M.A.C has a longstanding policy to not test on animals, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law.
One Year On…
This time last year I wrote about my decision to not renew my MAC Pro membership and my disappointment in the decision made by MAC Cosmetics to market their products in China and in doing so, negating their long held cruelty-free stance. One year on and…
Mac are still in business despite my boycot over animal testing
Clearly my spending power cannot match that of the Chinese public…
I speak of course, in jest. Sadly nothing has changed, MAC are still in China and, when required by law, testing their products on animals.
The issue was initially brought to my attention by Vegan lifestyle and beauty blog Logical Harmony who posted part of a statement from MAC themselves:
Their decision was swiftly confirmed by animal rights organisation PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) who removed them from their approved list of cruelty free brands.
One year on and I have still not renwed my MAC Pro membership and have not stepped foot in a MAC store, or purchased a MAC product since reading the article.
Do I intend to? No. Has this effected my work as a Make-up Artist? No.
I have been using up my existing MAC and AVEDA products, as I do not feel that anything will be achieved by just getting rid, however as stocks deplete I am not re-purchasing the same product. If anything my decision has made me a little more creative in my choice of products when I am working and has reinforced my constant hunt for alternatives.
The decision to trade in China did sadly not just apply to MAC but to other Estée Lauder labels including eco brand AVEDA. I wrote about MAC last year as it was initally the brand I was most affected by in regards to my kit, but in truth is now just an example of one brand amongst many who have chosen to market themselves in China. But do these companies really need to be in china..? Is it really necessary to be totally globally dominant?.
There are approximately 700million women in China (compared to around 158 in America and 32million in Great Britain) And with this many potential customers, who wouldn’t want a piece of this market? Although many of these women live in remote and in some cases impoverished regions, China is an emerging country with a population who are becoming more and more westernised; the desire to purchase western brands makes it a large and highly lucrative market for any cosmetics company prepared to compromise their animal testing beliefs.
The argument companies make in defence of their decision to expand their business to the Chinese market is one of change; to work with the Chinese Government to find alternatives to animal testing and to have the laws requiring cosmtic testing on animals changed. This is great in principle, however one fact that is (conveniently) overlooked is that whilst these companies are marketing themselves in China and abiding by the governmental policies to test their cosmetics, as required by law, they aren’t just agreeing to animal testing but actually funding it!
Cosmetics companies have been working with the Chinese Government to change the current regulations and developments in testing methods are being made; with China apparently on the verge of introducing its first non-animal based testing procedure. This is great news and I applaude the work that is being done, however there is still a long way to go. I do believe that these talks and negotiations could have taken place without the brands actually being available on the market and, whilst I appreciate that cosmetics companies may really want to make changes to policies in China, I still struggle to understand how traditionally cruelty-free brands can ever truly justify their actions…
Images courtesy of: Cruelty Free International and MAC Cosmetics