So you've heard the news now, NARS are going to start selling in China, where animal testing is required by law. However NARS is spouting the same tale that a lot of other non-cruelty free (cruel) cosmetics brands are spouting "we're working to stop animal testing."
Statements like these are pretty dangerous for the cruelty free movement because they word them in a way that suggests that they are cruelty free and so a lot of people buy into their brand feeling assured. When brands say 'we're against animal testing and never carry out or ask anyone to carry out animal testing on our behalf... we're funding and supporting projects that are searching for alternatives' they sound legit. But then you read 'except where required by law.' This means 'we sell in China and China requires animal testing on our products so actually our products ARE tested on animals.
Here's what NARS had to say to the backlash:
“The global elimination of animal testing needs to happen. We firmly believe that product and ingredient safety can be proven by non-animal methods, but we must comply with the local laws of the markets in which we operate, including in China. We have decided to make NARS available in China because we feel it is important to bring our vision of beauty and artistry to fans in the region. NARS does not test on animals or ask others to do so on our behalf, except where required by law.”
Here's the issue:
They weren't currently selling in China, so there isn't an issue with the brand having to make a tough call about pulling out of a profitable market. Instead, they've been driven by money to enter China. If they are against testing then they wouldn't sell in China because that means more products that need to be tested and therefore more cruelty to animals.
But they said that they're going to solve the problem from the inside out:
“We are proud to support the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), a globally recognized organization at the forefront of advancing non-animal methods in China and around the world. NARS is hopeful that together, we can work toward a cruelty-free world.”
Here's the issue:
China profits from the brand selling there. If NARS has demonstrated that they'll abandoned their self-claimed anti-cruelty ethics to sell in China, why would China be motivated to change their ways? You can still support these projects while not selling in China. In fact, that shows China that that's what the big brands want and China would gain profit by supporting this.
Here's the answer:
If NARS can't understand that brands pulling out of China is the way to make change, perhaps we can demonstrate it for them. By boycotting NARS, they lose sales and realise the impact that it truly has. Would you buy from a cruel brand and send them emails encouraging them to stop testing on animals? No, you refuse to buy their products until they make a change.
Unfortunately, the market gain from China might just outweigh the loss of sales from cruelty free buyers, and no doubt they'd already calculated this risk. But the movement is growing and brands are starting to listen.