Other brands owned by Estee Lauder are: Le Mer, Bumble & Bumble, Aveda, Clinique, Ojon, Origins & Smashbox.
– These brands do post disclaimer on their websites regarding animal testing, please read them carefully, as they include language such as, “We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf,except when required by law. We evaluate our finished products in clinical tests on volunteer panels.” Or, “ We are equally committed to consumer health and safety, and bringing to market products that comply with applicable regulations in every country in which our products are sold.”
Although I am only sharing Urban Decay’s press statement, consumers who also ready my blog please remember, UD and MAC share a parent company, Estee Lauder. All three company’s are opening their market to China, who by law require animal testing on cosmetics sold in their country. Needless to say, I am no longer purchasing from these three companies.
Please see additional comments at the end of this press release…
“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.”
As I said at the beginning of this post, I don’t see myself buying anything from Estee Lauder, MAC, or Urban Decay ever again. Not because I am a vegan (as I am most definitely not), and not only because I am against animal cruelty, but also, because of my philosophy on business and the industry. In my opinion, this a clearly “for profit” move for Urban Decay. Once company will not change a country’s standpoint on the issue of animal testing- by marketing to China with full knowledge on their policies regarding animal testing, they are condoning the very actions that they are against. This does not scream to me, “We are activists!”, all I’m hearing is, “There are billions of dollars to be made by throwing our platform out.” Granted, Urban Decay is not conducting these tests themselves. BUT, they are in a way subcontracting this portion of their company out- their name is still associated with animal suffering. No matter which way you spin it, Urban Decay sold out.
I know enough about politics to know that if you elect to buy from a company based on philosophy, then they damn well better stick with it. Politicians can’t just change their mind on policy and expect followers continue on. Bottom line, this is a poor decision. Whether they lose much in their current market or not, the worst thing a company can do is waiver in stance.
Don’t even get me started on my ideas about China and its outlook on women… that’s a whole ‘nother ball game…