July 9, 2012

Urban Decay Decides Not to Sell in China

Urban Decay released a statement a few weeks ago saying they would be selling their cosmetics in China however, they have since rescinded the idea.

Take a look at their press statement below.

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 the chance to offer Urban Decay products to these consumers someday in the future.

Following our initial announcement, we realized that we needed to step back, carefully review our original plan, and talk to a number of individuals and organizations that were interested in our decision. We regret that we were unable to respond immediately to many of the questions we received, and appreciate the patience our customers have shown as we worked through this difficult issue.

Since our founding in 1996, we have been committed to ending animal testing in the cosmetics industry. As demonstrated by the renewed support we have received from organizations like PETA and the CCIC, this principle remains at our core. Urban Decay does not test its finished products on animals, nor do we allow others to test on our behalf, and we require our suppliers to certify that the raw materials used in the manufacture of our products are not tested on animals. Urban Decay is proud to be 100% cruelty-free.

You can read their original statement at www.urbandecay.com

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Sarah S.

    I had recently decided to veganize my collection, so this gets a major fist-pump from me! Woohoo 😀 !

  • bean

    def gonna purchase from Urban Decay now that it has confirmed its cruelty free!!

  • Jolene

    Fantastic! I have a few of their items, but when I heard they were going to sell in China, I tossed ’em (nothing too expensive, just some eye liners).

    I’m glad they made this decision. Not only because of the animals, but the human rights violations in that country are just as bad.

    • Christine

      Not really sure how UD’s decision to sell or not in China affects the products you already own? By all means support cruelty-free products, but it seems a bit of a waste to throw out previously owned products. Even if they were to start animal-testing, the decision will not retroactivly affect products bought during the time when they weren’t? Sorry if I’m missing something here, but your comment just does not compute.

      • Sara Elisabeth

        No but owning/using Urban Decay products could potentially be advertising for the company. For example, if I purchased a cruelty-free eyeshadow from Urban Decay, and I received a compliment and was asked what it was, and then that person proceeded to buy the product from the non-cruelty-free UD. In essence, I would be advertising for a company whose operating pricipals I don’t advocate. If you have a lot of friends that like makeup, this is a real possibilty. I personally didn’t throw away my products. However, if I were a makeup artist that felt strongly about UD’s decision, I would not use any UD products on my clients, lest they buy the products.

  • Becca @ The Beauty Sample

    So proud of them. They realized what a big up it was and glad they are big enough to admit it and change

    • the Muse

      hi becca thanks for the comment, just edited it up a little bit with the language, hope you don’t mind.

  • Christina

    Am I the only one who is skeptical of this? While I applaud Urban Decay for honouring their belief but I am simply not buying the reasons they have provided above. From a pure business view, it makes a lot of sense to enter China (who doesn’t want to take a chunk out of this large pie). My speculation is that the overall negotiations between Urban Decay, Chinese government, or distributors (Sephora or other channels) have broken down, and anti-animal testing view is great way to exist (also fantastic PR move).

    I still love Urban Decay and will continue to purchase their products. I guess, I am just sceptical of businesses and their motives.

    • Jeanne

      No, not at all! I’m going to be lazy and copy & paste my comment from Phyrra lol –

      Something about this whole situation seems really fishy and disingenuous to me. Though I do applaud the animal lovers for continuing to give Urban Decay a hard time, I think it’s a bit naive of them to think they’re the reason the decision was changed. The amount of sales they would’ve lost from their animal loving customers in no way would dent their potential profit in China. I also saw pictures online from a Sephora launch party in Shanghai that had Urban Decay products so UD’s already been selling in China, I don’t know why they’re saying they decided not to START selling in China. I can’t help but think this whole controversy was a (very bad) publicity stunt to generate buzz. Love or hate UD’s decision, there certainly was a lot of traffic on their FB page.

    • meep

      You’re not the only one who is skeptical.
      I can’t believe the people in thee comments, saying “YAY!!!11 omg so proud of them!!111” How can you be proud of someone who was about to sell in China and didn’t give a you know what about animals being tested on, then says that they’re NOT selling in China because of the uproar, and then cancels their web chat because they think that they’re off thee hook from any questions that are still present from their buyers!!!
      What makes me mad, is how shady they are about not doing the web chat. People STILL have questions, yet they don’t care at all.
      They’re probably said in their office “dang, too bad we got caught by temptalia and she posted it on her blog… now ALL of the beauty community knows and is angry at us… I guess we’ll just pull out of China so we can keep out followers AND our PETA bunny on our website that we shove down everyone’s throats!!!11111”

  • Suselew

    Kudos to everyone who voiced their strong opposition to their decision. Although I’m sure there were other financial factors, the huge outcry against this ill-advised decision was swift and intense enough to cause an about face (or, rather egg-on-the face). Keep in mind that there are still MANY other companies abusing animals in the name of cosmetics: Shiseido, Mary Kay, Avon, all the Estee Lauder companies (MAC, Smashbox, Bobbi Brown, etc) and all L’Oreal companies. Reward the good companies like Tarte, Jane Iredale, Josie Maran, Too Faced, IT Cosmetics and many others listed on caringconsumer.org or leapingbunny.org for making humane decisions.

  • kimkats

    ?? So does china require animal testing? Seems like I’ve heard that before…. and if it’s well known that it does, why would UD even consider selling there? Not trying to start a brouhaha, just curious…

    • the Muse

      yes, ud had the idea they would change china’s ideas about animal testing somehow I believe was their original statement.

  • dangster

    Have you seen some of the comments Urban Decay’s FB page, after they announced this update? There are still women who insist on a UD boycott, for even daring to consider “selling out” in the first place.

    I say, let them boycott–more UD for me! (also people who loudly proclaim boycott tend to not stick with it)

  • Suselew

    I thought long and hard about whether to continue my boycott against UD (as I am boycotting any company that tests on animals). My initial reaction ended up being what I am going with…and that is to focus more on the message I want to send to OTHER companies. I want them to see that if you are not cruelty-free now but make the right choice and become cruelty-free (either for the first time or return to that status), your customers will buy your products. The only incentive for businesses is the almighty buck, so you simply have to play that game. I put all the guessing and supposition behind me and decided not to continue to punish the misbehaving “child.”

  • Ruth

    Good for them, changing their minds. whether it be someone high up the UD chain couldn’t actually stand for animal testing or they re-analized their bottom line and decided that the reveue lost wouldn’t be worth it. either way, glad that they decided animal testing just wouldn’t jibe with their core pricipals.

  • Jennie

    Meh, it seems fishy to me. It’s obvious that they noticed it wouldn’t profit for them to sell in China.

    • Sheepy

      That’s very true Jennie! Recently I read an article and did a project on Chinese consumerism. There’s a pattern showing that Chinese people tend to buy expensive things for the name, not the quality. While they would welcome well known, status symbol brands like Chanel makeup, Urban Decay isn’t very well known and that doesn’t really justify the price for them, so it would probably be a flop.

      You can’t go out and say that because that’s embarrassing, so let’s talk about our love for animals instead~

      I might be wrong though, I was wrong about Coach’s popularity in China. I thought since it was mainly an American brand, it wouldn’t get too popular but now I gotta say Coach is doing pretty well because I see a lot of people holding coach purses in china!

  • Chase

    Does it seem odd to anybody else that they said “Urban Decay does not test its finished products on animals”? This may just be me, but doesn’t that sort of imply that they might test on animals UP TO the point of the finished product? But at the same time they also say they are 100% cruelty free? Maybe I’m just reading too far into this…

    • Suselew

      And they continue on to say: …”nor do we allow others to test on our behalf, and we require our suppliers to certify that the raw materials used in the manufacture of our products are not tested on animals.” That is the entire process.

  • Charlotte

    Yes, it’s fishy… but it’s obvious the bad PR and uproar was too much for them, they simply do not want to admit it. I say take the end result, the return to CF, with open arms and let it go.

    I’ve seen/read a LOT of comments/statements in the last few days with the opinion that UD needs to continue to be punished with bad PR and boycott because they made the decision in the first place. Please, consider the message you are sending out with this decision. UD, as well as every other company that currently tests, need to know that the decision to go CF will be rewarded, otherwise they have no reason to do so. If we are voting for CF with our dollars by buying from compliant companies, the end goal is to encourage companies who test to change their minds. We need to actively support any company who makes the choice to change. To do otherwise simply reinforces they have nothing to gain by changing their policies, and nothing will change.

  • rebecca

    I think they could have handled this whole thing better from beginning to end, but I’m glad they chose to stick with their core values and pull out of a market that *requires* animal testing. I also don’t understand the point of people still boycotting the company; to paraphrase a comment I read on another blog: They listened. They heard our requests–our DEMANDS–and they backed down and changed their minds. How often does that happen? And how else do they get the appreciation that this was the right thing to do except by people buying from them?

  • Quinctia

    I’ve kind of been rolling my eyes at UD this whole time, because it doesn’t seem like any move they’ve made has helped their image.

    My cosmetics purchasing tends to be dictated by a combination of product quality and purchase price more than anything else, so I was actually a little more peeved by the ripoff that’s their new modular palette system…but I recognized how much of a bad move they made with the first bit of PR they did with this.