A Step in the Wrong Direction

Today, the sun rose, our watches spun clockwise, and puppies continued to be the most adorable creatures on earth. Evidently, it is not opposite day. Yet, despite this, one makeup brand did the exact opposite of what we normally report.

Ordinarily, we proudly write about brands like NYX and Urban Decay, who time after time commit to ethical practices and stand against animal testing. And while we like to keep it positive at UC, sometimes you have to swap positivity for reality.

Earlier this month, NARS Cosmetics announced that they will be commencing animal testing on all of their makeup products. The brand – who was once applauded for being cruelty-free – is now planning to expand to China, which makes animal testing mandatory for all cosmetics. As of September of 2017, the brand plans on opening one store each in the cities of Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, and Nanjing.

By law, Chinese markets require animal testing for any foreign imported ordinary cosmetics (ordinary = makeup, fragrances, skincare, and nail care products). Despite evidence proving there are countless alternatives to animal testing, the country mandates it for safety and regulatory assessment. Consequently, brands that do not otherwise test on animals must do so if they want to sell to Chinese markets. And as China is an increasingly popular market for many American and European cosmetic brands, it’s highly attractive to companies to expand there.

NARS made the announcement on their Instagram page, citing that the decision was made because they feel it’s important to bring their vision of beauty and artistry to consumers in China (we question the sincerity behind this statement, but alas…). They added: “The global elimination of animal testing needs to happen. We firmly believe that product and ingredient safety can be proven by non-animal testing methods, but we must comply with the local laws of the markets in which we operate”. If you ask us, stating your position against animal testing yet participating in a market that forces it by law is a contradiction, if we’ve ever seen one.

Hundreds of thousands of consumers have stated their disappointment in NARS for choosing to expand. As of today, a petition has over 230,000 supporters of consumers expressing their negative feelings towards the brand’s decision. Once loyal customers of NARS have publicly vowed to never again purchase their products. But it wasn’t only customers that took to the Internet to counter. Kat Von D, who has never shied away from discussions about animal cruelty, shamed the brand in a statement on Instagram, along with graphic images of a testing facility. She boldly stated: “I along with many true animal lovers will gladly boycott your products”.

Situations like these confirm the harsh reality that companies often sacrifice customer loyalty and ethical practices for the sake of profitability. Perhaps one day NARS will completely boycott animal testing, but stories like this remind us that we have a long way to go before we can achieve a cruelty-free industry.

Information Gathered From: People Style


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