing and I wonder about UD’s decision now. The statement released would be much better if they explained exactly how they intend to comply with China’s rules on animal testing whilst remaining openly against it. I get the idea of change coming from within, but it seems like from a business standpoint they could tackle other countries first and grow the brand to have more power before entering China. I feel disappointed, because I wonder how much they really do plan to challenge and resist China’s stance of animal testing once they are established there :/

Never liked UD to begin with. Their quality when the were a wee company hardly used outside of the Pro circles changed drastically when they switched to the mainstream consumer market. Their eyeshadows were reason enough for me to stop even considering buying the product. Their color range is nothing special and has been done many times over. I honest to god don’t see the hype behind the brand other than packaging. But that packaging doesn’t substantiate the price for a subpar product when compared to other brands out there.
 
So the condensed version of this statement above is that UD is becoming a hypocrite on the stance of animal testing. At least that’s what I get from reading their press release. Add in to the fact that you have people commenting here from Australia where Animal Testing is a big bad no-no and UD STILL has yet to break into this market area.
 
Seriously goofy tact here UD!

on the one hand i understand what UD are saying, in business you can’t sit still and watch things go by you have to expand and move forward… but i am not so sure this is a wise idea regarding china’s animal testing policy only time will tell…
 
by the way totally unrelated when are UD coming to the UK? would really love that… maybe one day

@Phyrra @simone lymbery It’s probably because the market potential of those countries combined pales in comparison to China’s.

 @Phyrra  @simone Killerteeth: It may pale in the long run, but not in the short run as Australian and European markets (UD is available in the UK and parts of Western Europe, but not through the majority of the continent) are likely to be much more receptive to a brand like Urban Decay.  Plus the average consumer tends to have more buying power.  That stands to change with the growth of the Chinese middle class obviously, but there’s no clear logic in choosing to head for China before they even hit Germany or Australia.

 @queen_frostine  @Phyrra  @simone Germany maybe sorta makes sense (though I want to move back and sometimes remembering distribution to Germany makes me sadface). I can’t generalise too much, because I haven’t been everywhere in Germany (and there is definitely an east/west divide as far as I’ve seen) but they seem to be much more casual about wearing make up. When I lived there (2010/2011 in the former east) most of the people I saw wore very minimal make up (eyeliner/mascara) even on nights out. From what I remember of Cologne in comparison, there was definitely more people wearing make up casually. There are definitely hardcore make up lovers there, like anywhere, but it seems like it’s less common to wear make up daily in comparison to countries like the UK.

 @simone lymbery you can find UD stuff in UK already. At least I’ve seen counters in London for sure. Selfridges does sell them, and so do House of Frazer and Debenhams. Am I missing something here? Ehm, sorry if not in line with the discussion. 
 
Regarding the topic itself, well, I do think it’s kind of suspicious … it seems they are trying to justify their commercial expansion, all about making profits no values involved.

And yet another major brand in my collection goes in the garbage or will be given away. Soon I will have no makeup left to use except for revlon and almay. I am not happy about this at all. I felt betrayed by MAC and now Urban Decay.
– Ve

 @Veggiechik Sugarpill has really great makeup with incredible colors. Granted, it’s mostly eye makeup, but all the loose shadows are vegan and all the makeup is cruelty-free.

@kittygoddess544 Thanks! I will look into them. I think it is time to start looking at alternative makeup companies then the really well known brands. They all seem to be converting to animal testing. 🙁

So how is testing cosmetics on animals cruel? Isn’t it better than waiting until the product is used by a teenager or other human? I’m sorry, but I can picture anything horrible about putting skin cream on a rat.

Maybe I’m cynical as someone who has background in marketing and PR, but this is what it is. 
 
In order to sell UD products in China which is a huge market, they are letting China do their own testing on animals.
 
This press release is marketing, PR, smoke smoke and plenty more smoke. 
 
I think UD products are “alright”. As in, they’re not available in my country (now I’m glad they aren’t) and I’m not gonna cross the river and mountains to get it, but I do own some and I have no problem never buying another one. I really can’t say it’s any better than others. At least we know what MAC is and they’re not trying to make an issue sound like a foray into making the world a better place. 
 
There are brands out there that are doing their damnedest fighting against animal testing. There are also brands that does do animal testing but out in the open and not making it sound like a fight against animal testing when it’s really what they’re doing in order to scoop out another market.

So how is testing cosmetics on animals cruel? Isn’t it better than waiting until the product is used by a person? I’m sorry, but I can’t picture anything horrible about putting skin cream on a rat. I would think that it would’ve gone through other testing before it get’s to the live testing phase.

Not completely surprised tbh… UD seems to be straying from their original image/branding in recent years due to growing popularity.  I can see why some long time fans are upset, but a part of me believe that many of the new UD client base doesn’t care too much about the animal-cruel/testing-free stance.  It’s trendy and it’s popular.  There isn’t really another mid/high end company that is as young, edgy and fun with appealing packing that attracts the young consumers (probably the biggest client group out there) as UD in North America as far as I know.  The majority of people will either not know or care about this, and the rest forget over time.  My prediction is that they already worked out the risk of losing a certain % of their current clientele, but weighed that the profits from selling in China will outweigh it in the long run.  Sad, but from a business stand point it makes sense.  China has a huge population which is starting to become wealthier and want to buy foreign luxury products.  I don’t necessarily agree with this move (I am personally quite disappointed), but hopefully in the future, more companies will advocate against animal testing for cosmetics and China will be pressured into it.  Overall, I don’t really see how this changes anything (from UD’s growing profits and China’s policy on animal testing).

I’m not an animal person, at all. I support reasonable testing on animals for medical purposes, but animal testing for cosmetic purposes? It’s asinine.

Further stupid about China’s policy: how many years has UD (or Lauder, or any othe company now subject to the whims of the Chinese government) been sold around the world? How many billions of units have been sold? None of us has gone blind from their eyeliner, or developed second degree burns from their blush.

For a country that keeps producing some of the world’s shoddiest goods (melamine laced formula, dry wall that crumbles, children’s jewelry with lead), you would think they’d get their own safety in order. And I do realize the irony of typing this out on a Chinese made iPad.

What a load of BS.  They want to make money and so they’re selling in China.  Fine.  But don’t beat me over the head with a sugar-coated, half-assed “apology” and beg forgiveness for something you don’t have the decency to even ADMIT to in the first place.  Shame on them.  I could have respected their honest explanation but this blatant attempt at covering up the real issue fills me with disgust.  SEE YA UD. 

 @annabanana333
 Why do you feel they are being dishonest? UD cannot seriously be expecting to make money in China. One USD is ~$6 RNB. Meaning, that $20 eyeshadow you get here in the states will sell for $120+ in China. (iPhones are $5000RNB). People make a LOT less money there and most people are poor and will not be able to afford it. Seriously guys, they arn’t going to make bank here.

Ugh – reading this made me sick to my stomach. I only use cosmetic products that do not test on animals, and Urban Decay is one of my top two favorite companies. This statement sounds like a bunch of excuses. Trying to bring attention to animal testing? Then why not actively avoid marketing in a country where it’s [most likely] required and release a statement/produce awareness? Bringing a non-animal testing company into China will definitely not, in any way, bring attention to animal rights, especially when the products themselves will [eventually] be tested on animals? That seems SO hypocritical.
Urban Decay is a company, yes. This statement seems like they want to portray themselves as something more than that, which is the biggest insult. If they had true, strong values against animal testing, then they wouldn’t take part in it. They act like “it’s out of our hands because China is doing it,” but really, they don’t have to be in China.
Have they lost my business? No. It does make me angry, though.

I respect their decision but I don’t buy it’s for a change in China. How is company against animal testing agreeing to animal testing supposed to provoke change? Also it’s going to take a lot more than just being in the market to encourage change in my opinion, and it’s not very clear “do our part” entails.

I am disappointed. UD was a brand that I respected, and one that I have heavily invested in. I think there are other markets they could reach first. As much as they talk about getting the message out, I think a better way to do that is sell their product in countries that respect their stance. I am hesitant to believe this was a move to increase awareness and empower women. It seems much more likely they were primarily looking at long term financial gains, considering the size of the market. To say they are not expecting an immediate return is obvious and would be true for nearly any new, unfamiliar brand. It doesn’t wash.

My eyes are rolling so fast they’re getting their own electrical field. Go ahead and break into the huge chinese market, god knows it’s profitable, but stop acting like stealthy paladins of righteousness, you’re not fooling anyone. God, I hate it when companies assume we’re all idiots.

THANKS for posting! This was a very interesting read! Though it seems to focus more on their ideology than actually outlining any real plan of attack. I don’t understand how just showing up in China under a banner of animal rights will do much to change the laws, especially if “It doesn’t mean anything to the Chinese beauty customer.”
 
“If we don’t go to China, other companies without our beliefs will, and the culture will never change.” is bordering on intellectually offensive. There are many other large markets (that do not require animal testing) where UD is not available. Why are they not expanding into those countries first?
 
This statement is designed to appease, not to rally. It’s a carefully written apology, not an outline for social change. As the polite version of the saying goes: “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.”

 @hunterdustin
 Actually @hunterdustin, China is extremely influenced by the Western world. If UD continued to market under “we don’t test on animals, we don’t condone testing on animals, etc, etc, etc” and they become a LARGE brand… I completely believe that Chinese attitudes towards animal testing will begin to change. Additonally, if UD marketed themselves in China and were to come successful, they would most likely be seen as a *luxury* brand… the same way Best Buy sort of is (more so than the states anyway). Being animal friendly would become “cool”, and “cool” things change the public.

> admit that your brand isn’t traditionally favoured by the market you’re likely going against your principles to set up in
> set up there stating you can change things
> don’t set up in countries that DO adhere to your principles and are more likely receptive to your brand
 
… Logic. What is it?

I do like urban decay products but I find this to be extremely frustrating. Why write a huge statement about how they want to extend animal rights into China when they themselves are going to be testing their products like every other company there? They are no different than these other beauty companies so they should stop acting so self-righteous. They are going against what they claim to be fighting for, so should stop using their “cause” to defend their actions. I understand their decision from a business angle, I just hate how they are defending their position. Overall, I am a fan of their products and I understand that they want to make profit, but perhaps they are going about it in the wrong way. Obviously, its a fair debate and clearly an ethical dilemma as well, and is leaving me quite torn about the company.

I really fail to see what difference it makes if UD or the Chinese government does the testing. Animals still die as a result of that testing, with UD’s full knowledge and, yes, participation. I find this PR release lame on their part. I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of their products, and even less so now. I didn’t, however, go out of my way to avoid them. I will now. And I’m neither a vegetarian or a vegan.

I’ve always been a bit of a cynic when it comes to cruelty free beauty, so I’m neither surprised or upset by this move. Just from my experience, unless you’re committed to buying only through smaller indy companies that do nearly everything in-house, you’re probably being duped by cruelty free claims in the fine print. A company may not be doing animal testing of their own, but there’s a pretty good chance that the companies

Does it really matters who test on animels for UD, or where ?
UD’s products are not cruelty free anymore, and this statment is full of exuses. 
If you are against animel testing, you can’t sell in China because the chinese FDA will test your products on animels. I don’t buy their exuses… its all about money 🙁
 

I’m sorry but this smacks of corporate greed. The hardest part if standing behind something you believe in is when you have something to lose and you do it anyway. There reasoning makes no sense.

I’ll say this to start off – I am completely against animal testing and don’t like the idea that these products, or actually the ingredients, have to be retested. One thing we forget as consumers is nearly all of the ingredients have been tested on animals at one time or another. Just because UD doesn’t test their individual products doesn’t mean that what they use in the products hasn’t been tested.

Honestly, i don’t buy exclusively cruelty free products. But UD’s entire platform was always “we don’t test on animals, how could anyone?” To completely undermine this at this point is hypocritical. The fact that they tried to spin this as a good thing just made me angry. The whole “we’re not directly testing on animals, someone else is doing it for us” thing is ridiculous. I’ll no longer purchase any of their products. Such a bad move on their part. I used to see them as a company that cared, now it’s just all about profit margins. They cared about animal testing in a market where most customers would support it, now that they found new markets they changed their tune.

not going to buy products from them anymore. their being against animal testing and not being in china is what made me like them. very disappointed that they’re in it for the money.

Very stupid from UD and MAC as well, knowing that the Chinese market is the one that produces more harmful goods for the whole world to consume…

My email to Urban Decay: 
It is UNBELIEVABLE that you have decided to pursue the Chinese market at the expense of your morals.  Instead of standing firm against China’s barbaric insistence to test on animals, you have caved and are oblivious (admitted in your press statement) on whether your products are being tested there.  Of ALL brands, you were the leading crusader and you are now hiding behind your supposed intent to “change the world” when instead it’s about corporate greed.
 
Un-freakin-believable.  I was so proud to be an Urban Decay user.  Now I’m simply a past UD user. 
 
You should all be ashamed of yourselves.  You are no better than Estee Lauder, Avon and Mary Kay.  This is ONE huge step backwards in the fight against animal cruelty.

I am personally offended NOT because UD wants to make money, not because of China’s animal testing policies, but because of Urban Decay’s hypocrisy of the whole thing.  And who is Urban Decay to go into a country to try to “change” its polices?  That is straight up colonialism & frankly BS.  China needs changes and it will do so by itself.  A cosmetic company is not going to accomplish change by selling eyeshadows.  I am sorry.

 @WingLaw Absolutely agree. Selling supposed cruelty-free products in a country that will test them regardless weakens the message substantially, if not negating it altogether. Cosmetics can’t change policies. That’s stupid and fallacious. People change policies, and China has people in surplus. They just don’t give a damn.

 @WingLaw
 I disagree; I just posted on someone elses comment; but China is highly influenced by the Western world. If UD made in big, it would be seen as a very luxury brand. Luxury brands that openly claim not to support animal testing -will- raise awareness to the issue.

IMHO, I see this statement as full BS. China is the one of the powerhouses that has driven Asia to the rise these past few years and it has proven to be fertile business ground. So I think their move to sell in China is purely business seeing that from the comment, some countries don’t even have UD there eventhough they have pleaded in the past. There are too many factors accounted for a country to change a certain law and I think a lone company playing white knight isn’t going to make any difference. Me myself try to buy ethical products most of the time, though not 100%, but I’m kinda dissapointed with UD’s statement and business move, seeing that it is a big company with strong ethic against animal testing.

I would say I respect their honesty, but I’m not sure it’s completely honest to say they don’t foresee themselves profiting in the near future from the enormous Chinese market. I’m not sure I respect or agree with this decision at all, but I’m reserving judgement until I see their action plan on trying to change government policy (assuming they will release that).

Hmm. A very good lawyer wrote that. A *very* good lawyer. 
 
I’m honestly too flabbergasted to know what to think. Being a lawyer myself, one is trained to think as a Devil’s Advocate so, theoretically, I can see the logic in their reasoning. I can see the wishful thinking behind it too. However, the practical and cynical side of me doesn’t think their arguments have much basis in socio-political reality. That opinion comes after having studied the country extensively for years and years, and also having spent close to a month in China some years back. In addition, I also have several ex-pat friends who lived in Beijing and who experienced quite a lot of govt. control over their self-expression and daily life in Beijing. I think UD is being naive. VERY naive. Despite it’s commercial openness to Western products, there should be no mistake as to the tightness of govt. control and the authoritarian nature of that control. So, those are my theoretical and intellectual responses. My emotional response, however, is a sudden desperate need to go hug The Hairy German. If you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll just do, while trying not to think of all the horrible photos I’ve seen of lab research dogs.  My heart hurts.  

From what I understood as I read it, CHINA is going to do the animal testing with the products, not UD as a company doing the testing
 
. That sucks, but I can see where UD is coming from. All over their packaging and even some dedicated palettes are the “We don’t test on animals”, all over their website too. If seeing that could galvanize Chinese citizens to push for a change it might be worth the one time testing. As long as UD keeps all of the “not tested on animals/ we don’t and won’t test on animal” printed on their prouducts and front and center as it is here in the USA then I do think it could help inspire people in China.
 
I’m also impressed with the statement they released about the issue, it makes me think they did indeed really debate the decision to sell in China. Of course I don’t like that a company I love is going to cause any cases of animal testing, but in this case I personally don’t see it as a reason to boycott the brand. Change as to start somewhere.

 @CShell But UD say they’re taking the announcements off (and, FWIW, they’re also off LeapingBunny.org) because it won’t help business in China.
 
Also, it’s not whether UD are doing it themselves, but that a brand – that has marketed themselves for YEARS under “vegan” and “cruelty free” headings – is now perfectly willing to expand to countries that require animal testing. Obviously, we can’t know everything that UD may have planned for this move, but overall it doesn’t seem at all logical that they are moving into the Chinese market before the Alternative Testing measures PETA is pushing for (apparently successfully) are implemented. They admit that they don’t expect to make a profit for a long time, they go against one of their longest standing causes to – what, be a Trojan horse into China? -, and they do it when there are many countries around the world that they could expand into without contradicting their animal cruelty beliefs which leaves something of a bad taste in many people’s mouths.
 
And, quoth the UD, “We don’t do animal testing. How could **anyone**?” Directly or indirectly condoning AT is still contradicting a long standing policy of UD’s.
 
(FWIW, while I’m disappointed at UD for the way they’ve gone about it, I probably won’t boycott. I’m just seriously not seeing how this is a good business decision and I’ve had enough of bad decisions to last a lifetime, so I’m testy. >> )

 @CShell Saying you will not test on animals, but in full knowledge, allow someone else to test your products on animal for the express purpose of being able to market to them, is exactly the same thing. I think it’s rather naive to think that China is going to roll over and suddenly stop testing. I’m afraid that I don’t really believe their statement that it’s not about profit etc, because there are plenty of other markets that they could’ve gone in to, which would not have jeopardised their CF status.
 
They are using the Chinese government as a scapegoat “it’s not us that are the baddies, it’s them” sort of thing. UD know, that there is a possibility, that by retailing in China, their products may be subject to animal testing, it doesn’t matter who it is doing the testing, they are still allowing it to happen. 

Hmm. A very good lawyer wrote that. A *very* good lawyer. 
I’m honestly too flabbergasted to know what to think. Being a lawyer myself, one is trained to think as a Devil’s Advocate so, theoretically, I can see the logic in their reasoning. I can see the wishful thinking behind it, too. However, the practical and cynical side of me doesn’t think their arguments have much basis in socio-political reality. That opinion comes after having studied the country extensively for years and also having spent close to a month in China some years back. In addition, I also have several ex-pat friends who lived in Beijing and who experienced quite a lot of govt. control over their self-expression and daily life in Beijing. I think UD is being naive. Very naive. Despite it’s commercial openness to Western products, imo, there should be no mistake as to the tightness of govt. control and the authoritarian nature of that control. So, those are my theoretical and intellectual responses. My emotional response, however, is a sudden desperate need to go hug The Hairy German. If you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll just do, while trying not to think of all the horrible photos I’ve seen of lab research dogs.  My heart hurts. 

 @Kafka Agreed, I think that they are either lying or in denial about changing China’s policies. China is one of the oldest countries and a lot of the time they are very close minded when it comes to the law/changing the law. You think that the President is going to change the policy of animal testing just because one little American company says so? No. We are talking about a country who will kill your first born child if you decide you want a second child due to the over population!!! Changing the law in China is like changing the color of the sky.
 
 

I definitely think this will hurt urban decays market a lot because a huge part of their American and Canadian market is all for cruelty free. I appreciate the press notice they wrote giving us an explanation but it doesn’t excuse anything for their loyal customers. Even if they gave it a long thought, they clearly didn’t think long enough because by going into China knowing their policies is just plain wrong. They shouldn’t advertise as cruelty free anymore, even if it is only in China because it’s misleading. Everyone knows china is a great trading partner for the U.S and that’s purely why they made this move in my opinion, if they manage to help with animal and women’s rights in china, they will gain a lot of my respect back. I’m not an activist, or a slacktivist, just concerned that a lot of cruelty free supporters will be cheated.

I am definitely not someone who thinks about animal testing when it comes to my cosmetics. I totally understand that it’s out there and a lot of people take it very seriously, and my experience with Urban Decay has all come from how awesome their products are. I do love that I’ve sort of absorbed a lot information about the animal rights movement from the brand and I love that they are making a foray into China and the reasons behind it. Honestly, they are STILL a cruelty free company so if you have issues with the fact that they want to wade into a battle zone and take a stand, then maybe you don’t care for the movement as much as you think you do. I mean, no omelette has even been made without breaking a few eggs! 

 @watchthesky Sort of. I see why everyone is upset, and I do think that Urban Decay has been slipping up a lot lately, but like it was said above, China only reserves the right to test, it doesn’t say they will for sure test. Also, if UD was in this totally for the money, it would make far more sense to go to another country where they are already well known, and that has laws against animal testing. Obviously they are in to make money, that’s why they exist, but I don’t think that is their soul reason for heading in there.

 @ValerieAllison They can’t be cruelty free if their products are tested on animals, even if it’s not by them. And the only reason they are going to china is PROFIT, not wanting to change their policies. Taking a stand would be not to sell their products there or refuse to comply with the animal testing policies. 

 @AliceM Well they sort of already stated that they (and most other foreign brands) don’t stand to make a profit for some time. And besides, they can’t exactly refuse to comply to national laws. I agree that if they were to stay really true to branding, they wouldn’t go over there. They would actually make a big stink about it. But I think it’s a little unreasonable for a lot of people to swear off the brand because of the possibility of animal testing. Idk, I don’t feel strongly about the subject, so I have a hard time understanding. 

 @ValerieAllison like someone on Facebook said, UD’s new ‘battle’ is like trying to turn people who eat at Burger King vegan by going there and eating a burger…. :/

I have nothing respectful to say here. Between the slap in the face to customers last month with that disastrously overpriced and impractical palette, to giving up on being Cruelty Free in order to be more profitable. HOW do they think it’s more profitable overall for them to give up the 2 qualities that MADE their company stand out from all the rest? The 2 things Urban Decay is most known for, Value (in their palettes)and CF. Out the window. They must be hitting rock bottom if they need to jack their prices through the roof and allow animal testing in order to remain profitable. And I guarantee it will be worse for them now.
 
“Our “no animal testing” policy is part of who we are, and has been since day one.” Then goes on to allow animal testing. Urban Decay apparently thinks their customers are stupid, but it’s actually just their own team that is.

 @xbrookecorex Omg you just expressed exactly what I was thinking into one paragraph… I’m so disappointed in them and they’ll probably lose more customers because of this rather than gain more customers from China! It’s just dumb!!!!
 
I bet they’ll be receiving a lot of hate mail -.-

This is really too bad. I’ve always loved Urban Decay for their strong ethical stances and great products…but will not be supporting them any more. Life without Flipside 24/7 liner and Sin eyeshadow will be tough.

I think this is really a shame. While I can understand their argument that now they can fight these laws from the ‘inside’ and giving women jobs. The fact is I highly doubt they will have any pull with the Chinese government, and it would  take years of being a huge successful/popular company in China before their word had any weight to it. And also one reason to go into China, whether they want to admit it or not, is you can get away with hard labor for cheap, and I’m positive that’s what all these women are signing up for in their newly available jobs working at glorified sweatshops.
And what they really end up doing is expanding a market that is based of animal testing, creating new jobs that rely on animal testing, earning from animal testing. No matter how you spin it, it’s really a disappointment to all of us animal lovers.

Dear Urban Decay,
Saying you will not test on animals, but in full knowledge, allow someone else to test your products on animal for the express purpose of being able to market to them, is exactly the same thing. You are justifying your actions, and not following through on the terms you set for yourself. Actions speak louder than words. Who speaks for the animals? I wonder if the animals will enjoy wearing your products as much as the people who will be putting it on them??

The press release states that the Chinese government has the right to test UB products on animals, not that UB will start testing on animals.

I don’t understand the ‘one time test’ theory as when UB comes out with new products, then these product will need to be tested by the Chinese government on animals before release to the Chinese population.

I can see how UB wants the public to “think” that their entry into the Chinese market will help them ‘change’ the Chinese view on animal testing. But truly – they are entering the Chinese market for pure profit. There are 1.3 billion Chinese consumers in China .. so as a stockholder – where do you want your profit margins to grow?

Urban Decay: Capitalism in its purest form.

If they were truly dedicated to their stance on animal testing they would stay out of this market. It’s as simple as that. 
 
Principles are principles and if Urban Decay wants to stand by them… then stand by them. There is no grey area. They know the Chinese government WILL most likely test their products on animals and they have chosen to enter the market anyway. However thoughtfully written, their justifications are pretty fluffy compared to that simple truth. 
 
 

Absolutely. There are other ways they can try to get China to change. Selling products in a country that will test anyway, if anything, condones testing on animals. Their representatives can go there without selling stuff. People are capable of doing that.

i am extremely disappointed in urban decay for this. their ‘reasoning’ may sound nice on paper, but the reality is there’s very little their company will actually do for animal testing in china. there are so many other markets they could have gone into and many other ways they could have brought animal rights to light. will not be purchasing from them again, which is a shame because they genuinely were my favourite. way to betray your loyal fanbase and morals for a market that won’t give a shit.

Well, at the very least it’ll be interesting to see if/how UD will start the “change from within” in China. It’s amazing to me, after reading these comments, that they aren’t moving into another market that doesn’t require animal testing. I’m sure it’s all for the money. I imagine China is a huge market for them — huge enough to warrant foregoing their morales regarding animal testing! 

BS, but thanks for the note UD… I mean seriously… I respect the company for reaching out to consumers, but stop painting a slanted picture and blaming everything on China and their ‘backwards’ culture, and parade about your ‘mission’ to civilize them by bringing feminism and such. UD, #getreal, you’re out for #money, and it is okay to admit that. YOU ARE A BUSINESS, and need to sustain yourself. However, you’re a make-up company… not an NGO… 

That was something that bothered me in their statement.  Animal testing is not part of Chinese culture and it seems ignorant of UD to say such a thing.  The comment about changing their culture too seems insensitive.  I personally do not agree with testing on animals but I could care less where UD chooses to branch too.  Who ever wrote that statement really should have consulted a semanticist.  Silly UD, caring more about money than what they stand for.

Disgusted… I will definitely be looking to products other than Urban Decay from now on for my beauty needs, having been vegan for many years they’ve just lost my custom. Why bother having a non-testing ethos if you’re so happy to bypass it in order to gain new customers/make more money? Brings to mind Anita Roddick selling Body Shop to L’Oreal.
 
Not that UD will care, they’ll make many more fans in China than they stand to lose from being willing to sell their products tainted with vivisection.

Omg, China? Why China? Why not Japan? or Dubai? Guarantee UD can sell 10 times the amout in Japan than in China. Oh. wow..does that also mean they’re going to start making their products in China too? If UD is going to be made in China…I will no longer purchase UD’s products. The last thing I want is to pay $20 for an eyeshadow that’s made in the country where they treat woman, and animals like slaves. I am disappointed..

@Lynn Although China admittedly does not have the best human rights or workers’ rights track record, it is fallacious to say that women are “treated like slaves there” as compared to the US, which has such a glowing record of misogyny, attacking contraception rights, slut-shaming, victim-blaming etc. There are some ways in which women have more equality there than in the US; please don’t make blanket assumptions that harken to imperialist and white feminist views of saving the “poor savages” from themselves.

 @moena  @Lynn  There may be some ways in which Chinese women have more equality than American women however that goes not change that there is still plenty of misogyny and human rights abuses in China beyond what is in the US.  If you’re in China and your husband beats you it’s still more likely to be swept under the carpet.  My impression though is that to the Chinese government, whether you are male or female is irrelevant as long as you serve its purposes. 

As a Chinese-American, I’d like to second @moena . In some ways, China is /way/ better are equality than some of the largest countries in the Western world. Many of the richest self-made women in the world are from China! I know it’s easy to get lost in media imaging but please try and do some research before you make blanket statements that influence more people to think in similar ways.

 @MarioInvincible  @moena  But there is a MASSIVE chasm in socio-economic equity between those very rich women and the average Chinese woman in the big cities, let alone in the countryside. Blanket statements go both ways. Those who can afford buying a $500,000 Neapolitan Mastiff and escorting it to its final home (in Xian, I think) with a cavalcade of Escalades (subject to frighteningly high import taxes) are far from the norm.  
 
But let’s say that we’re talking about the average 25 yr old girl in Beijing, working as a translator for one of the big tourism agencies (under govt. supervision) and spending all her tip money on foreign makeup (like MAC, if I remember correctly). Will she even be allowed to know that UD once had a cruelty-free testing policy or has progressive views on women’s libv? Not with the govt.monitoring of the internet when the existing Chinese policy is opposite to UD’s.  Even if she did find out, would her mother or cousins in Guilin or Souchou really care about UD’s views on women’s lib?  And how would UD be able to publicize such views when they reflect a socio-political theory that isn’t in accord with the reality of Chinese women’s rights? Recently, an Equal Pay Act in the *US* was voted down by every *SINGLE* Republican senator. If it doesn’t happen here, it’s not happening in China. And yet, UD hopes to advance a progressive social agenda there?  How? How will it do it? Do you think ads with such statements will be published? How will people know that they once had a Cruelty-Free policy when, in fact, their aligment with China’s policies effectively means UD products in China are subject to animal testing? Truth in advertising means they can’t say it because it wouldn’t be true. So, whether the Uber-Rich women (most of whom have probably already hopped over to the States to buy whatever they want), the 25 yr old translator in Beijing or her grandmother in Guilin — NONE of them are going to hear about it.  At least, that’s my personal opinion but we can agree to disagree. 🙂 
 

 @Kafka   I don’t know what you’re trying to argue, but I never said anything about a lack of disparity between the rich and the poor. I’d appreciate you not putting words in my mouth.
 
My point was simply that there are ways in which women, apart from socioeconomic status, were treated more equally than women in the US, which makes it seem ridiculous to make a statement that you won’t buy items made in that country when there are equally egregious gender inequities in your own country. Even though some of the Chinese equalities with men are simply because even men are being treated horribly, I didn’t feel as much of the Judeo-Christian focus on the “nature” of women or the shame that can accompany it growing up, nor did I feel any pressure to assume a traditional role because I was pushed just as hard in pursuit of education as my male counterparts. Most of my fellow first generation immigrant women were never told that they couldn’t achieve just as much as men by their Chinese culture, only by the American one. By no means are Chinese women free from patriarchy, but an examination of one’s one surroundings is required before making statements about Chinese women being treated like slaves.
 
Sure, totalitarian governments restrict freedom of speech, press, assembly, etc. But what I’m addressing is hardly even on the topic of UD’s new policy, but rather addressing the penultimate sentence in Lynn’s comment.

 @moena  I wasn’t replying to you, so I was hardly putting words in your mouth. If you look up above, you will see my reply was addressed to MarioInvincible.Your name was automatically listed at the tail end because that’s Livefyre’s system; it includes the name of the person who was initially being responded to, no matter how far back in the conversation. I was specifically addressing Mario Invincible’s comment that some of the richest self-made women in the world are from China, in addition to her oft-repeated points elsewhere in this discussion which essentially can be summed up as: those super rich women will make UD cool and hip such that women throughout China will suddenly be interested in UD’s “cruelty free” policies.
 

 @Kafka Ah ok, that makes more sense. I didn’t know about the automatic reply feature and thought I was somehow completely unclear. Thanks for the explanation!

UD has already had some products manufactured by companies in China.  Look at the label on the Smoke Out Palettes.  I found that the quality of those palettes were not what I expected from UD.  I emailed them to ask why and received no response.

I’m really upset. This stands for everything I believe and animals should not be harmed in any way. UD may not be the one doing the cruelty but selling in a country that does speaks volumes. If a company truly does want to make an honest difference then take appropriate measures to do so. Selling cosmetics in hope of a change is greed and hypocrisy.

To be clear……I’m not vegan. I don’t fight for animal rights but I respect those that choose to and I very much dislike fence riders. UD has decided to ride a fence that compromises one of their core ‘values’ and selling points.

Urban Decay is a business, it’s in its interest to make money and expand their market share.  That’s pure capitalism, and it’s fine if they want to go down that path.  However, they can’t expect to instigate much of a “dialogue” from within a market that has a vastly different political atmosphere than western countries.  Their motivation to tap into China’s makeup market early is a bold move, but now they’ve just alienated a significant (and vocal) portion of their customers back home.  A big part of their brand identity is no longer relevant.

Your statement about the different political atmosphere is spot-on. It’s like 1984 over there. The Chinese government doesn’t like the people to question it. Dialogue won’t happen.

Personally I find the stance behind their move as naive and unrealistic. And I agree with the belief that at this point they can’t call themselves “Cruelty-Free” because, well, you’d have to go into the whole thing blind, which clearly with their letter they’re not.
 
But as I wrote on the FB page, Cruelty-Free for me also means not using products that do involve the harm of animals regardless of what kind they are. Their products for example mention containing Carmine. Boom! Already can’t stamp “Cruelty-Free” because these bugs have to die in order to have their bodies used for the process of making red dye. I still love the company regardless, but it’d be much more honest to cut the idealistic bull and just say “We’re moving into China where the gov’t tests on animals. We don’t expect you to like the idea, and we surely won’t advocate Cruelty-Free as this testing is out of our hands.” 

First of all, there may not even be any animal testing. All UD is saying is, China, per *their* policies, reserves tha *right* to do product testing on animals. I may be wrong, but the fact that UD is such an established brand, and has been around for many years, there is a good chance China will waive the animal testing requirements. China does not test *all* cosmetics on animals. This brings me to my second point: regardless if a *company* tests on animals, it is highly likely one or more of the ingredients used in the most animal-friendly products, was indeed tested on animals at one point in time, which brings us back to China and their policies. Again, UD is a brand that has been around a long time, so it’s highly likely some, if not all, ingredients were tested on animals. It costs money to do any sort of testing, so I don’t personally think China is going to put up the capital to test products made from ingredients that they (or someone else) has *already* paid to test. It just doesn’t make fiduciary sense. I would also imagine UD has had several talks with the Chinese officials, and I’m quite sure they’ve made this point. As for the previous comment about MAC not putting out a press release, that is not true; I am not a fan of MAC, but I will come to their defense and let everyone know they *have* issued a press release. Again, *every* product we put on our face and/or bodies have at *least* one ingredient that has been animal tested at one point in time; in order to avoid this, one would have to *completely* give up *all* mainstream cosmetics, and I really don’t see very many people on this site going that far. As for any mainstream brands that don’t animal test, it’s likely because they don’t want to incur the costs, and since the top ingredients have *already* gone through animal testing, there’s no need. China likely feels the same. I mean, we in the US have a myriad of inane laws on the books that no longer bear any relevance, and they are *not* enforced, as it is not condusive.

@xamyx If the MAC part was referring to me; what they had to say on this matter was next to nothing, especially compared to this. I’m fully aware every ingredient at some point has been used on an animal which is why this isn’t a HUGE deal for me – realistically I’d end up going bare faced every single day, which, sorry, I don’t wish to do. What DOES bother me is just how unclear they came across – I, along with many others, interpreted it as MAC themselves will be doing it meaning current customers will be buying a product which has been tested on animals, where previously it wouldn’t have (I do have to say though, with some of the stuff MAC puts out it makes me wonder if they test it at all!)

 @xamyx “(I do have to say though, with some of the stuff MAC puts out it makes me wonder if they test it at all!)”
 
LOL!!!! so true!

@Sarah The MAC statement I (accidentally) ran across was fairly clear, in that they basically stated they wanted to expand their brand, and China was receptive, and again, China reserves the right to test, if necessary. Again, I’m not one to defend MAC, but perhaps I saw a different statement? I honestly don’t think China *will* test, though, and I think only a few items at a time will be introduced, by both brands. One reason I think these brands are choosing China is because the Chinese officials are making it the easiest. Sure, consumers in other countries want the goods, but there are likely alot of hoops to jump through.

 @xamyx  @Sarah  Amy, China has a totally unemotional, nonchalent view about animals.  They *will* test. They see no reason why not and there are underlying political implications to not testing a Western product. It’s also another form of asserting their control and dominance vis-à-vis foreign influences coming into the country. Particularly when that foreign influence has an ultra progressive social agenda. (Or, at least, up to now, it *did* have one.)  But even apart from its laws, the underlying political ramifications, there is — again — the simple fact that they see cats and dogs as disposable.  I can email you photos of all the dog meat in markets or on the menus. And, if you’re ever interested, I can tell you about pet-ownership laws in places like Beijing (and how it compares to say, Shanghai).  Sorry, sweetie, I have to disagree with you because I would bet anything they WILL test.
 

 @xamyx I’m sorry, animal testing will happen, it’s the law there. The wording used by UD is only aimed at avoiding responsibility and let less informed customers hope for the best.

I’m extremely disappointed in this, mostly because I feel a CF company purposefully going into a country where they KNOW testing might be required just is backwards and defeats their message of CF, because technically while their US cosmetics are CF, their China ones won’t be, so they can’t really say ‘not tested on animals’ there in the first place. So saying ‘we’re hoping to show China that CF cosmetics can work’ is defeated imo because their China cosmetics won’t be CF most likely. UD, I’m really sad you felt the need to do this.

I really want to believe UD when they say that they are doing this for women’s rights and animal rights, because they truly do have a track record to support that statement. I even think that with as different as China can be compared to the USA, they’re probably right that change will have to come from within, rather than people in other countries trying to preach their beliefs to China from outside without having a cultural understanding. China is very different culturally from the USA. You can’t go in there armed with the same FAQs and campaigns that you can in the USA and expect them to work. You need a Cultural Anthropologist or a Cultural Expert who understands their culture, values and beliefs to find the best way to work with them. I applaud Urban Decay for being honest with us, rather than hiding their decision.

What is your response Christine?  How do you feel and what is your opinion on Urban Decay’s statement.  Also, will you continue to review their products considering the company claims of being Cruelty Free but is out right allowing animal testing?  Will you continue to display their products despite them foregoing their morals and betraying their fanbase and customers.
 
I am looking forward to a response or a more thorough blog post on your reaction.

Something stinks…OHHH, it’s this hypocritical, BS letter!!!! Spin, spin, sugar…keep on spinning, but it doesn’t change that this is some grade A BS!!

*I also just wrote this on Phyrra.net if you’re wondering why you see it there too:
I agree that it is AWESOME that they are so open with their customers. However… I am 100% positive that they are in this for money. How many people live in Chine? 1.5 billion? It is the most populous country in the world, so I do not believe that it would take time to make a profit like they claimed. I feel like this is very sad… I’ve seen other companies do this recently as well. But my question is, if they really want to expand their company overseas to Asia, why not do it in a different popular place like Japan or Singapore? WHY China? Since they claim to be **so against** animal testing, they would not do this. Urban Decay has recently become my favorite brand as I thought very, very highly of them. I still do. But this is SO disappointing to me. I feel like they are being sell-outs. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make a profit. Just stay classy and stick to your word.

Japan would be more receptive, too. Japanese fashion is so wild a lot of the time and not as conservative as China. Their products would probably sell better, despite the larger population in China.

Urban decay always been my favorite make up company. I’m confused if they are doing it or are they considering the china situation as an option. When you have a product built upon brand loyalty I think your company values should be black and white not grey.

I can only imagine all the UD execs and lawyers sitting around a table wondering how they can best word this statement.
 
I don’t think not selling in China was ever on their radar. I think it was an easy decision and the only ambivalence was how to go about telling their customers.
 
I think UD has failed to realize that the beauty community is not that of simple-minded teenagers or superficial 20-somethings. It’s full of educated men and women who do their own research and have strong beliefs. I mean, Christine has multiple degrees from higher education, including one in law. Why wouldn’t any other makeup lovers?
 
For me, it’s kind of like if my sister stole $20 from me. I’m more concerned about the fact that she did the stealing, not that $20 was stolen. I’m not a passionate advocator of stopping animal testing, but I feel so insulted that UD went completely against their brand philosophy.
 
I appreciate the brand’s transparency. I think, though, that they’re hoping this will be another MAC + Rodarte incident of BP oil spill: people will be very upset for a short amount of time, but things will calm down and everyone will go back to the brand anyway. I’m guessing they already did a profit/loss analysis for the near future’s sales to see how they can adjust.
 
Dear UD: this was a risky move. Please do not make it any worse by having a sale or introducing new products amidst this ordeal. By the way, I think your first Naked palette went straight to your head and you milked its success and you haven’t been the same since.

I think this was really well thought out, well written, and I support Urban Decay’s decision. It seems that they’re thinking about the bigger picture.

To believe that the Chinese government is going to NOT animal test just because UD is a large company is very naive. If a person understands the culture & the way of thinking, they will fully realize that this just ain’t gonna happen. They are walking into a country that has a completely different set of values & which is not open to criticism or dialogue. This can be plainly seen from the Chinese government arresting bloggers & any other people within the country who criticize them. They’re going over there to make cold, hard cash. Period. I can swallow that. But doing so & attempting to whitewash what they’re doing is pathetic on their part. I just hope that those who are now claiming they will stop buying UD products don’t suddenly become spineless & later buy their products anyways. The only way UD, or any company, is going to listen to their customers is when they start losing mountains of money. That’s the only power their customers have.

 @Sandra TK i hope the same. when i say they will no longer receive my business, i mean it, no matter how much i may want a certain product. i hope others can really stand by the boycott and find replacements.

I really want to believe UD when they say that they are doing this for women’s rights and animal rights, because they truly do have a track record to support that statement. I even think that with as different as China can be compared to the USA, they’re probably right that change will have to come from within, rather than people in other countries trying to preach their beliefs to China from outside without having a cultural understanding.
 
 
China is very different culturally from the USA. You can’t go in there armed with the same FAQs and campaigns that you can in the USA and expect them to work. You need a Cultural Anthropologist or a Cultural Expert who understands their culture, values and beliefs to find the best way to work with them.
 
 
I applaud Urban Decay for being honest with us, rather than hiding their decision.

 @Phyrra  I agree with your last point but I’m not so sure even using a cultural anthropologist, etc.,would do any good. 🙁 I wish I had that faith that it would but my knowledge of history and time in China make me beyond cynical. What could such a cultural knowledge DO in practical effect given the politics and social ethos? Women are lower than men in China and let’s not even start on dogs. Or animals of any kind. Do you want to know how many photos I have from across China of markets, menus and restaurants serving dog? It was ghastly but, to them, it was the akin to serving chicken. Because the thing is that dogs or cats, etc. aren’t seen as pets but as product or food. Yeah, sure, people in Africa or wherever also have diff. perceptions about animals/food etc. but what it boils down to me is that China will not allow ideological and intellectual change. At all. Cannot afford to economically and will not politically.
 
The main source of the Central Committee’s power is intellectual compliance. No dissension, no “modern” outside opinions. Nothing but pure mental, intellectual repression. As I wrote below, it was part of the implicit deal that the Govt. made after regaining Hong Kong and after Tiananmen Massacre: we give you some economic freedom and capitalism, and in return, you will never, EVER revolt again. You will put up and shut up with whatever, in return for being able to buy a car and eat a hamburger from McDonald’s.  This is not a country that is going to change its views and policies just because some Gaijin Western company that caters to women — women of all people! — has decided it wants to come in, sniff the daisies and make women & dog’s lives better.  No, I don’t think a cultural anthropologist would be effective in changing China’s stance towards such Western values as UD purports to hope to instill. 
 
And, honestly, instill how?? Does UD seriously think that the Chinese Govt. is going to allow them ads talking about the joys of women’s lib and/or greater rights for Fido? Hahahahaha. They’re delusional.  Gah, I better shut up now or I’ll rant about China for another year. So sorry to subject you to all that venting.    
 

 @Kafka To enact any sort of change, someone who is an expert with the Chinese culture, values, and beliefs needs to design a campaign that will resonate with the Chinese people’s values and beliefs. I hope that this is possible.
 

 @Phyrra I absolutely agree that that is the sort of campaign that would be necessary. However, I don’t trust that the Chinese government would allow it. It would be too easy for them to view it as insidious agitprop.  In a diff. time and age, a diff. govt. had the same issues with entry of Levis, Coca Cola & the Rolling Stones into the USSR. To them, products carried a message, just as, today, UD is trying to do with its products, per their own words and even this press release. Ideas in and of themselves are dangerous, as the Czech Velvet Revolution showed when it helped bring down the whole Soviet Empire. So, I don’t see the Central Committee permitting any sort of cultural campaign that would carry even an implicit idea of social change. They’ll let UD and other Western companies in, take advantage of the goods, continue to successfully and cleverly used consumerism/economic success as a social pacifier, but totally shut them up.  Maybe I’m too much of a cynic. Let’s hope you’re the one who is right, Phyrra. 🙂 
 

 @Phyrra I completely agree with you Phyrra. Sometimes there are necessary evils to bring on change, and Urban Decay’s Track record shows they are truly a company that cares. I love the transparency, and I fully agree that China’s law won’t be changed by outside pressure, but rather than a company making money/paying taxes/wages in their market.  

 @Phyrra But how is it any different from going in as a US company and preaching those values? They don’t have a Chinese sister brand sharing the same values, and they don’t seem to have a workforce or managers sharing their values. It will take at least half a generation to make that headway.
 
To me it seems like it’s immediate profit vs. longtime brand image, and it looks like the against-animal- testing part is being abandoned for the edgy and trendy and monetary fruitful part.
 
They’re obviously free to do whatever they want, and they are a business: it is just a tiny bit paternalistic (I don’t know if that’s the word I’m looking for…) of them to spin as ‘we are changing China all for the better from within!’. Chinese people are not waiting for you, UD. You’re not a saviour.

This is not a smart move by UD. Sure, they may sell their product in China now, but they are going to lose lots of American and European customers. This definitely is a decision made because of money. It is sad that they have decided to almost abandon their stance all to make money and to open their product in a market where animals are tested on.

Someone else said it already, but the tone of this makes me sick.  They’re trying to be all sweet and nice and “if we don’t sell in China, someone less moral than us will!”.  One more American company selling in China isn’t going to change *anything* about their policies.  If you cut through the crap, all this says is, “We want lots of money.  We are going to sell in China and pretend we don’t know that they are committing animal testing on our behalf.”  Ugh.  Stop talking to us like we’re stupid.

I understand the business move and don’t begrudge them that, but I find it quite offensive that they portray themselves as the bearer of change for China. Chinese people are not waiting for UD to become aware of these issues and become galvanised (or not) by them!
 
And frankly, if you’re expanding into China, you’ll be hiring Chinese managers, Chinese lawyers, and Chinese employees. These people know about competitive business, and they’ve already seen your company and a thousand others like it. You’re basically a drop in a very very very big bucket, and making waves is improbable.

 @kmk05 Very true, and I can see your point. I do, however, think that just because they are, as you say, a drop in a very large bucket, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not worth at least trying to communicate their own beliefs and choices.

 @demonrapunzel That’s also definitely true 🙂 I guess it has to do with the Chinese people I know: most of them are from mainland China, and they joke about what’s being dumped in their food and in their air as if it’s nothing.
 
To change the stance on animal testing, you need a lot of work on the ground, vocal consumers, people that care. In fifteen years, maybe the UD message will have reached those people. But until then?
 
And because UD say it themselves, “It doesn’t mean anything to the Chinese beauty customer”, at some point they’ll most likely downplay or get rid of the part of their brand that doesn’t suit the Chinese customer. And their ‘goal’ will be lost.
 
…Or maybe I’m a cynic?

 @kmk05 Yeah that was the part of the press release that stuck in my craw.  While I don’t dispute that working from within the system is often more effective than from the outside, using that logic as a means to justify their decision is like (forgive the crude saying) pissing on people’s backs and telling them it’s raining.  This is clearly a business decision, not an activist one and while I don’t necessarily have a problem with that, I do find it audacious that they’d try to portray it as something else.  Especially not when many (PETA included!) expect the Chinese government to change their testing requirements in the near future.  If this wasn’t about money, why wouldn’t they just wait a little bit to see if the efforts to change Chinese regulation are successful before jumping into the market?

 @queen_frostine So true! I wish they hadn’t spun it the way they have because it’s laughably dishonest (or maybe just laughable…), or that they’d have waited for the deregulation, like you said.
 
…Or they know there won’t be deregulation and they’re going ahead asap. Who knows?

While I appreciate the idea of working from within, they are actually going to be making a financial profit on items that may be required to be tested by animals by the Chinese government.  Based on their beliefs it will be blood money unless the government makes an exception for them.  I’m not quite sure how they will reconcile the two.

Typical sell out attitude, cover the real reason with a cherry coated excuse. They alone had the right to sell in China, greed wins out again. Adios UD.

Urban Decay have long since moved away from their original image, and seem to be becoming much more focussed on profit (“customisable palette,” anybody?). I never knew UD were interested in women’s rights, either. I haven’t seen anything from them regarding recent politics in America.

Interesting post Temptalia, thank you for sharing it with us.

Good for UD! I work with factories in china everyday. It’s a very diff country than the US and they have different regulations. What the customer does with their product is their business, not UD. UD should not be held responsible for that.

I guess the prospect of making a little extra money is enough to turn their heads the other way and not hold strong to their principals. Shame on them.

While I here, why is your Urban Decay shading brush’s bristles so sharp & tough? I love the look of the brush but it hurts my eyelid skin when I use it so it just sits there in the brush holder. Actually it’s the worse brush I have out of 30 others. Why?

I won’t be buying any ud product any more. China is so cruel to animals, I just can’t be behind a brand that would do this.

I am beyond words. I relied on UD as a cruelty-free company, not any more. I was so disappointed after the Estee Lauder company sold out, but I never expected this from UD. I need to find a new eye primer as I will not be buying their products ever again.

Bullshit. A cosmetic company that sells in China is NOT a cruelty-free company. And that press release is just twisted propaganda to make us think they aren’t responsible for testing (yet the tests are to be run in their own labs).

REAL Cruelty-free brands like Lush and The Body Shop has never ever opened in China because they have strong enough opinions. This just shows how much UD cares about making profit and how little they care about animal welfare. Nothing surprising coming from a brand owned by LVMH, the world leader in animal testing.

Anyway, i never believed the whole vegan claim from UD ever since i found out that its founder, Sandy Lerner, owns a restaurant specialized in meat. How can you be a vegan and cook meat for others, huh ?

I had already decided I will never buy from them again, now i’m just comforted in this decision.

( See now THIS is a real cruelty-free policy : http://www.lushcountries.com/partnerships/china.html )

…….Personally I could care less about their “supposed” plight for animal testing or womens issues. This whole press release was written by an expert B.S. specialist. I don’t appreciate someone trying to manipulate me and handing me a beautifully packaged box or manure. Two things we can never count on happening in China….Respect for women and animals. Hell animals are treated a step above women over there. The sheer thought that anyone at U.D. thinks they are going to help save the world one eye shadow at a time, is beyond laughable. U.D. releasing this press release was really stupid and an over all business FAIL.

You know? I have to say that I give UD props for releasing a statement about this and trying to explain why they’ve made this decision. I mean, at least they’re putting it out there and being transparent about it, rather than doing it all sneaky and under the radar.

@Screamer77 well of course not. Vegans just spring to mind because they are just one of UDs main markets. We even had little paw print stickers for end caps that said “vegan friendly”.

I actually have a lot more respect for Urban Decay now for actually coming out and saying they are going to sell in China and what that means. Other brands, namely MAC, started selling in China but didn’t announce it to their customers and just kept it hush hush. I’ve been forgoing MAC products since I found out about that (not that it’s been too hard recently) because it makes me sick to think that they are more interested in making a profit (because they know their decision to move into China and have animal testing will lose them customers) than being honest and letting the customer decide for themselves whether or not they are still comfortable buying from the brand.
So I say good on Urban Decay for not being deceitful about this issue, even though it is likely to loss them customers. 

this made me sad. props for releasing this statement, but honestly speaking (and this is from a canada- raised chinese teen’s opinion), no one in china will give a thought to wether or not it’s tested. the people who are able to afford UD in china are the ones who coat themselves in fur, indulge in shark fin soup every week and drive the most gas consuming cars out there. 

To everyone who thinks UD is doing this because they see mad bank: super highly unlikely. There are a million cosmetics companies and a thousand of those are dupes of Urban Decay. (When I was visiting last summer, I went to a high-end cosmetic store and I saw UDPP that was not UDPP… with the same packaging and everything) So Urban Decay will be nothing immediately new to China. Urban Decay products will be mega more expensive to the average consumer than it is here unless they really bunk their quality… unless they have amazing connections… profit will be extremely slow. They were honest.However, I do believe them when they say that they are attempting to influence the Eastern world. A lot of you are making the claim that UD has no right to feel that they can change a culture… but I totally believe they can. If they were to make it big eventually they would be an extremely luxury Western brand in a country in which the younger are highly influenced by the Western world. If they were to be respected, and they still hardcore PRed their stance against animal cruetly, it would raise awareness and possibly begin to change the culture.Since when have American’s hated dreamers that are doers?

 @MarioInvincible EXTREMELY naive. As someone with a background in marketing, the Chinese market is HUGE for them. It’s about money, not about trying to change the world. Give me a break. This is prime real estate for expansion. 

 @MarioInvincible EXACTLY! With my personal issues aside as a vegan, I am merely analyzing their statement…I gave UD’s pull from LB this morning the benefit of the doubt, and was going to do my own research…but this statement was the nail in the coffin for me. Don’t care to be lied to, and women who buy makeup are smart, and work hard for it. The statement is intellectually insulting.

 @MarioInvincible Much as I would like to believe what you say in this case, that is not the case. With all due respect, it is a naive way of thinking. You have no idea how the China market for international brands has exploded.
 
The Chinese have a thirst for foreign brands that doesn’t seem to be abating anytime soon. I have friends who have come from China studying here and they tell me how in many luxury stores across Europe (including London and Paris), they now require some members of staff to be able to speak Chinese (wheras in the past, this was mostly English, French, Japanese, Arabic etc.). Many of these stores are even seeing the largest group of their customers coming from China!
 
I also read articles some years ago of the enormous success of Western brands in the Chinese market. I think this was due to some restrictions being lifted around maybe five or six years ago, but I’m not certain. I suggest doing a little reading around this subject and you will understand why everyone’s screaming hypocrisy here.

 @MarioInvincible Don’t worry for the price, I’m pretty sure they’ll adapt to the market and Chinese consumers will pay a lot less for the same product as you.
Now do you really think UD will force one of the last communist governments in this world to change their policies?? The idea is laughable…

 @MarioInvincible I think you’re misinformed about the potential of the Chinese market.  Yes, China is famous for its knockoff market but according to CNNMoney, China’s on pace to top Japan as the biggest market for luxury goods in the world by 2015.  The Chinese are already spending over $10 billion a year on luxury goods, and that number has been increasing steadily year after year.  If knock off Louis Vuitton bags aren’t stopping LVMH from making money hand over first in China, why would knock off UDPP stand in the way of profits for Urban Decay?
 
Luxury companies are tripping over themselves to gain a traction in China right now because of the incredible profit potential.  Why would we assume that UD is really interested for different reasons than anyone else?

@queen_frostine @MarioInvincible
Sorry all, I must not have been clear. Of course the long run is about money but it’s not going to be an easy bang for the buck. They will most likely not profit for years and years.

I’m not an exclusively cruelty free shopper yet but I was such a loyal URBAN DECAY customer because of the brand’s strong stance against animal testing.  This was really the main reason for me that I was happy to pay what I viewed as the premium the brand put on their prices which have always been slightly high for a mid-range brand.  Now that they have renaged on this aspect of their brand identity I’m simply going to respond by not giving them any more of my custom.  I almost feel like I should be entitled to some kind of refund because really I was only willing to pay such high prices to support their cruelty free stance.

The simple truth is that this decision puts animals at risk. Period. We’ll probably never know whether animals are smeared, choked, coated, and blinded by UD products in China or not. Animals have been placed in jeopardy. Period. With this decision, UD shows itself to be nothing more than a hipsterized version of MAC.

As a vegan, and animal rights activist who only purchases what I believe to be cruelty free (including but not limited to third party testing, or anything of the kind) I am truly offended by their statement. It shows that they took no time or consideration to type this. Sorry but its true. I have seen better statement releases in regards to changing policies. 
 
Most companies hide behind a veil of cruelty free products, but this company insulted our intelligence with this statement. 
 
“It doesn’t mean anything to the Chinese beauty customer.” If anything this “plan of attack” will be seen as disrespectful. One company especially one as small as Urban Decay, will not change the laws. If anything I feel UD will be seen as disrespectful….
 
The EU doesn’t require animal testing, so if they truly believed in being cruelty free, they would sell in UK. This is for profit. I am not out to get anyone who needs to put food on the table, but profit is more important to UD than their cruelty free statement.
 
It has been an issue of mine for a while now (between the jacked up palette price, and UD not responding to customers feedback..) that UD has a vegan list…but if you look at the ingredients, it says may contain carmine..Which isn’t vegan…I guess they are hoping ppl don’t read the fine print, and this letter is a perfect example of them trying to pull the wool over their fanbases eyes.
 
If cruelty free isn’t a selling point in China, there is no need for the crusade. Its like telling a vegan who has seen Earthlings that something is Kosher. Means nothing.

 @cosmeticcouturier Good point about UD seeming disrespectul. They certainly will be seen that way and it could potentially be a huge loss for them.
 
I just wanted to add that they do sell in the UK (and have for a long time). They pulled out of Boots last year (bad, bad move) and sell in Debenhams and House of Fraser. Seems like they want to appear more “upmarket” which seems a bit pretentious and really doesn’t suit the brand (even though the quality is good, but that’s beside the point).
 
I agree with what someone said here, that after the success of the first Naked palette, the attention really went to their head. Come to think of it, that was around the time they pulled out of Boots (I remember you could buy the palette there). I don’t think these two things are entirely unconnected somehow.

I think its a bad move to have a big head…you will lose so much respect…Boots is a huge store….and it seems UD doesn’t listen to whats really going on, or what their customers want (I am referring to their over designed bulky packaging).
 
I was a fan before the  Naked Palette. And yes, they have changed. As a long time vegetarian, now vegan, if you truly believe in something its heart and soul. 

 @cosmeticcouturier Oh yes, you’re absolutely right about UD not listening to customer concerns over packaging. Remember the atrocious primer potion packaging? Cute but highly impracticle. It took them years to listen and finally give in to customer demand to change it. It was years. Just look at the age of some of those videos and blog posts on the internet on how to cut open the packaging. The sheer number of them is laughable and a huge embarrassment to UD.
 
Many people wouldn’t repurchase or make a first purchase because of the packaging and bought Too Faced Shadow Insurance instead. I guess they eventually made too much of a loss as Too Faced also grew as a company and became established. That’s probably why they finally bowed in to pressure.

 @cosmeticcouturier Uh actually about that, checking on their site, the ones that “may contain carmine”, esp ones like Woodstock, ARENT marked as vegan. The vegan shadows don’t say “may contain carmine” under the ingredient list as far as I can tell, I went through a few of them and it seems consistent.

From site: ALL SHADES MAY CONTAIN: CI 77019 (Mica), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491/77492/77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77000 (Aluminum Powder), CI 75470 (Carmine), CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride).

@cosmeticcouturier Agreed. I don’t expect companies to be angels for the good and proper, but the blatant disrespect and contempt for their customers (new and old) in this statement makes me question UD’s sanity.

The reason UD is selling to China is simply for profit.  China will not stop testing their products on animals no matter how much UD tries to “encourage dialogue and provoke change”. Very dissapointed in Urban Decay.

Please do NOT be conned by their public statement.  They want you to think they are doing this for altruistic reasons as they are well aware of the ensuing public outcry.  They figure that if they appear to be on a global mission you will forgive this decision and when the next Naked palette comes out, you will cave.  Don’t cave. I love their products as much as anyone else but we need to send them a monetary message that costs them dollars.  They want you to blame the Chinese and not them.  And they give you no examples of anything proactive they are doing to convince the Chinese to use alternatives.  I look at my Vegan palette right now that says “We don’t do animal testing. How could anyone?”  Well, UD, how could anyone?  I guess the Chinese can and you are in bed with that monster now.

I really don”t know why people are so worked up about animal testing to this level. Testing is still necessary. Would you like it if the testing was done on consumers instead when a product starts causing problems on people over time? Not only would that hurt people but cost the company millions in lawsuits as well. Sure we can use computer models and cell cultures; however, the body is a complex system in which several parts communicate with each other. This isolation is not a natural way and only provides a small window into how things work. Animal research is limited too but it can give us a deeper insight into how ingredients affect the living body.
That being said, I do advocate the search for better research models in order to cut down on animal testing as well as a strict adherence to ethical animal treatment. I know that researchers are held to a strict code and anyone who violates it receives a punishment, such as having their grant revoked to losing their license. This happened to one of the researchers where I worked. So what did he do that merited this? He kept the animals’ cages in his lab overnight in order to gather data on behavior patterns instead of the designated building.  This is against code and his license was revoked. 
Testing is done after much thinking and research has gone behind the ingredients and recipes as well. They are not blindly smearing random chemicals on animals. They must come up with a formula they have come to believe will be effective and must test this belief in order to make sure there is little to no error. How do you guys think we learned which of ingredients were safe to use, ingredients that are in products we use every day of our lives.
I respect UD for letting consumers know their reasoning behind their decision. Such honesty and consideration for the consumer in the business world is rare. 
Fight for ethical treatment of animals in research. Support the scientific community and the search for new research models. Sure the system we have now is flawed, but it’s the best we have for now. The future always holds new solutions.

animal testing is not necessary. at all. it’s beyond disgusting and it’s scientifically inaccurate. there are so many alternatives out there that it does not need to be tolerated, by ANYBODY.

 @watchthesky It’s only inaccurate if done improperly. Since you know so much about it, could you name some alternatives? I agree that animal testing for cosmetics is not necessary but there are some very important drugs which were developed after animal testing and saved the lives of a lot of human beings.

 @JezStar did i make any mention of medicine in my post at all? no. this subject is about animal testing for cosmetics. while i ethically believe even medical testing on animals is wrong and alternatives are out there waiting to be discovered, it’s not what i meant.

 @watchthesky While I understand and respect your viewpoint entirely, I don’t think such extreme statements are necessary. There are grey areas.
 
Animal testing is not as you say “scientifically inaccurate” and is in many ways, the best model we have, especially when it comes to medicine. Much understanding of how to avoid animal testing and creating alternatives will sadly have to come from animal testing itself. In many ways, it is a necessary evil at present and hopefully one day, we will be beyond it.
 
Believe me, many scientists would rather they didn’t have to do animal testing if it was the best way (although there are those who don’t care either way). Do human lives count less?
 
My aim isn’t to target anybody here, but just to get everyone to think about why we can’t do without it 100%, just yet.
 
Having said that, I don’t think animal testing should be done for purposes of mere vanity and our understanding of ingredients that go into cosmetics is advanced enough at this point in time, that we can do without it.
 
UD should not have compromised on their own principles for mere money.

as i replied in the comment above, i did not mean medical testing at all. even though i believe even that is wrong, we have not reached the same understanding with alternatives for medicine that we have for cosmetics. and it is scientifically inaccurate. i am not a rabbit, or a monkey, or a dog, or whathaveyou. i will not react in any way the same way they would. there are too many uncontrollable variables for it to be scientifically accurate.

 @watchthesky I see what you mean. Just to point out, it was your words “animal testing is not necessary. at all.” The “at all” makes it sound like a blanket statement that applies to every industry and sounds ambiguous. It seems from the other comment that I am not alone in this. Now I know that’s not what you meant.
 
Again, with all due respect, animal testing is not “scientifically inaccurate”. There are many, many biological pathways in all the animals you mentioned that are common to humans as well. In fact, isn’t one of the points against animal testing is that we are so similar? (Just one of the points, mind you, of course there are many others.)
 
Animal testing is not a perfect system and there is rarely anything that is. It is the best system we have at present and actually very accurate.
 
However, we should still work to move away from animal testing. That is all.

 @watchthesky Sorry, but you’re wrong to say that it’s “scientifically inaccurate.” Rabbits, dogs, and monkeys, like humans, are all mammals and are therefore very genetically similar to us–in fact, human and chimpanzee DNA only differs by 2%. (Look it up if you don’t believe me!) So the reactions would be much more similar than you would think. In saying this, I’m not condoning animal testing, but to say that it’s scientifically inaccurate is not correct.

@Sara B @watchthesky i know that we are all mammals and i know we’re very similar to chimapanzees, you’re not pointing out anything that i don’t know. but 2% is still a large difference. it’s not scientifically accurate.

 @watchthesky  @Sara 
I reiterate, animal models are the best we have because it tests the impact on the whole body. the body is a system, it doesn’t work in isolated bits. Products we use everyday (i.e cosmetics) can have an impact on our health and thus we should test if they can have a negative impact. 

 @watchthesky  @Sara Just saying 2% is not scientifically accurate? How? Where’s your backup? What magic number will you come out with that is scientifically accurate. Rarely is any scientific test 100%.
 
The default level of significance in science tests is 5%. Then that is revised down as needed  (especially in such tests regarding human safety, where often that number can go down to below 1%). However, 5% significance is more than enough for many tests and is scientifically accurate.
 
Also, that 2% difference between humans and chimpanzees is rarely enough to make enough of a difference in the tests. In fact, even when a safe dose of a chemical is found in an animal, the species’ differences are taken into account and those numbers adjusted. So a safe dose for an animal, will be divided by 100 to make a safe dose for humans, then by 100 again to account for differences between human individuals. Do you see how methodical and cautious the steps are?
 
Please keep an open mind to facts and try to understand what we are saying here. We are not condoning animal testing. However, in some cases it is a necessary evil and when carried out, done with the highest care.

 @watchthesky  @Sara
 Actually, just to let everyone know, 2-5% is a large difference… When it comes to the animal vs man comparison overall. However, when it comes to cosmetics, the only difference that significantly matters is the structure and function of the skin between the animals, since cosmetics only interact (mostly) with the skin. Animal-testing for cosmetics is usually done to determine if there could be allergic and/or other negative reactions. Even in medical studies done on the skin, a lot of animal models such as porcine, mice, and bovine skins are routinely used to predict if similar reactions will manifest in human skin. Just go to Pubmed.com and type in “skin bovine/mice/porcine” and you’ll see thousands of peer-reviwed studies that employ this concept. To say that “it’s not scientifically accurate” would be to say that the tens of thousands of studies done using animal models on issues related to skin, are completely wrong and irrelevant. That’s certainly not the case. I think what needs to be realized is that cosmetics and “medicine” aren’t so strictly and mutually exclusive. There are definitely overlapping areas.
 
I’m not going to debate about whether or not animal testing is “right” or “wrong” or anything in between, since it’s all about a matter of perspective. There really is no clear-cut correct or incorrect answer. I just wanted to clear up that statement.  

@John 3D
 I hope you didn’t mean to say that when I mentioned 2% and 5% it wasn’t a large difference. Of course it is when comparing for example, human and chimpanzee; that 2% is two separate species!
 
However, how large that 2% is, is all relative to the situation and the point I was trying to make is that in the sort of tests carried out for cosmetic testing, like those you mentioned, that 2% species difference is not necessarily large to make a huge difference in the tests. The species used for a test is also carefully selected, to make sure it is the most appropriate.
 
Also, my 5% figure was separate from my point about species differences. I was only trying to explain why you can’t put a figure on what is scientifically accurate, why that figure varies and at what level a test is deemed significant.
 
Anyway, I do agree with your post! There’s so much to be said and a lot of potential for misunderstandings, but I do try to be clear.

No, no, no. My comment was actually submitted before your subsequent posts were written; it’s just the approval process that made everything appear out of order. No I wasn’t referring to your 2% and 5%. Of course I know that 2% is a huge difference. Your explanation is unnecessary. 🙂
 
Anyways, my 2-5% (just an arbitrary range I threw out; I didn’t actually look them up so don’t quote me) was just showing the varying degrees of how different various animals’ DNA (like the ones I mentioned) can be when compared to that of humans. It was only mere coincidence that I selected the numbers 2 and 5, which was the most likely reason you misunderstood my post. Also, there’s the out of order responses thing. xD 

 @watchthesky  @Sara 5% significance level is not at all the same as the 5% difference in DNA.  It’s an entirely different statistical value which has no place here.  And while doses can be adjusted for size, they can’t always be properly adjusted to account for the differences in how our bodies work.  We will have different ways of reacting to chemicals than a rat will, different chemicals in our own bodies to process and break them down, and different structures to protect ourselves from them.  In the case of something new being tested, it would be extremely difficult to predict how a human body will deal with it just from data from another animal, because we may lack defenses that they have.

 @John 3D Oh I get it. Yeah, thanks for clearing that up. It was the numbers you chose that  were coincidentally in my post, so I thought it was directed at me and like you said, the approval system.
 
It’s just so frustrating when people won’t be open to facts, so you try to explain clearly to get through to them.

 @watchthesky Dion’t you think that the ingredients we find in our everyday products weren’t tested on animals? How do you think we found out it was safe for the eyes, the skin, the mouth, etc.? Are you not thankful for the sacrifice of these animals? Because of them we are able to wear mascara without the worry that it might make people go blind

 @watchthesky Oh ya mascara….couldn’t live without it…..seriously? We should be grateful for animals being maimed, violated and assaulted, while their bodies are used for science, WHILE THEY’RE STILL IN THEM??….but you’re right, yay for mascara…

Obviously UD (like many other companies) has successfully managed to produce and sell all of their products without testing it on animals. 

 @TheCandyfloss1 That’s because they use ingredients that have already been tested to be safe. They just take that knowledge and make a formula. 
However, different countries have different policies and standards on the ingredients in their products. What is ok here may not be ok in other countries. The standard procedure for China is to test incoming products just to be sure. 
Also, the statement says that they might have to do one-time animal testing but still haven’t gotten the signal from the government. The Chinese government reserves the right to conduct testing but it doesn’t mean that it always exercises this right. If they stick true to their word about fighting against animal testing, UD will try their best to negotiate with the government and present their data/records  in order to dispel any outstanding concerns and thus avoid this one time testing

Animal testing for medical research is one thing, and I respect the fact that it is necessary and helpful, and that ethical committees strictly control it.
However testing cosmetics on animals is absurd and pointless. The ingredients composing cosmetics have, for most of them, long been used by the industry, and their effects are also well known. Additionnally, new components can easily be tested on skin cell cultures.
Believe me, if animal testing of cosmetics has finally been banned by the European Union, it is, mostly, because it has become unnecessary. The industrial lobbies wouldn’t let the law pass before that.

@Sadie, that is not an argument from both sides.  It is about how some animal rights protesters have done crazy things (not okay) and how pharmeceuticals sometimes need to be tested on animals.  But cosmetics do not need to be tested on animals, so that article isn’t even really relevant here.

 @Sarah S It recognizes the flaws in what is being reported to the public despite their pro-animal testing stance. They recognize that their is still trouble in animal testing regardless of it being for medical purposes or the everyday product. Although animal testing is not the what people consider ideal, testing should still at least play a part in product we use everyday since they can have an impact on people’s health.

I work in the media industry and I deal with statements all the time. This one does not scream bullshit like most I have the pleasure to read. 
Sure, they are after profit, but they are honest about it. And seeing the company’s history, I don’t have too much difficulty believing that, indeed, there is a bit of thought behind the decision. Of course, it would be naive to think they weren’t there for profit at all, but I think their motives and not completely selfish and money-hungry. 

Doesn’t bother me in the least, there are more important things to me regarding… counterfeit goods. That’s important to me. I don’t use makeup all the time. It is rare for me. I only use makeup when I want to. and feel the need too.

I believe that UD’s marketing people has well advised them about how much they are going to earn from the sales of their products in China and think that they did considered that the loss of some of the Western customers will be very very much profitably offset by the Chinese customers’ purchases.
I do not trust the UD’s statement, which I believe is just gimmicky and made out of fear of outraging even more their customers. I think that they wickedly wisely decided to tell about their about-face before being outed by against animal testing’s organizations and before being removed by the so-called ”GOOD GUYS LISTS” which, in the light of the latest happenings, I’d say unreliably list ”good’ companies which are therefore actually allegedly supposed to not test on animals as it also already happened in the cases of  EL, MAC, … and lately TOO FACED.
Sorry but I do not think they are acting in good faith, I am very disapponited in them and by the sad moves they are making to attempt to save their face and most important their earnings.
I will not buy UD again as I do not believe at all UD is still worthy of my confidence after they did change their animal testing policy and also tried to justify it only for mere mean profit reasons, nothing more than this.
I do agree with Vinaj, SkyOlson and Suselew ‘s comments.
 

I do not necessarily seek out cruelty free products, nor do I actually own any UD products, but it boggles my mind that a company that apparently took a very strong stance against animal testing is now expanding into a market that requires it. Especially because it appears that there are other markets (Europe, Australia) they could expand their product to that do not require animal testing and therefore more in keeping with the brands ideology. If China is “not immediately profitable” as their letter states (which I have doubts about) then why not expand into these areas where they might be more profitable right off the bat. Obviously, this is a business decision, which is fine, as they are a business, but even a polite, outwardly upfront letter about wanting to help human rights and end animal testing from within are pretty shallow given that most of their consumers are savvy enough to know what this is really about– money.

<b>SELL OUTS.</b> Pure and simple. Let me start this by saying that I don’t necessarily have strong beliefs about animal testing that I would go to research every single product I buy (although since any company based in the EU or who sells their products in the EU is banned from animal testing, I don’t have to try very hard). However, every time I see a company say they are expanding to China, it’s obvious why.
 
As I was reading this, the first thing that struck me was how painfully, <i>carefully</i> it was worded. It gives me the impression that it was all just to appease their customers (well, I don’t think they’re pretending otherwise anyway) and not that moving to the Chinese market was a difficult decision at all.
 
I won’t censure a company for moving into the large Chinese market; it is a business after all and this is an excellent business decision. There’s nothing wrong, nothing wrong <i>at all</i> with making that move and many companies before have done it successfully. However, when that move causes you to compromise one of the most important policies that your brand is based on, reeks of hypocrisy to me.
 
Estee Lauder also made this decision a few months ago, effectively wiping out their decades of work on this issue, the same goes for UD. In a way, it makes me sad that these companies are letting themselves be bullied just for the opportunity to sell in China. What an ignomonious move on their part.
 
I mean, there are plenty of other markets they would be successful in, yet they choose China. For one thing, there are other Asian markets they could expand to, where UD’s message could actually make a difference and they also wouldn’t have to compromise on their own policies, yet they Choose Chine and it’s glaringly obvious why. Also, UD’s aesthetic really isn’t in line with the Asian market in general (although of course there’s room for variety) so it’s not really the best market to expand to from that perspective.
 
There are many better markets to expand to. I’ve heard many Australians lament the fact that they can’t buy UD over there and would buy their products in a heartbeat if they could (granted the market size is <i>much</i> smaller there, but that’s a different point). I know some European countries don’t get their products and also many countries outside of Europe.
 
There are so many markets potential markets for UD, that going for one simply for the money, being <i>so blinded</i> by money that you betray one of your fundamental beliefs is simply wrong.
 
Urban Decays’s transparency is to be commended, credit where credit’s due, however this press statement does seem to be done partially for the purposes to appease their customers and to keep losses to a minimum. Despite saying that, at the end of the day, I don’t think UD would ever be the type of company to keep this sort from their customers anyway, they are still better than many.
 
Finally, I am in no way bashing China in case it sounds like that. They have their right to insist on animal testing, in turn, companies have the right and <i>choice</i> to refuse to do so and turn away. The issue here is with UD’s hypocrisy on the matter.

Off-topic, but it seems this comment system doesn’t take html codes? I was sure it did. Never had trouble using the codes before, it looks awful, how embarrassing. Sorry about that everyone.

Frankly, China testing on animals is probably NOT the worst they do, so don’t even get me started. But the US does just as badly on violating the earth’s ecosystem and animal habitats. I don’t think it’s a matter of what country UD goes to as much as whay they stand for, whatever they stand for. Going into any country is their choice and it matters not to me. What does matter is what they stand for. Be truthful, thinking you can make a change in the next few years is as unrealistic as building a ladder to the moon. UD sees the $$$ signs and that’s the bottom line. Cheap unionized labor too (women’s rights my eye…literally). I may continue to buy, I may not. My bottom ineis that I’m the consumer and I decide where my money goes.

The goal of any business is to make money. Any secondary agenda gets financed out of that money. Knowing China a tiny bit, they may edit the boxes to take the animal testing stuff off. They do things like that. Maybe UD can make a difference, maybe not. They may find that doing business in China is not to their liking. Maybe they’ll love it. The one thing that I’m sure of is that the conversation on animal testing and women’s rights won’t happen until someone does something. I support UD and always will, more now because of this statement. I hope they make bank.

Frankly, China testing on animals is probably NOT the worst they do, so don’t even get me started. But the US does just as badly on violating the earth’s ecosystem and animal habitats. I don’t think it’s a matter of what country UD goes to as much as whay they stand for, whatever they stand for. Going into any country is their choice and it matters not to me. What does matter is what they stand for. Be truthful, thinking you can make a change in the next few years is as unrealistic as building a ladder to the moon. UD sees the $$$ signs and that’s the bottom line. Cheap un-unionized labor too (women’s rights my eye…literally). I may continue to buy, I may not. My bottom ine is that I’m the consumer and I decide where my money goes

The way this reads (for me) is:
 
“We want to sell our products in China. We are committed to the fight against animal cruelty. China tests on animals. Don’t blame us, blame them. Our brand can change the culture. It’s not our fault, we hate animal testing, but we have to let China do what they want to do.”
 
It’s a letter full of contradictions and, as much as I respect Urban Decay’s decision to release a statement like this and not just ignore something that is a very passionate cause for a lot of people, all they are doing through this letter is trying to soften the blow and take blame away from their company for a decision that was theirs to begin with. If they’re so against animal testing, they should not put themselves in a market which openly and unapologetically tests on animals. But we’re supposed to just blame the Chinese government/market because it’s not Urban Decay’s fault? That’s just a cop out. The brand makes plenty (more than plenty!) of money in very strong cosmetics markets already without putting their policies in jeopardy.
 
Not knocking the Chinese at all, but their culture simply does not care whether or not products are tested on animals. The fact that the overseas component Urban Decay doesn’t test on animals won’t even register with them. You can’t market your cosmetics as Cruelty-Free in China as you do here because they’re not going to be cruelty free. So even if a few Chinese buyers do happen to be interested in the idea of cruelty-free makeup, buying Urban Decay from the Chinese market is going to do absolutely nothing because those cosmetics WON’T be cruelty-free. You are allowing that market to use your cosmetics in ways that directly contradict what is supposed to be your moral stance.
 
You know what would have more of an impact? One of the top cosmetics brands not entering the Chinese market in the first place and doing so on principle. Why don’t you expand to other countries? Ones that don’t test on animals?
 
I understand their statement that they personally will not be testing on animals, but they are also well aware that China WILL test their cosmetics on animals. Allowing someone else to do so is essentially no different than doing so yourself. Allowing them to test your products on animals is indirectly supporting animal testing. It doesn’t matter how much you speak out against it, how much you say it’s wrong or the fact that your brand as a whole doesn’t test on animals. Allowing another market to conduct their tests sends no message at all. If you let them do it, they’re going to do it and nothing is ever going to change.
 
It was nice of you to come out with this statement letting people know about your changes, but that doesn’t automatically make you the good guy. Trying to justify a bad decision doesn’t make it any less of a bad decision. And trying to use fancy wording to make yourself seem like champions for the cause is just a cop out. Sorry, Urban Decay, but I am disappointed. Not only in the decision that you’ve made to enter the Chinese market, but also in the tactic that you’re trying to use to make everything look like it’s okay. Carefully worded press releases don’t erase the fact that you’re no longer a Cruelty Free company. Sorry.

History was one of my majors in college. And I had concentrations in Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology as well. And…I pay attention to what’s going on in the world.

 @nacacijini respect your comment, but pay attention to who publishes your textbooks. perhaps if you lived in china for a bit and not just reading about what a non-Chinese wrote about them, you’d understand more. everything else i agree on, this is a disappointing decision by UD.

 @xandreaaa The beauty of studying history in university is that the professors (at least at my university) are products of the region and culture that they teach. When I studied Chinese history, the three professors that I became familiar with were all from China. And outside of the core curriculum, we didn’t have textbooks (not saying this to be condescending or rude at all, so I hope you don’t take it that way…it’s just something people don’t often know). Nevertheless, was something that I said incorrect? Perhaps I could have used “government” instead of “culture” when addressing the issue of animal testing in China (of course I am aware that there are people in China who are sensitive to the idea of animal testing, so that was a semantic mistake on my part), and I certainly don’t think that I said anything insulting or closed-minded about the Chinese people. Unfortunately, as much as I’d love to, I don’t have the expendable income to move to China, or any of the other regions that I’ve studied, so I focus on learning what I can from here and maybe one day have the chance to travel to these places. But if something I said was incorrect, let me know. I’d like to have all of the information that I can.

I don’t exclusively buy cruelty free make-up but when a brand markets itself as cruelty free then allows its products to be tested on animals, it makes me think twice about the brand quality. Reputation is everything, especially with so many indie brands who can duplicate the same quality products. I will definitely think twice about buying from UD now. 

This commenting system is SO frustrating!!!! I cant even read through all the comments. Just like 10 at a time when there are 247…. ugh…

 @Christine (Temptalia) I’ve been finding that there are lots of times the Livefyre system doesn’t load completely…that leads to the button not showing up at the bottom or showing up, but being unclickable, and it also won’t load enough to log me in, sometimes.
 
I don’t know if it’s a load issue on particular pages…I finally had to go to a page with a low comment number, wait for the widget to log me in there, and then refresh this page before it’d become fully functional. This all just so I could tell you it’s got some sporadic functionality.
 
Hopefully that won’t amount to bandwidth-eating reloading on your server…

 @Quinctia  @Christine (Temptalia) It happens to me too! All this week, I’ve been booted out in essence for hours on end, even though I’m still logged into Livefyre.  I wrote to Shaun about it once but it came… eventually. I was so excited to read about your trick for fixing things but, alas, I tried it and it doesn’t work me.  Everything becomes unclickable or else, vanishes entirely– from buttons to even the ability to log in and post as a guest. When it comes back, typing is a problem (like now) as words vanish, or don’t show up and I have to scroll with the mouse for it to appear. So odd.  
 

as if the CEO and executives of Urban Decay aren’t wealthy enough.. this is asinine. they’re just like every other corporation in america, greedy and willing to compromise their alleged beliefs they constantly preach just to get the next million. jesus christ it makes me sick. sell outs. sorry christine, but there really isn’t anything nice to say about this. that letter from UD is a joke and i can’t believe they think their customers aren’t smart enough to see through it and see it’s a BS apology for their greed. sickening

I will no longer be buying Urban Decay.  If they really believed in a cruelty-free company, they would join Cruelty Free International and fight for change, not cave in because it’s convenient and profitable for them to do so.  http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/ 
 
One assumes this has a lot to do with the long-rumored sale of Urban Decay.  As WWD has been reporting for some time…  “Deutsche Bank sent out books detailing the finances of Urban Decay to potential strategic buyers…”

I will no longer be buying Urban Decay.  If they really believed in a cruelty-free company, they would join Cruelty Free International and fight for change, not cave in because it’s convenient and profitable for them to do so.  http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/ 
 
One assumes this has a lot to do with the long-rumored sale of Urban Decay.  As WWD has been reporting for some time…  “Deutsche Bank sent out books detailing the finances of Urban Decay to potential strategic buyers…”

Sorry for so much commenting but I have a LOT to say about this!!!!
 
When you let greed get to your head and you forget the purpose and passion you once had, you lose everything. I believe that the greed that UD is feeling right now is through the roof.
 
They had to WORK to build up this company and now they’re tearing it apart brick by brick, starting with their strong-hearted vegan customers. It’s just sad.

Like many others, I do not exclusively use cruelty-free products, yet I am shocked that Urban Decay would begin selling their products in China.  Their position against animal- testing has been foundational to their company.  Not only am I considering boycotting the company, but I would also strongly encourage them to change the name of their brushes- no good karma can come of this!

So, in a nutshell: UD is against animal testing from the bottom of their heart, but they’ll let Chinese government agencies test their products on animals, although they’re not sure if they’re actually gonna do it (??), but that’s for a good cause.
No, I don’t buy it. The Chinese consumer is a very, very long way behind the Western consumer in terms of awareness (environmental sustainability, animal testing, respect for communities), and I don’t think the change will come from UD… The change will come from education and open view to what the rest of the world does, which is not possible nowadays due to the form of government.
Besides, how can they mark their products “cruelty free” there if they were actually tested on animals, be it by a government agency?? The animal testing itself would be utterly absurd, since us Western consumers have been using these products for years, conducting a reliable human testing phase…
 

 @Lulle Totally disagree.  China has invested more than another other country or countries combined in research and actual development of alternative fuel sources.  Their solar program far surpasses anything in North America.  China is not some backwards country in the dark ages and I’m certain many of it’s citizens would be quite offended by your statement.

 @wwendalynne Alternative energy sources and animal testing are two quite different subjects… and the former is not necessarily developped because of environmental concern.
 

 @Lulle As someone who is Chinese, i have to agree. Alternative energy is developed in china not due to ethical or environmental concerns but due to economic necessity as china has a huge population than can not be sustained on gas along. However, i do see rampant disregard for animal rights and environmentalism and other social issues in china. Not by all of course, there are always exceptions but in general it appears to be true.

I have two major qualms with the UD press release.
 
First, if you knowingly enter a market where there is a high chance that your products will be tested on animals, that directly goes against your cruelty-free mandate. These are opposing values with no middle ground.
 
Second,  I have issues with a company trying to masquerade their business decision as action towards furthering human rights in China.  I truly do believe that those working at UD support values such as women’s and worker’s rights, however if they were serious about these claims they would announce concrete actions (such as a certain % going to a charitable organization to improve worker’s conditions).  Trying to champion yourself as a human rights activist trivializes the real work and risk that others are undertaking in the region.

 @DarlaB I was going to say the same thing, but you already said it! It also seems foolish to try to change China’s policies by becoming part of the problem. 

 @DarlaB Right. The wording of this statement is so infuriating. They’re coming into China to make money, and then have the gall to claim that it’s for our own good (the Chinese people’s).

 @DarlaB THIS. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but as others have said, there are so many other ways to be a champion for animal rights that don’t involve selling yourself out. If they are incredibly proactive and aggressive in spreading their message (ala Lush), then yeah, I’ll get it. For now, it looks like they’re jumping aboard the same bandwagon MAC and Smashbox are… Only they were smart enough wait a little longer and allow them be in the front line. Seeing the enormous outrage people had at their very covert changes to their policy, they decided to go in the opposite direction and be totally forthright. Seems like someone has a great public relations team. Ugh, Urban… SHAME. ON. YOU.

A lot of strong opinions posted, as to be expected, and many angry.  Honestly, I’m not sure this is so black and white – I don’t have the full picture of what the decisions were, the potential market, China manufacturing potential, the regulatory landscape, etc.  I can imagine that UD did their research in coming to this decision and the decision to put out this press release.  If UD takes a stand and does not expand to China, it would have no impact on change in China.  It would be easy and straightforward for them to stay away.  But if UD stands behind their words, and I have no evidence that they would not, I believe there is potential for change.  Cosmetic companies can unite and affect change.  They can persuade US and other nations to lead in novel testing and setting new standards.  My God, UD has been tested on tons of animals – us – why not harness data from existing products and demonstrate overwhelming safety?
 
The let down here for me would be if they end up skirting the issue, not putting the effort into backing up their beliefs as stated in the press release.  UD has survived in a market where others have failed – I have optimism that they can make this work.
 
 

I personally don’t think they should entire a market that test on animals, especially since that is something they tried so hard to stand for as a company. I believe the company would be more affective in creating change while they are outside of the Chinese market.  Being that they’ve already made the business decision to move to China, imo they have no longer have leverage to push for change, they’ve already conformed to what country’s law.  My mom always says, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything” and I believe that their “hoping” for change isn’t looking at the situation realistically. I do believe that the company really thinks they can cause change.  But I would pose the question to them, what if nothing changes?? What will they do if 20 years from now China still has the same animal testing laws in place.  Will that be the point at which they decide to pull out of the market?!  I doubt it, I just think they are “putting the cart before the horse”!!   Since I do not buy products that are tested on animals (in any part of the world) I will not be re-purchasing any of the brands products from here on out.  That being said, I’m not a huge fan of their items, so me not buying isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Anyway, just my opinion.  I wish them the best and hope that China will actually change their laws.  If UD has something to do with that, they will get my applause, however I HIGHLY DOUBT IT!

I meant to add, Burt’s Bees sells in China and DOES NOT test on animals, so it is possible.
 
To quote, “Burt’s Bees had to deal with an issue that went straight to one of its core values: animal testing. The company doesn’t do it, but the Chinese government requires animal testing on imported products … Executives finally chose a partner with local manufacturing and established go-to market channels and, most importantly, one that shared Burt’s Bees core fundamental values.”
 
Read the whole article: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/09/25/1512399/burts-bees-saw-opportunity-challenges.html

 @Grizzabella And yet, Burt’s Bee’s is owned by Clorox, which does carry out animal testing to make sure their cleaning products are safe for humans. 

 @Grizzabella I think if UD had posted this (or similar) instead of this spin zone letter, they wouldn’t be peeving nearly as many fans as they have. Then again, if they cared, they would have known that this is possible.

I am not going to say that I buy completely cruelty free makeup- I try and be conscious, but at times I have to comply with my extremely sensitive skins needs with things like skincare and foundation. However, it appalls me that they not only have the nerve to give up their integrity and go against the claims they have made since their inception, but then go and try to claim that they are still cruelty free is completely hypocritical and offensive. This is a decision based on avarice and greed, and nothing more. The statement above is a long winded, pathetic excuse. It’s not even the teasing- yes, that is terrible, but the fact that they continue to use cruelty free as a selling point. What they get now is people buying into them for being cruelty free and such, but then they get the chinese market as well. All they see are the dollar signs. Even though I don’t always completely purchase cruelty free (I’m slowly making the transition and trying to cycle the products out of my collection that aren’t) I will never buy from Urban Decay again because I can’t condone to a company being this completely shady and greedy and disgusting.

Initial thoughts: I’m very, very skeptical that this decision is actually about advancing rights.  I think it’s more likely to be purely financial.
 
Still, I think the press statement is really well written, and I really appreciate that they are being forthright and upfront about the fact that going into China = animal testing.  They aren’t trying to hide that from consumers, and that is worth something these days. 

The press release just sounds stupidly naive. I do think that the distinction that the company is not doing any testing, but the Chinese government may do it of their own volition is an important distinction, however.  If the company isn’t changing its own production process, I wouldn’t say the domestic customers are funding animal testing, so I don’t think it’d change the company’s status from being cruelty free.
 
My opinion on this may not sway others, though, because I don’t care one way or another about animal testing.  I’m skeptical of the moniker in general…the outcry stems from the history of testing, right?  So, I’m pretty sure the tried and true ingredients were at one point put onto animals, and I’d be willing to bet there are a lot of ingredients that are tested on animals before they arrive to the cosmetics companies. “We don’t need to do it any more” might be a salient point, but anyone wearing cosmetics is benefitting from the legacy of what was done in the past for testing ingredients/products.

I don’t believe for a second they actually believe they won’t make a profit right away..  If they really believed they wouldn’t make a profit right away AND they had to give up their most valued moral tenant which will damage their existing business, possibly beyond repair, why on earth would they do it?  That would be a really bad business decision. If they really believe they can change an entire culture, that strikes me as arrogant, not honorable.  Allowing UD to be sold in China and be tested on animals won’t change anything. NOT allowing their products to be sold in China where there may be demand for it would.

I’m Chinese. It’s true we don’t really care if it’s animal-tested tho we WILL op for the ones that don’t when it claims so.

But wake up and be reasonable, DO WE EVER USED ANYTHING ON OUR FACE THAT”S NOT TESTED ON ANIMAL? even stuff as common as glycerin has been tested on animal for milliion times for years! years before we realize anmial-testing is not right! even if a brand swears to their mother’s grave that they’re cruelty free (like Body Shop), they don’t do the dirty job, THEIR SUPPLIERS DO IT FOR THEM, or the suppliers of the suppliers do.

“we do not test on animals” is just some gimmick pretty to the ears. why it has to be buggin about the country the policy the human right again (even tho i know it’s really not in good condition) when it’s just some wording games?

Not all cultures share North American Ideals and values, to assume that they should or to try and shame them for not is wrong and ethnocentric.

Ah, no, I do think “PC bullshit” is entirely appropriate.  You can constructively a country government policies without resorting to ethnic generalizations about an entire population of people.  The fact that some people here can’t seem to do that says more about their internalized racism and privilege than anything else.

 @JiveLai  Nars doesn’t and it doesn’t have its suppliers test for them either: “NARS does not test on animals, nor do we have any other parties, such as suppliers, conduct any animal testing on our behalf.”
 

 @Kafka And this is another reason why I will continue to buy from Nars.. I might give maybe a few bucks more, but it’s worth it.

Hypocritical and bloody condescending to the Chinese public, whom I’m guess are not the intended audience for this statement. I’m going to post this on Weibo (the Chinese version of Twitter/Facebook).

This is just insulting.You don’t change China by submitting to their stupid laws. If UD really wanted to change something they should have moved in a complete opposite direction: boycott the chinese market, ask other companies to do so, tell the government to change.Well, they just lost me as a buyer and supporter. And also i might add that this move was a high risk. MAC did it too but MAC has a gazillion of loyal fan and buyers, most UD buyers loved the brand and started using it just because of the no-test policy.Illamasqua should send UD and MAC flowers or something at this point.

Y’know, I appreciate that unlike most cosmetic companies that have decided to sell their products in China but claim to have a cruelty free policy, UD have actually bothered to release a press statement stating that they are a bunch of money hungry hypocrites. 
What I do not appreciate is the manipulative manner of this statement. I don’t care how many hypocritical excuses they make, it’s all bullshit. This is a bad decision and I hope their expansion into China fails miserably. Animal testing is not an effective means of cosmetic testing because we are genetically different and therefore we could react differently. And c’mon, if a cosmetics company has to test on animals – it should make you consider what nasty things they are actually putting in cosmetics and whether you want to slather that over your face.

I wish they’d just be honest- it is mainly about turning a profit. That’s why they’re not expanding to places like Australia, even though our policies are much more amenable to their cause, we’re just not as appealing a market as China. Personally I’m not going to come out and say I’m an ethical consumer, I seldom research company policies and I figure virtually all cosmetics companies benefit from a pre-existing corpus of knowledge gleaned from animal testing (as numerous other commenters have pointed out). But if their company is going to bleat at me about the wholesomeness of their products I’d like it if they either stuck to that or at least didn’t rub it in the consumer’s face when they decide not to stick to it. 
 
So just say it’s about profit or say nothing- you’re going to lose some customers either way, why not just be honest? They’re a for-profit cosmetics company, not a charity, and their main market has been in a downturn. We get it, it’s about money. Don’t blame China for this one. 

Ditto here. New Zealand is a small country yes, but it’s growing globally and it frustrates me that companies like UD aren’t bothering to expand in Australasia.

It’s really a press states nothing but a piece of crap saying “we want to make money but, excuse us, we have to write this long crap to make it look like we are still after something good”. The wording and phrasing are insanely naive and contradicting itself. I don’t buy it and I am not a UD fan anyway.
 

Forgive me if I’m rather naive to Chinese culture and subcultures, but I have a hard time seeing how UD can properly profit from going to China regardless. Much of UD’s products are, first off, risque-ly named, and last time I checked that sex themed amusement park that they attempted to build in China didn’t go over so well. Will they be altering their products accordingly? Secondly, they have wildly unique colors. Its hard to sell an electric blue eyeliner here in the States, and I can’t imagine it flying off the shelves in China. 
 
All in all, I have a hard time seeing how they can benefit greatly from their expansion to China (while their country does greatly out populate many others, I doubt that ALL of their women wear make up), on top of the fact that they could potentially be endangering one of their core values.

 @LaraM They have the internet there too Lara..  You are quite wrong about their culture.  You do know that China is one of the richest countries in the world and their buying power far exceeds that of the USA.  It’s only a matter of time before they surpass the USA in financial power.  Truth.

 @wwendalynne  @LaraM
 Just letting you know that unlike the US, China censors/blocks a lot of websites. It’s called “The Great Firewall of China.” There are ways to get around it, but usually that’s a bit too technically complicated for the average consumer to bother with. That’s not to say that your statement doesn’t have validity. I’m just pointing out that yes they have the internet, but there is certainly a greater degree of control there than in the US.

 @John 3D  @wwendalynne  @LaraM Living and working in China currently as I am, I can testify that VPN’s (a way around the Great Firewall) are a part of everyday life for tens of millions of Chinese people (not to mention the expats here).
 
And as a point of interest, my country of citizenship, Australia, also has some of the most restrictive internet censorship laws in the developed world. But nobody ever talks about that, preferring to target China instead.

 @wwendalynne Damn! This reminded me that I really wanted Radium 24/7 Liquid Liner!!!! LOL. More than anything, I’m irritated by this stupid ass press release. It’s like they are saying they are going to make an unpopular decision with a large portion of their consumer base, but don’t blame them, blame China! They aren’t doing it for profit, nooo. They are acting out of purely altruistic reasons. 
 
I’m not a fan of animal testing, but I take no issue with them wanting to expand. But this release, what a bunch of hypocritical BS, and sort of condescending to boot.

 @Li Wen  @wwendalynne  @LaraM
Well conversely, I’m sure that the same workaround apply for the Australians. But that’s irrelevant. What I’m saying is that despite having a workaround, not everyone knows how to do it and/or not everyone does. In the end, there is still more control in China than in the US.
 
But I’m sure many of us (including myself) would like to know how these VPNs work. Because I’ve encountered a few Chinese readers that have emailed me saying that they can’t read my site. If what you’re saying is true, enlighten us. Thanks!

 @wwendalynne As a native Chinese beautyholic I’d just like to point out you’d be suprised by how popular UD as a brand is overall in the chinese beauty community. Sure, the best seller had always been their UDPP in all shades, but thats not to say the 24/7 eyeliner in all bizarre shades are a complete turn off. I myself, looking 120% asian with single eyelids and a flat nosebridge and strong yellow undertones, find it relatively comfortable to run around shanghai in bright blue eyeliner. Much as I don’t see a lot of “me”s around the city, allow me to point out naked and naked 2 were UD’s best sellers for basic practicality reasons.

 @xamyx  @wwendalynne  @LaraM Well, they are the single largest foreign investor in American debt, but depending on what statistics you use, it rounds out to 8-15%.  Roughly a quarter of American debt is held by foreign investors overall, but the majority of it is still held by American financial institutions.  I’m not disagreeing that it isn’t a substantial amount of money, but it’s a slight overstatement to say they hold the bulk of it.

It really depends on what area of China you’re dealing with.  In the more conservative, rural areas, you’re less likely to see it, in part because the cumulative wealth of the country has yet to filter down to the lowest levels.  But more industrially developed areas and major cities have a considerably more relaxed standards, luxury income, and significantly more intercultural exchange.  Based on sheer demographics alone, the country may provide them revenue that well surpasses what they rake in between the United States and elsewhere.

 @LaraM Of the many people living in China today, there will be several people who are originally from overseas who live in China for business or whatever reason. To say that Urban Decay will not sell is somewhat far-fetched. The “sex theme” that you say they have (which I honestly didn’t notice) should not be an issue either. NARS products are just as bad, if not worse in terms of names. The amusement park would obviously not go over well in any country..! 
 
Second point was their wild colors. In my travels to China, the colors blue and purple are amongst the most used eyeshadows by a lot of women. I am Chinese myself, from Hong Kong, and my mother only uses bright blue and bright purple. 

Personally, I would really like to see people refrain from negative and uneducated comments about China and the Chinese people while at the same time stating support for a cruelty free environment.  It’s rather hypocritical.  Christine’s supporters come from many countries worldwide and a little respect would go towards a better community environment.  

 @wwendalynne Hear hear! I actually find it pretty hilarious that UD is managing to diss both parties with this statement – the existing cruel-conscious customer base, and the market that it’s trying to enter.

This is very disappointing, I am actively trying to select brands that don’t test on animals and to hear this from a brand that prides itself as a cruelty free company is a slap in the face of the consumer. I understand that China is a large market but maybe UD could have made a stance and not broke into the Chinese market but instead continue to brand themselves as a great company with high standards. Definitely leaves a bad taste for me. 

This is what I just wrote to Urban Decay:
 
Dear Urban Decay, I have been a consumer of your amazing products for years, and a loyal customer as you were against animal testing. I am both a longtime vegan and an animal rights activist. Today I had the displeasure of reading your press release statement regarding your new “for-profit” business venture in China and what animal testing regulations you as a company may need to meet before being deemed safe for Chinese consumers. Within your statement you said your two main causes have been animal welfare and women’s rights. I am wondering if you would continue to venture into a business partnership with China if it mean going against women’s rights instead of animal right. Just because animals cannot speak for themselves and women can, doesn’t make this right. I find it both disappointing and extremely insulting that you would claim to dislike China’s animal testing regulations, but be perfectly fine with making a profit (at the cost of animal wellbeing, health, and lives). I don’t believe you will be making any changes to animal testing laws and women’s rights by this business venture, and are hiding behind this reasoning. You are  solely trying to make a profit, and should just be honest about it, as your consumers are nor stupid or naive. If you truly valued your company’s morals and belief of being against animal testing, you would have never considered this venture in the first place. Therefore, I will no longer be a consumer of your products. 

im so beyond pissed. i was soo happy that i had made a decision to stick with UD since its inception due to not testing on animals. their motives are all about and only about money. as of late, since it came out that mac tested on animals i have slowly stopped purchasing from them and i was trying to replace my products with UD. so much for that! now i have all these UD products that i want to get rid of. this is so absolutely infuriating.

This is what I just wrote to them, as I try my best to only use 100% vegan products that are not tested on animals, and do not have third party companies who test on animals either.
 
Dear Urban Decay,
 
I have been a consumer of your amazing products for years, and a loyal customer as you were against animal testing. I am both a longtime vegan and an animal rights activist. Today I had the displeasure of reading your press release statement regarding your new “for-profit” business venture in China and what animal testing regulations you as a company may need to meet before being deemed safe for Chinese consumers. Within your statement you said your two main causes have been animal welfare and women’s rights. I am wondering if you would continue to venture into a business partnership with China if it mean going against women’s rights instead of animal right. Just because animals cannot speak for themselves and women can, doesn’t make this right. I find it both disappointing and extremely insulting that you would claim to dislike China’s animal testing regulations, but be perfectly fine with making a profit (at the cost of animal wellbeing, health, and lives). I don’t believe you will be making any changes to animal testing laws and women’s rights by this business venture, and are hiding behind this reasoning. You are  solely trying to make a profit, and should just be honest about it, as your consumers are nor stupid or naive. If you truly valued your company’s morals and belief of being against animal testing, you would have never considered this venture in the first place. Therefore, I will no longer be a consumer of your products. 

Urban Decay is a business out to make money. They are not the ones performing the animal testing, and they do make some good points about why it’s important that they create a presence in the Chinese market. So I really think all the rage and boycotting is unnecessary. Animal testing is horrible, but it’s naive to think that UD isn’t going to try to expand, especially when the U.S. economy is poor and China is quite wealthy. 
 
Maybe I’m cynical. But honestly, UD, hasn’t really done anything wrong, from a business standpoint, and even an ethical standpoint. They cannot control the Chinese government, and they also can’t refuse the opportunity for more global branding. As long as they don’t perform the testing themselves, they’re fine by me. It’s the citizens of China who should be angry at their own government, not companies like UD.

Ok, if I were a marketing/BD consultant to UD, I would support going into China. But I also uphold corporations to a certain degree of honesty and long-view thinking; and saying one thing when you mean another, not to mention turning your loyal customer base against you by betraying your company’s brand image, is not good business.

What’s wrong from a business and ethical standpoint is that being cruelty free was supposed to be part of their identity. And maybe they can’t control what China does, but they can control what they do. There are many other markets where UD could expand. 

 @Screamer77 You realize China has the largest population in the world right….? No other country would even come close to being as profitable as China.

 @totaldebmove  @Screamer77 I don’t think anybody’s ignoring the fiscal reality of China’s middle class.  The backlash UD is receiving from its more passionate consumer base is part of the reality of the business model they chose.  That’s the risk you take when you put yourself out there as a moral or ethical authority.  They made a strong stand against animal testing, then completely undermined that when a financial opportunity too large to ignore came their way.
 
Frankly, the press release is half of the problem.  The wording is just condescending – they want to exploit Chinese money while shifting the blame of invalidating their own principles onto the PRC.  I’d find it wiser of them to have released a statement along the lines of, “China is too big of a market for us to ignore, and we can’t let the opportunity slip by unless we want to be phased out by other competitors over time.”  That would have gone over better than waxing morality over changing the ways of China.

 @totaldebmove  @Screamer77 I should add that I’m not a completely cruelty-free consumer, so I’m not passionately opposed to UD expanding into China for that reason.  I do, however, find it hypocritical of them to garner a consumer base using a very specific rhetoric and then turning it around later on.

They can NOT expand into China but choose many companies that do not force cosmetics companies to test on animals when there are sound and proven alternatives.  It’s posts like this that UD wants as validation of their actions.  You are pretty delusional if you believe what you just wrote.

Exactly! China is a huge market and it is harmful to many companies to ignore it. Urban Decay is a private company so none of us know their financials (who knows if they are doing well in this economy) but it probably has investors. And these investors want growth and certainly don’t want stagnation. My guess is that there is little growth left in the American market. I’m not sure if Urban Decay has a big presence in Europe. I remember Lisa Eldridge, the British MUA, saying that she’s not familiar with the brand and that kinda shocked me since she uses everything from Bourjois to Chanel. As for Australia, my understanding is that selling there is basically a money loser for many businesses but a lot of brands who can afford to, stay there to have a presence. 
 
And I wonder how many people here realize that all the ingredients used in Urban Decay products were tested on animals ages before UD used it in their formulas. That’s how UD knows they are safe. Someone else did the testing.
 
Unlike some of the other Chinese people posting, I feel UD is not talking down to Chinese people. Chinese people are not as aware about animal testing so there is something to learn there. It’s not as deep in our culture or lexicon. Few people in the Western world is unaware of animal testing. Whether its ingrained in movies, TV or the news (Legally Blonde 2? PETA?), everyone has a good idea of the issue whatever their opinion. If UD goes into China and actually does marketing (something they don’t seem to do much of in N. America with the exception of blogger relationships), I can see how this will effectively differentiate the brand and its products. Also, last few times I was visiting family in China, I noticed that so many people had dogs as pets. Mostly rich people who are the likely target market for UD products. I think these pet owners don’t want testing done on their pets if they realized that’s happening. 

The fact that gazillions of years ago products had to be tested for lack of knowledge and better alternatives doesn’t at all justify testing in 2012.

UD is probably looking primarily to *manufacture* in China, which I feel, given the economic climate of the US, is actually more offensive than the mere chance they will test on animals. UD should really be making more of an effort to keep jobs here, in the US (unless I missed something and the unemployment rate dropped). Unfortunately for the US economy, many companies are seeking to create jobs overseas, due to things such as taxes and government regulation (yes, I see the irony). With the previous administrations tax cuts in jeopardy, it seems like a very well timed move on UDs part. Maybe those of us in the US should just stick with “Made in America” labels.

 @xamyx I share your concern about this. For what it’s worth, “Made in USA” doesn’t necessarily mean American jobs were preserved. A lot of companies hire prisons to provide labor, and they pay the prisoners less than minimum wage – so they’re getting the “Made in USA” label without having to provide regular jobs at minimum or better wages. And this helps keep non-prison labor wages lower, so it’s a huge win-win for big business. I don’t know if it’s okay to post a link, so I’ll just say: put “prison industrial complex” in a search engine and read the Wikipedia article for more info.

If they intend to move their manufacturing to China, then I admit that would be more likely to put me off from the brand.  Even overlooking the fact that it would mean the loss of Western jobs (and the safety of FDA regulation), how any company that proposes an ethical backdrop to their business would think it a wise PR move to shift manufacturing to China after the Foxconn scandal is beyond me.

I agree with this entirely. Perhaps because I care a great deal more for the well-being of humans, if UD decided to manufacture in China, I would consider not buying their products any more.
 
I never have bought UD due to their “ethical” claims, so it never really influenced my decision to buy or not buy from them, but since they are bringing up the issue, it is definitely on my mind when I think about their products (and not in a good way, since China has such a wide variety of human rights issues).
 
You also raise a very good point regarding FDA regulation. I have stopped buying cosmetics when I realized that they are manufactured in China. I simply do not trust their safety. The FDA does not do nearly enough in our own country, in my opinion,  but they do enough that I can mostly trust the products that they regulate.

This actually really makes me happy in that if I get a job in China, I can purchase Urban Decay’s palettes. The most common brands in shopping centres there are Dior and Chanel, and those are too expensive for me. I like the quality of Urban Decay and am looking forward to seeing their counters when I travel. 
 
Also, I find that many of the American commenters are being highly ethnocentric and possibly racist due to their passion for animals. I understand that you care for animals deeply, but not everywhere in the world is America and has American values. You must understand this before you type in furor, attacking China, Chinese people, anyone who is of Chinese descent, and the Chinese culture itself. Please be aware of your actions before you act upon them.

UD is just doing what every other business in other industries are trying to do: make a profit. From an economic point of view, this is a great move on their part. What makes me mad, however, is that they are going against their core values (cruelty free) and strategic plan (sell cruelty free and vegan products). While making a profit plays a significant part in the running of a business it certainly isn’t everything. They have to keep their customers satisfied too, which UD won’t be doing if they start selling somewhere that requires animal testing. They will be losing their customer base, therefore decreasing their profits instead of raising them. After all, that is what UD set out to do in the first place. In my opinion the costs outweigh the benefits of this upcoming business transaction.

P.S. I in no way support animal testing! I am just looking at this situation from a business point of view.

Selling in China does not mean the products will automatically be tested on animals. It means UD will not be able to stop the Chinese govt from testing if it chooses to do so. Interestingly, Rimmel’s position on cruelty is that they avoid testing as much as possible, but the UK government forces them to test certain items. And if MUFE wanted to market their neon Aquacreams in the US without the “don’t use on your eyes” warning, they’d have to go through FDA approval, which IIUC would involve killing a lot of mice.
 
The Chinese government is not alone in making it difficult for companies to promise to be 100% cruelty free. I don’t know enough to judge, but it’s very possible that UD’s approach here really is the best for the cause as well as for their profit.
 
And before we judge them for wanting to make money, I think we need to be aware that a lot of the products we buy are made by children and slaves, and a lot of companies we work for engage in wrongs ranging from ageism and tolerance of sexual/racial harassment to outright law-breaking, and we have no idea about these things because they’re hidden from us. There’s no telling how much I have inadvertently benefited from practices I would never condone, because it’s just so hard to find out what businesses are doing behind closed doors. UD is being pretty up front here, and I appreciate that.

It is obvious that this is a “for-profit” decision.. Since you are talking about a looooooong looooooong time traditional country that here people will bring their food (like a dog) alive to a restaurant, and give it to the chef to cook it and bring it to them! So I am so sorry to tell that I don’t believe a change is even possible either outside of that circle or within! I believe UD just tried (and made) the kindest explanation about their plan to conquer China, but I don’t buy the statement.. I understand the profit side and why they have to enter the Asian market but I wished they could have kept their promise to themselves and only enter the countries without the strain of animal testing.. It is so frasturating that people all over the world is trying to stop violence against animals and China is still insisting on this. Since China is the second biggest market in the world, unfortunately I can’t blame UD for their decision, but UD can’t blame for making the decision is they are no longer in my shopping list. 

It is obvious that this is a “for-profit” decision.. To respect for readers of Christine from all over the world, but China’s respect for animals are far away from changing it from within (I may never understand Chinese culture, so I am again sorry if I am disrespecting anyone but this is just my opinion that it you eat dog meat, then animals right is far away from discussion). So I am so sorry to tell that I don’t believe a change is even possible either outside of that circle or within! I believe UD just tried (and made) the kindest explanation about their plan to conquer China, but I don’t buy the statement.. I understand the profit side and why they have to enter the Asian market but I wished they could have kept their promise to themselves and only enter the countries without the strain of animal testing.. It is so frasturating that people all over the world is trying to stop violence against animals and China is still insisting on this. Since China is the second biggest market in the world, unfortunately I can’t blame UD for their decision, but UD can’t blame for making the decision is they are no longer in my shopping list. 

 @casey23 By your logic, when you eat the 10th most intelligent animal species on a regular basis (pigs), what right do you have to speak of animal rights?
 
Also, only a small proportion of people in China eat dog meat – it’s popular mainly in the southern provinces, and even there, it’s not as ubiquitous as pork.

 @Li Wen first of all I don’t eat pig meat either… plus as I mentioned before I am not blaming you or any other country or nation for their traditions (I tried to explain it before but it seems like I failed, apologies..)
 
But since we are talking only about “my logic”, I don’t like the idea that animals have to suffer just to make people a little bit prettier. That is it!!!!

I agree, UD is deliberately causing suffering to countless animals in order to make a buck. What crap. I won’t be buying their products any more.

Have any of you guys ever been to China? No! then don’t say anything bad about things that you don’t know! I am a Chinese woman, and I never feel disrespect by anyone. In fact, only few days ago, a British man sexual assult a girl on the street in China, who is disrespect women? We are cruel to animals? Should I suppose gavage geese to get Foie gras is respectful to animals?

So many negative comments about china on your blog… I will still buy UD products unless there is another brand that is really good in my opinion.

Best of luck, UD. For change in attitudes towards animal testing (and women’s rights) to be possible, new views need to be available to those whose attitudes we want to change. I am happy to hear that Urban Decay will be flagging their anti animal testing policies in China. 

I believe that a distinction should be made between Chinese government policies and the people themselves i.e. the everyday Chinese consumer. The people in China are much more liberal and less barbaric than you think. 

I’m glad UD came out with this statement, for the sole reason that I can now add them to the list of brands I won’t purchase. Thanks for making the decision easy UD, better this than find out several purchases down the line! Such a shame as it’s an awesome brand and I truly love the products. But there are many many more out there willing to stick to their principles…

I find this quite amusing…given that other readers here have dissed me and made catty comments in regards to my past postings that I would never never never buy any makeup products Made in China…..And now, some of you are offended by the actions of Urban Decay!!!!  
 
 Now, Urban Decay decides to market in China.  Urban Decay should be called Parodoxical Makeup Brand.  Its statement sounds so defensive.  Doesnt Urban Decay realize that some of its own products are filled in China?  Yep, it’s ok to stick a needle into that Chinese puppy’s body since that puppy is not one of those 13 dogs at the Urban Decay’s office in the Ameican soil.  What a bunch of hypocrites!!!!!  The Chinese government is laughing its way to the bank….

I’m sure that PR/Marketing at Urban Decay is also aware of this development, and is jumping the gun to take advantage of the opening up of this new market in China for “non-animal tested” cosmetics. It is an extremely cynical (but strategically sound) move. Especially when this preemptive entry into China has caused UD to lose is Leaping Bunny credentials.
 
Leaping Bunny Program Removes Urban Decay: China’s Animal Testing Requirements are the Reason <http://leapingbunny.org/press6.php&gt;

I never email companies but I just emailed UD. I’m someone that makes a point of buying cruelty free products & UD was one of my favorite companies, but I’d be ashamed to buy their products now.

I personally don’t really understand what all the fuss is about. They ARE a business, in an economic climate that is bound to be making it difficult for them to turn over a good profit. Therefore, I think them branching out into China is a smart move. China is a huge economy and I’m very surprised that they weren’t already selling their products there.  I think some people just need to accept it.  Just because they now sell in a country that supports animal testing, it doesn’t mean that you are supporting animal testing. But whatever, UD is going to lose customers over this however they phrased it. I think that some people get too stuck on their morals and become very closeminded about issues.  But there is one thing that I agree wasn’t good in this press statement – I thought they were very condescending about the Chinese.

Other than the fact that the logic in the above post is completely illogical, to borrow a line from THE WAY WE WERE, “People are their principles.”

We even LIVE in a country that supports animal testing, yet we still buy UD here. Does your buying UD in the US mean you support animal testing in the US? Very strange way of thinking. The argument to boycott UD because of this is very confusing.

 @Teddy Bear BUT the US doesn’t FORCE UD to test…. they are allowed to make that decision on their own. China on the other hand forces cosmetic companies to be tested if they want to sell in their country

Giving in and compromising your CORE values (and what made many people respect your company) in order to instill change in one country that doesn’t WANT to change… you’re doing it wrong.

Even if they dont manufacture in china (which we dont know) there will be a ton of black markey copycat products like what happened to Benefit.

 @KRISTANNA
 They do indeed manufacture some of their products in China, the Smoke Out Palettes wee made entirely in China with Chinese components.  It even says made in China on the packaging. I  loved UD, but these palettes were not of the quality I expect from UD.  I inquired about this, but UD never answered  email.  Now I won’t buy another UD product.  This means that they ae contributing to basiclly slave labor.  The people who make these products won’t be able to afford them.  More people in the States will lose their jobs all so UD can make moremoney.  There is no way they can change a Communist country, that is all PR spin, and pretty poor PR spin, actually the worst I have ever heard.

I am so disappointed in UD and this decision. I think everything that needed to be said has already been said, but when a company builds itself from the ground up on the backs and support of buyers who are willing to pay a little extra and go extra lengths to help support an entity who vehemently opposes animal testing, and then that entity comes to a financial decision to reverse course, once they feel they have built enough equity and name recognition to justify losing that core fanbase, they are no longer ethical, in my opinion. You can blame the Chinese government, try to throw shade at the Chinese people, as a whole (which is offensive, to generalize like that), but the decision was YOURS, as a company, to expand into a market that is financially wealthy, but whose morals and ethics do not align with those you have been spouting for years, and that you literally built your brand on. Shameful. I think UD should never put anything on their website OR product packaging regarding animal testing or “cruelty free” when their higher ups made the choice to sell out to a market that will, almost definitely, be testing their products on animals in order to allow them to be sold. Just because you’re not testing on animals in the US and other markets does not mean your products aren’t tested on animals elsewhere. Not any longer! You now know that your products have been/will be tested on animals, so labeling the brand as “cruelty free” is an outright lie, from here on out. There is NO press release or PR statement that will absolve UD of this decision. None.

Very well said 🙂
I am a vegan animal rights activist, and I am so sick of my favorite and some of the best brands of makeup selling out like this. MAC was very hard for me, but I did it. It felt like a true test for me as a vegan (and, not to mention, a slap in the face) but I came to terms with it, like Smashbox, Avon, etc. But Urban Decay?! With the strong stance they had and everything? Incredibly disappointing!

Well I am not an advocate for COSMETIC animal testing, however lol….I hope that NONE of you all that are totally against it ‘for the animals’ sake’ take any type of medication or drugs at all. Because they were ALL tested on animals. Mice, Rats, Monkeys, Chickens, Rabbits, Dogs and so many others. Its the reality of scientific research. Enjoy your medication free lives lol.

And you dont even see the fault in your own thoughts there? While medication is for the sake of ones _health_ and beauty products are for ones _vanity_ …

I’m pretty sure most people would be willing to take medicine that was tested on animals if it was their only option for survival… you can always turn to another brand for makeup or stop using it altogether, but that doesn’t always apply to meds. Disproval of this policy doesn’t mean everyone is some kind of ridiculously hardcore vegan.

Agreed. I’m a scientist, but I hate animal testing. However, so many things are tested on animals – things we don’t even think twice about.  Plus, if you own pets, how do you think their flea/tick meds were tested? That’s right, on cats and dogs. You can’t get away from animal testing. It’s the sad truth.

I’m against animal testing specifically for unecessary reasons like cosmetics. Animal testing for things that are for medical reasons like a cure for cancer I’m okay with. At least the animals are being used for a good purpose of saving lives. With cosmetics what is the purpose of animal testing?:To attempt to make our society less ugly on the outside than it is on the inside.

I wonder if the company is looking towards manufacturing their products in China instead of the US. That would be a good thing to find out. While I am neutral to animal testing, I do have a standing in keeping companies on the US. I understand they need to make a profit to survive, but moving manufacturing to China to save money and go against their core values as a company is even more insulting. Christine, is there any way we can find out if it’s only the sale of UD products or their manufacturing as well? Thank you!

 @Mayra B
 They have already out sourced to Chinese factories.  The Smoke Out Palettes are made in China as well as the components of those palettes.  I should check mine for lead.

I shall no longer be buying from Urban Decay as they have made this decision. Regardless of who is doing the testing they simply should not put their products in a position where they may be tested on animals. Lush do not sell in China for that precise reason & they are doing very well at the moment without any revenue from the Chinese market. If you want to make a stand against this type of behaviour make sure you go to fightinganimaltesting.com & sign the petition to encourage the European Parliament to enforce the ban on Animal Tested cosmetics in Europe. If this ban is enforced then companies will have to choose whether to sell on the European market or on smaller markets such as the US or Chinese which will not make them as much money! In doing this the smaller markets will be forced to revise their regulations if they want money from the cosmetic houses to make its way into their economy.

So are they going to start to sell their products in China or are they going to manufacture their products in China? Meaning all of their products sold herein the U.S. are now going to say Made in China?

They already have out sourced Chinese factories to make their cosmetics.  Just look at the Smoke Out Palettes. I emailed an inquiry to UD about this.  Never got a response.  Now the people who make UD in China aren’t making enough money to buy te products they make.  How does that empower women?

I wonder how many people who commented here buy products from other companies that sell their products in China. Because ALL products thtat are legally sold in china HAVE TO BE tested on animals or else they can’t be sold there…

In all honesty, animal testing is not something that will stop me from buying cosmetics. I have been a die hard fan of Urban Decay since I began my love for makeup. I very much respect their decision and I appreciate that they told their customers, and are holding a live chat. However I don’t see myself buying much more UD simply because the products don’t correlate with me that much anymore. I love their cosmetics but I just want a matte palette already! I’m tired of the shimmer. As a consumer I appreciate the honesty.

When UD moves into China, the “no animal testing” label may get people to realize that yes, there are more humane ways to test cosmetics. They may not even know alternative ways even exist. I think this is good exposure. It’s not about money, it’s about exposing others to new ways of thinking. If UD is a success, other companies may follow UD’s example. If a Chinese celebrity says, hey, I use UD because they are cruelty-free, well, that could inspire new ways of doing things. There’s animal lovers in China too…they may flock to this and spread the word about cruelty-free products.

 @Teddy Bear thank you for your comment. Anytime the issue of animal cruelty and China are linked into one apparently every single person there is a tyrant that hates animals. there are so many animal lovers there like there are where we live too.

 @Teddy Beari don’t think anyone has said that all people in china aren’t animal lovers…the problem is that if the chinese government forces companies to comply with animal testing to sell in that market, then how are consumers supposed to take urban decay’s claims that “they” don’t test on animals seriously? moreover, i have asked urban decay what their exact plans are to spread awareness about animal testing in china (because you know, if that’s what their plans were all along, then they must have come up with some detailed plan, right?!?!) and they haven’t answered me (and yes, they have been responding to comments and questions on fb before this “chat” they are supposedly having in two weeks).  the chinese government is NOT going to be ok with UD coming in and saying “hey everyone, WE don’t test on animals, but your government does! isn’t that TERRIBLE?!” they have to know this.  if they force companies to comply with animal testing, they aren’t going to be ok with anyone speaking out against it.  and they are apparently in the works to eliminate animal testing anyway…why couldn’t UD just have waited? or used THAT to their advantage (i.e. “we refuse to sell in china until you remove your requirements about animal testing”)
 

The argument that products that we use today were tested on animals in the past is not a very good one. Many horrible things were done in the past that benefit us today but it doesn’t make it right to reinstate those practices especially on something as unnecessary and trivial as makeup. This is about money plain and simple. Any company that actually believed in their principles would never have made such a move. MUFE and NARS it is for me from now on.

@Dee, I couldn’t agree more.  Almost all the products we use today have benefitted from past practices and while testing may be necessary for current or future medicine, we’ve come a long way from it for current cosmetic products. Tons of extremely successful companies have instituted no-animal testing policies or are looking for additional, alternative ways to avoid animal-derived products.  It’s certainly possible to have such policies and still make a profit. I’ve heard some vague comments about the Chinese govt. looking to pass some laws on animal testing in a few months. If so, UD could have entered into new markets in the meantime (like Australia) to make a profit, stayed true to its philosophical beliefs and waited to see what China would do before making a decision. They didn’t. That speaks loads to me. So much for all those UD eyeshadows on my list. Goodbye “Strip,” you really looked gorgeous.  

 @Kafka If those new laws pass, UD will have jumped the gun and gotten a head start in China over its competitors (eg. NARS, who also have no animal testing policies). Not to mention, it may try to take credit for the new laws – “Look, our entry played a part in affecting change!” This is probably what it’s betting on in the long run, which makes me sick.

 @Li Wen  I hadn’t thought of that. Grrrr. Thank you for raising my blood pressure all over again. Now I’m even more offended by the Machiavellian calculations and manipulations involved!  Well, UD can go suck it. I’m sticking to my beloved BF, François Nars.  (And yes, I know he’s gay. lol) 
 

NARS does not. Even apart from the fact that François Nars himself is vegan, the company says so flat out in an official statement: “Nars does not test on animals, nor do we have any other parties, including our suppliers, conduct 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.”

 @Kafka I just looked that up and now see your post! YES, absolutely right. I was wrong.  A sales rep at Nordstrom’s had said very confidently that they did, and I should not have assumed she was right. Apologies.! Well, that is good news… One more to add to Animallover’s list above.

@Rachel,  the thing that seems to confuse people is the fact that NARS is not on PETA’s list.  I have no idea why, though I often hear that PETA’s list doesn’t include a number of no-testing companies. Yet, any Google search of “NARS animal testing peta” will show a ton of links that confirm NARS does not do animal testing.  People on Spektra have posted that they’ve emailed NARS directly to ask about animal testing and received emails back saying that Nars has never done animal testing and never will.  Also, NARS is on the Cruelty-Free list at this Beauty Blog for animal lovers that I recently found. It’s *very* up-to-date and just crossed UD off! If you, or anyone else, wants a VERY detailed list of Cruelty-Free beauty companies, I’d recommend looking at the following instead of *just* the PETA list:  http://www.mybeautybunny.com/cruelty-free-beauty/#CrueltyFreeBeautyBrands  

 @Kafka There are rumours that NARS have been asked to sign a Cruelty-free doc in order to be included in the PETA list and they actually never responded. Also, NARS have been bought by Shiseido, so as much as I want to buy my first NARS product, I am afraid I’ll have to pass :S

 @Kafka NARS as a line is cruelty free, and all their basics (foundation, primer, powder) are vegan. However, their parent company does test on animals. I feel like this makes it just up to the individual to decide if they want to support NARS or not.

MUFE launched in China a few years ago, and is widely available (at least in Shanghai) in Sephora and in a number of department stores, while NARS is not. I don’t know what that says about MUFE’s commitment to no animal testing…

 @Li Wen Thank you for what seem to be ‘on the ground’ reports!    I must be late to the game, and MUFE must have been at one time against animal testing. Last time I looked at their site, nothing about it was mentioned and I found only that they sell in China.  Same goes for Smashbox.  They’re all selling out. Was there an uproar about those two entering China? Or did they not make an announcement?

Is Smashbox sold in China? if so, I’ve never seen it.
 
I don’t remember a big launch for MUFE in China. But then, I’m not that involved in the beauty community here. I’m just here as a shopper. 🙂

 @Li Wen Smashbox was very quiet about the change. Once I found out about MAC, I emailed all Estee Lauder brands and that’s when I found out. http://www.logicalharmony.net/smashbox-is-no-longer-cruelty-free
 
MUFE started testing on animals again at least a year ago. Ever since I started doing in depth research on brands, I’ve never been happy with their answer.

UPDATE: I just did a little bit of web surf research…UD is not inquiring their home country about this decision, the brand ALREADY launched in Shanghai’s Sephora on the 5TH OF JUNE with a big launching party at the Bund. Hmm……this press statement is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen a PR team do. The tone and content offends both the Americans as well as the Chinese. 

 @kiwikeely  So they weren’t even honest about when these new policies would begin? “We are going to” and “when we” — all imply future action. Future to June 6th. Charming. You know, I’ve been to that Sephora on the Bund. I’m not at all surprised that they chose Shanghai to start with.     

 @kiwikeely Can you share where you’ve read this? I did a search on my own and came up with nothing– i even looked at sephora.cn and Urban Decay isn’t listed there (yet. but I saw other brands that currently claim to be cruelty-free- like Makeup Forever- are on there. Looks like i need to investigate my entire collection!). I’m very interested to know more!

 @Killerteeth well, I did a quick search of “urban decay” on weibo, which is the chinese twitter, and several beauty bloggers and the editor of elle magazine cn were invited to the launch party on the 5th, posted photos and afterthought etc. but I have to say it’s a very low profile launch in a sense that only people from the shanghai region are informed. Some of the most famous bloggers in the chinese blogosphere (like arora) doesn’t seem to know a thing.

Another thought…I watch Whale Wars. This last season they were protesting the round-up and massacre of whales near Sweden. Now, the people have been doing that for centuries. Kids even get involved. Yet, the activists still went into the towns to educate the people against the mass killing of the whales. All it takes is one person to think that, hey, this is wrong. Then they influence others who influence others….you get any progress in an area known for animal cruelty unless you try to spread the word somehow.

Although I’m against animal testing, it’s not like I’ve never bought anything from Smashbox or L’Oreal. I mean, I generally avoid them, but nobody’s perfect. What really riles me up about this thing, aside from the nauseating hypocrisy (“Why would anyone?”), is this horrible press release. It’s really insulting the intelligence of their customers. Clearly, there are many customers who will want to give the company the benefit of the doubt and this flaming pile of BS is of course written for them. It’s one thing to be cagey about answering these questions, like Chanel or YSL.  It’s another to take what’s made you feel good about supporting a company and throw it out the window with a tidal wave of bogus rationalizations. I told literally everyone I know to buy that 15th Anniversary palette. It’s generally been my favorite makeup item for months, but I’m not even going to be able to look at it anymore. This morning when I went to grab an eyeliner I had to dig through tens of UD eyeliners before I could find the Cargo eyeliner I was looking for. Does Cargo test on animals? I have no idea, but I do know that they’ve yet to betray me.

Although I’m against animal testing, it’s not like I’ve never bought anything from Lancome or L’Oreal. I mean, I generally avoid them, but nobody’s perfect. What really riles me up about this thing, aside from the nauseating hypocrisy (“Why would anyone?”), is this horrible press release. It’s really insulting the intelligence of their customers. Clearly, there are many customers who will want to give the company the benefit of the doubt and this flaming pile of BS is of course written for them. It’s one thing to be cagey about answering these questions, like Chanel or YSL.  It’s another to take what’s made you feel good about supporting a company and throw it out the window with a tidal wave of bogus rationalizations. I told literally everyone I know to buy that 15th Anniversary palette. It’s generally been my favorite makeup item for months, but I’m not even going to be able to look at it anymore. This morning when I went to grab an eyeliner I had to dig through tens of UD eyeliners before I could find the Cargo eyeliner I was looking for. Does Cargo test on animals? I have no idea, but I do know that they’ve yet to betray me.

As we gain an understanding of the market, we plan to develop creative solutions to drive awareness about these issues ~Urban Decay.   It sounds as if their “decision” wasn’t as thoughtful as they stated it was. It sounds as if they don’t have a plan and have no idea what they are getting themselves into. What if these “creative solutions” don’t pan out?   These are excuses not explanations for me.  I will be waiting for the Q&A with Wende, but have already made the decision to not purchase anymore UD.
 

I think is a bad movement, animal cruelty is horribke and as a Bachelor in Ecology I think you should keep that label because I’ve learn with my career that in order to educate people you have to give them an example, not just for marketing stuff…So disappointed on you UD! I don’t think I will buy again from a brand that prefers to be dominated by marketing than what their “say to be”

I think its stupid that Urban Decay is selling their products in China especially if the Chinese Government requires animals testing?! Chinese Workers aren’t treated or paid fairly anyway…so even if the products prices were lowered and more affordable to consumers, the people who are working their butts off in the factories are not benefiting from any of this. Infact they’re going to be suffering and having whats going to be an even HARDER time putting food on the table for their families. I understand what Urban Decay is trying to do by going into China:show them alternative methods to animal testing but just the same…if China won’t listen to companies or people in the past what makes Urban Decay think that China  will listen to them? Fortunately I don’t own very many Urban Decay Products (1 Eyeliner Pencil, 1 Glitter Liquid Eyeliner and the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette) and even though part of me is glad that I’ll have more money to save then spend on my once favorite makeup brand. I’m VERY dissapointed in Urban Decay…not only have they lost their creativity (HELLO discontinuing unique shades of eyeshadow when they reformulated their shadows) but they’ve also lost what made them important and loved…their policy of not testing on animals. Urban Decay…your respect for animals and your fans by going and selling your products in China.:( Fortunately I have other makeup brands that respect my love for animals and have products that are just as good…if not better than yours.:)
Here is a list of non-animal testing brands that I use:
Sephora
Tarte
Stila
Prestige
Milani
Revlon
Jordana
Jesse’s Girl
WetnWild
 

Sephora is in China, aren’t they? A rep at Sephora,  who checked with her … appropriate contact, don’t know who or what the position was… said they were –at least selling products in China.  So, they have to be off the list, I think.  Seriously, what about Revlon, surely, they are in China?