I’ve been gathering up some research in anticipation of starting this blog and I couldn’t think of a better day to start than today. Some of you may be aware that about a month ago (June 2012), Urban Decay cosmetics made an announcement to start selling their products in China (which, for those of you who don’t realize, REQUIRES animal testing to demonstrate product safety). UD has always been a leader in the fight against animal testing; opposition to animal testing is one of their core values and their motto was “we don’t test on animals; how could anyone?” They also have an ever-expanding list of vegan products. So needless to say, this decision was a huge shock and a slap in the face to their loyal customers, who are most often rabid and voracious fans of the brand (myself included). While they put some BS PR-spin on the website (they wanted to go into China and change the culture from the inside out), we all saw through it and realized this decision was based, as so many business decisions are, on profits.
Both PETA and the Leaping Bunny immediately revoked their cruelty free certifications, they were barraged with venomous Facebook posts, tweets, and emails, and bloggers tore them a collective “new one.” A petition (actually, I think multiple) was started to try to convince UD to reverse their decision and not break into the Chinese market. UD said they would have a web chat to discuss their decision and answer questions, but it never happened. They took down their explanation on their website. They dodged questions on their Facebook page. As of 14 June, they said they were still going to have the webchat, but after that post, it was radio silence.
Then, today (7 July), an email was sent out and a Facebook post went up with something I truly didn’t expect; they listened. UD decided to reverse their decision and not start selling in China.
They realized just how many customers they were going to lose and how important being cruelty-free is to their fans. I am truly amazed. I am thrilled. I am ecstatic. I am itching to go buy some new eyeshadow. I’m still pissed that they put us through this in the first place, but I am honestly amazed that they actually listened, re-evaluated, and changed their minds.
At first, I didn’t particularly want to forget and forgive (and let’s hope no one forgets), but then I realized that this is a huge victory. This is exactly what we (those of us who do not support companies that test on animals) want; we do not spend money in order to get companies to change their policy. It worked. UD is a much smaller company than say, a L’Oreal (animal testers), a Cover Girl (animal testers), or a Dior (animal testers only because they sell in China), but they are highly regarded nonetheless. Their products are high quality and their fans are quite literally fanatics. I hope that this incident sends shockwaves (OK, at least ripples) through the cosmetic industry. Obviously, there are already so many companies that test on animals and people buy them anyway, through a combination of ignorance and apathy, but I hope some of the bigger companies will take note that although relatively small, there is a customer base who will staunchly support a company based on its opposition to animal testing.
So, the good news is that Urban Decay is back on my Cubby-approved list. I’m a huge fan of a lot of their products; my favorite is their 24/7 Eyeliner; it literally lasts for 24 hours. No joke. It does. Not. Move. Mildew is an awesome olivey-green and their new black, Perversion, is BLAAAAACK. Their eye shadows are beautiful and highly pigmented and their eye shadow primer is amazing (I like Sin the best; it’s a light, champagney color that disappears under other colors). I give them 4 out of 4 paws. I’ll try and get some more specific product reviews about them in soon, but in the meantime, if you haven’t tried their makeup – DO IT! It’s pretty awesome. And now you can purchase with a clean conscience!