UPDATE: Early July 2012 Urban Decay announced that they will NOT sell to China. Urban Decay is now back on the cruelty-free list. Thank you to everyone who helped push Urban Decay back to where they belong! It goes to show that we as consumers have a voice!But...
I didnt think I'd ever be saying this.
I didnt think I'd ever be saying this.
Urban Decay has made the business decision to sell their products in China. As you may remember, if any beauty company wants to sell their product in China they must submit their product to animal testing. Therefore Urban Decay, the company with the moto for the last 16 years "We don't test on animals. How could anyone?" is no longer cruelty free and tests on animals.
Just like MAC they are going against what they were founded on, their ethical stand point, and what so many consumers have grown to expect. They rationalize their decision with many excuses that just sound like a whole load of PR bullshit. They are saying that they want to provoke change by their entering the Chinese market. So to create change they are conforming to a standard they believe is wrong? And their justification is that they don't want to sit on the sidelines. They think that conforming will influence Chinese consumers and the government. Instead they should have chosen to work on a large campaign ending the animal testing requirements for cosmetics BEFORE they started selling their products. Instead they are making a profit off of the suffering of animals.
I know sometimes change must start from within. For example undercover agents documenting the wrong doings at laboratories and slaughterhouses. But how does changing a government policy require that? I'll eat my words if a year down the road Urban Decay alone changes the Chinese, but I dont think it will happen.
Urban Decay gave in for the money. They are no longer cool in my book. I'm actually pissed. What companies can we trust to stay true to their word? If things keep moving in the same direction by the end of the year I'll be wearing squashed elderberries as blush and lipstick.
Take a look at the full statements from Urban Decay themselves and from Leaping Bunny. If you like myself are upset take a stand and speak up! Email Urban Decay, sign a petition, spread the word. Who knows maybe we can provoke UD to reconsider!
Urban Decay and China
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.
Any editors or advocacy groups interested in interviews with Urban Decay founding partner Wende Zomnir may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For any advocates or Urban Decay fans interested, Urban Decay founding partner Wende Zomnir will host a live chat in 2 weeks to answer questions about our entry into China. Please click here if you would like to sign up to be notified.
Leaping Bunny Program Removes Urban Decay: China’s Animal Testing Requirements are the Reason
June 6, 2012
PHILADELPHIA—The Leaping Bunny Program, administered by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC), regrets to inform compassionate consumers who look for the Leaping Bunny Logo that Urban Decay is no longer certified as cruelty-free by the Leaping Bunny Program. The company has notified us that they have elected to sell their products in China, which, due to animal testing requirements in that country, will cause them to be in violation of our Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals.
Concerned individuals may be aware that animal testing requirements implemented last year in China have caused other companies, such as Mary Kay, to be removed from the Leaping Bunny list due to similar concerns. And there may be more, as CCIC continually investigates reports of companies that may be a party to animal testing in order to sell in China.
The Leaping Bunny Program sets itself apart from other cruelty-free lists by reviewing companies’ adherence to a strict no animal testing standard and removing those companies that no longer comply. “The tragedy of this is that testing cosmetic products and ingredients on animals is cruel and unnecessary,” commented Sue Leary, Chair of CCIC. The certification program remains in dialogue with companies and other experts on the issue, and supports efforts to persuade Chinese officials to accept non-animal alternative test methods.
Companies certified through the Leaping Bunny Program pledge to eliminate animal testing from all stages of product development. The company's ingredient suppliers make the same pledge and the result is a product guaranteed to be 100 percent free of new animal testing. All Leaping Bunny companies must be open to independent audits for verification, and pledge commitments are renewed on an annual basis.
Since 1996, the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics has been connecting compassionate consumers with cruelty-free companies. The CCIC is made up of the following organizations: American Anti-Vivisection Society; Animal Alliance of Canada; Beauty Without Cruelty, USA; Doris Day Animal League; Humane Society of Canada; The Humane Society of the United States; and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society. CCIC's international partner is the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments. On the web at www.LeapingBunny.org.
For more information, contact Vicki Katrinak at (888)546-CCIC or admin@LeapingBunny.org
What are your feelings on Urban Decay's decision to enter the Chinese Market and therefore begin animal testing? If you would like to see UD change their decision, sign this petition. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.