The Slow Boat To China

If you recall I recently wrote about my decision to cancel my MAC Pro membership following the recent move by MAC and their parent company Estée Lauder, to change their stance on animal testing in order to market products in China.

Over the past few weeks I have been keeping an eye on the situation, both with brands owned by Estée Lauder, those owned by other big cosmetics houses, as well as smaller, independent companies and have been saddened to see some appearing to make the same decision.

The original article, posted by US vegan and cruelty-free blog Logical Harmony which first alerted me to the decision by MAC and that of others can be read here

Amongst those who, according to animal rights group PETA, have revised their animal testing policies in order to sell in China are Avon, two of the biggest french brands Yves Rocher and L’Occtaine, US beauty and skincare brand Mary Kay and perhaps saddest of all, Urban Decay.

The original article by Daily Mail journalist Maysa Rawi which summarises PETA’s allegations can be read here.

Although the majority of the companies appearing to make the move to change their policies do not produce natural or organic products, they have all traditionally marketed themselves as cruelty-free. As I have mentioned before, I have always felt strongly about the use of animals in cosmetic testing and have always avoided brands who choose to do so. 

Urban Decay have always been vocal about their objection to animal testing, with the majority of their products even being considered vegan-friendly (denoted by a paw print on the packaging). It came as a great surprise to many that they would begin to market their products in China and test on animals if required by the Chinese government.

Urban Decay originally validated it’s decision in a Facebook post, stating:
‘We do want to address one FAQ: No, Urban Decay will not test on animals in China. However, the Chinese government may conduct a test using our products before they can be sold there. We absolutely realise that for many of you, it makes no difference who is doing the testing. But, animal rights are still very much important to Urban Decay, and our decision was a thoughtful one.’

Leaping Bunny Logo

However, having been removed from PETA’s cruelty free list, loosing the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) Leaping Bunny logo and following outcry from lovers of the brand, Urban Decay have had a change of heart and have reconsidered their position deciding not to sell their products in China. 

The following statement has been posted on the company website:

‘After careful consideration of many issues, we have decided not to start selling Urban Decay products in China. While several factors were important in reaching this decision, ultimately we did not feel we could comply with current regulations in China and remain true to our core principles. We know there are many progressive consumers in China who would embrace an opportunity to purchase non-animal tested products – our hope remains that we have have the chance to offer Urban Decay products to these consumers someday in the future.’

This must have been an incredibly difficult decision to make, especially considering the potential for enormous financial gain. I believe they should be congratulated for this turn-around and can only hope that others follow suitBravo Urban Decay!
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