NARS Expands To China - Are Brands Being Honest When They Say They Are "Cruelty Free"?

NARS Expands To China - Are Brands Being Honest When They Say They Are "Cruelty Free"?

Vegan values aside, I find testing products of any kind on animals abhorrent. I’m not being dramatic, as I believe that as well as being harmful, animal testing is wasteful and therefore cruel. It is simply not necessary when it comes to the manufacturing of cosmetics. Not in 2017. Happily, I live in a tolerant country, because it is no longer a legal requirement to test new cosmetic products on animals here in the UK. Alternative methods include using in vitro test methods and models based on human cell and tissue cultures, or using computer models and simulations. Basically, we’re too smart to rely on such barbaric methods. Cosmetics giant Narsissist is evidently aware of this. We know they know (and they clearly know we know they know) because they posted about it in a half-assed apology on the ‘grams.

They began well enough, stating: “We want you to know that we hear you. 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 –” and this is where Narsissist played themselves – “we must comply with the local laws of the markets in which we operate, including in China.” Surely, the question on everyone’s mind when reading this was ‘MUST you?!’ But they kindly elaborated: “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.”

The ensuing responses in the comments section provided us with some gleeful (and righteous) clap backs. One ex-fan quoted Narsissist’s comment about their “vision” of bringing their “artistry” “to fans in the region” with a ‘LOOOOOL’ complete with six-dollar bag emoji’s. Another aptly pointed out that if they “were truly committed to a cruelty free world, you (Narsissist) wouldn’t sell to them. Not unless they changed their methods. That’s true commitment,” and they “compromised for money.” So now NARS’s once loyal fan-base think they are sell outs. Literally. Why do brands like to play this game of double standards (ahem, Shea Moisture)?

It makes me wonder why companies keep letting us (and themselves, and the animals) down. But what do these businesses owe us, anyway, the greedy consumer? Do we have a right to hold them accountable? I’ll do you a solid and answer that question: yes. Because they manipulate us into thinking that their values align with ours, that they really do care about our opinions and value our custom. Thus, we’re lured into an unwritten agreement whereby they say ‘we are the right brand to fit your needs. And, look! We are conscious about XYZ. Let’s be friends’ and we say ‘ok’ and opt to spend our hard-earned cash on them and not the others who’ve not been as convincing.

Rocky Lewycky

To break said agreement is bad enough. To state, you’re going back on your values (you know, the ones that won us over?) and try to justify them while contradicting yourself fails on three counts. You compromised your brand’s integrity, you disrespected your customers and you desperately tried to cling on by being on the fence, WHILE supporting an industry that is cruel to our furry brethren. We at XXY wonder why brands like to yo-yo between two ideals: one that benefits them financially versus one where they maintain a tolerant, kind-to-planet-and-people public profile. We’ve seen this with companies who ‘champion’ diversity and demonstrate this with a foundation line that ranges from moonlight to alabaster to olive – with the one brown-ish shade (usually labelled mocha) randomly thrown in their for box-ticking sake. We’ve recently seen this with brands that use the support of the underdog to rise to the top, only to jump ship for financial gain. We see so much of this type of behaviour that it’s almost shrug worthy.

But we’re sick of seeing it.


Written by Patricia Ekall

Deputy Editor

Visuals owned by Rocky Lewycky

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