Urban Decay, a company long known for its cruelty-free cosmetics products, use of vegan ingredients and strong stance against animal testing, has come under fire for announcing a move into the Chinese market, where animal testing is required by law.
The company’s decision has upset animal rights activists and many of its customers, who are vowing to toss their products and take their business elsewhere.
Urban Decay attempted to address the outcry by posting a response on Facebook, 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 realize 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.
If that wasn’t enough doublespeak, Urban Decay also issued a statement, which has since been removed from its website, further explaining the reasons why they thought they should make the move. They want to go there to help end animal testing and promote women’s rights by giving them jobs.
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.
Instead of sticking to their values and fighting for animals with a ‘you can’t have our products until you change your policies’ stance, they’re going to go in and fight animal testing with products that have been tested on animals. It’s a long way from their original disclaimer, “We don’t do animal testing. How could anyone?”
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.
Saying that if they don’t go there to make money someone else will apparently justifies everything. Urban Decay admits that it may not turn a profit there for a while, but it does plan to do so. Now, formerly loyal customers aren’t just upset over animal testing, they’re also upset over having their intelligence insulted.
The decision to make the move was also found in violation of the Leaping Bunny certification’s Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals, which has since been withdrawn, following last year’s removal of L’Occitane, Yves Rocher, Caudalie and Mary Kay.
Urban Decay will be hosting a live chat with founding partner Wende Zomnir that anyone with questions will be able to participate in, but they still haven’t gotten around announcing when it will be.
To find out more about cruelty-free products, visit crueltyfree.org.
Photo credit: Thinkstock
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