Kicking dirt in the face of Urban Decay’s recent announcement that the brand are now allowing their (previously certified cruelty-free) products to be tested on animals (if required by law) comes a new initiative from LUSH.  The British brand – who have recently caused controversy after unveiling a ‘shock’ stunt at their Regent Street store – are taking a particularly pro-active stance against animal-testing by fronting a £250,000 annual fund (in partnership with Ethical Consumer) towards finding and implementing viable alternatives to the traditional methods of safety testing cosmetics.

A panel of ten independent judges will deliver the verdicts on the movers and shakers in the industry in a high-profile awards ceremony to be held in London each year.  The initiative will be known as The LUSH Prize and will be awarded to the most effective projects and individuals working towards the goal of replacing animal use in product safety testing.  The £250,000 fund will be divided into five prizes of £50,000 each and awarded across five distinct categories:

Science Prize –  the development of replacement non-animal tests

Training Prize –  training researchers in non-animal methods

Lobbying Prize –  policy interventions to promote the use of replacements

Public Awareness Prize –  raising public-awareness of ongoing testing

Young Researcher Awards –  to five post-graduates specialising in replacements research

In any year where there is a major breakthrough in 21st Century Toxicology – the area which holds out most hope for a ‘Eureka’ moment where animal tests can be replaced wholesale, the entire £250,000 prize fund will be awarded to the individual or team respsonsible.

You can watch Mark Constantine, the managing director and co-founder of LUSH Cosmetics explain more about the new LUSH Prize below:

I’m applauding LUSH for taking a different direction in the fight against animal-testing, and this is coming from someone who is rarely a fan of their “hard-hitting” publicity stunts and campaigns.  I don’t get morally outraged, I just like to believe that I’m not so completely desensitized to the issues that I need something so brutal to remind me (or the younger fans of LUSH) of it.  I also felt that the window campaign fetishized the issue, I like to think… accidentally, but who knows.

What say you?


I wasn’t sure whether or not I wanted to comment on the latest news from Urban Decay which indicates their intention to expand operations into China.  Afterall, I’m not a “cruelty-free blogger” (writing only about cruelty-free products) and I’m not entirely sure that it’s my place to come out of the woodwork and comment on issues that I don’t normally involve myself with.  Having said that, it’s something that for whatever reason, I can’t stop thinking about.  I’ve been mulling it over in my head and it’s left a heavy-hearted feeling bumping around in my chest.  When all is said and done (and the Urban Decay press machine have spun a number of well-written statements defending their decision), it’s still (to me) an act of ultimate betrayal for the millions of fans that have been acquired, precisely because of the brand’s staunch stand against animal-testing.

In some ways, it’s due to my non pro-active status on the issue that I’m so surprised by the move.  MAC, Avon, Estee Lauder, Mary Kay and the other brands who have recently taken the decision to enter the Chinese market (therefore accepting the potential animal-testing regulations that surround the move) haven’t encouraged the slightest eyebrow-raise from my corner of the blogosphere, but then again, these aren’t brands that have built and staked their reputations on their responsibilities to providing cruelty-free cosmetics in the same way that Urban Decay have done.

Many of you will know that the EU have already banned the animal-testing of cosmetics within their own laboratories and despite postponements and potential delays, there’s still a significant push to ban the sale and marketing of any products within the EU that contain an ingredient that has been tested using animals by March 2013.  This would be the end result of a massive campaign that has been ongoing for over a decade and something that campaigners such as the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) would be immensely proud of achieving.  Above all else, it shows that there is huge demand in the world for new legislation and an appetite to develop alternative means of testing that cause harm to neither man nor beast.

So just why are these multi-national brands taking such giant steps backward by entering a foreign market which has a record of resistance when it comes to acknowledging or financing efforts into finding alternatives to animal-testing?  Well, there can really only be one reason.  China is a huge market, with the scope for almost immeasurable growth and in these economically uncertain times, it seems that everyone wants a piece of that particular pie.

The justifications released by Urban Decay focus on a rather romanticized notion of infiltrating the nation’s psyche from within through the use of education, and promoting a dialogue on the issue but as one Temptalia reader, BlackFuji succinctly wrote: This is like saying “I don’t punch my kids in the face… the babysitter does. I hope the babysitter learns from my example.”  Urban Decay’s infamous (and trademarked) tagline: “We don’t do animal testing. How could anyone?” ultimately sounds rather hollow under this new direction.

Whilst the brand have been busily reminding their followers on Twitter that they’re listening to feedback following the announcement and that they remain committed to not testing their products on animals, the BUAV have today released a statement confirming that Urban Decay will no longer be certified ‘cruelty free’ under the Humane Cosmetics or Humane Household Products Standards and that the U.S. cosmetic brand will no longer be licensed to carry the internationally-recognised Leaping Bunny trademark on their products.

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How do you feel about Urban Decay’s recent announcement?  Do you have faith in their motivations to enact change in this new market?

Humane testing, just not that important?

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 26 - 2010

According to the latest consumer study from America anyway…

Market Force Information, a market survey company, presented a selection of US consumers with the question what do you love most about your favourite makeup line and surprisingly only a small number of respondents selected the option of loving it because they use humane testing/environmentally safe.

I’m curious about this survey… it appears that it was a “tick the box that applies” affair rather than “provide your own answers in the space below”, but what if the respondent was unsure of whether their favourite brand tests humanely.  That doesn’t really leave uses humane testing as a viable answer option regardless of their feelngs on animal testing.  Survey fail?

I’m curious about how savvy people really are when it comes to humane testing and environmental issues – could you take a moment to answer my poll please?

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Are you aware of your favourite cosmetic brand's animal testing policy?

  • Yes (58%, 90 Votes)
  • No (42%, 66 Votes)

Total Voters: 156

Loading ... Loading ...

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I have to remember that a lot of you guys are probably more makeup savvy than your ordinary consumer which may make a difference, but it’ll be interesting to see the results nonetheless!

Do you think that the original survey was wrong to draw the conclusion that humane testing isn’t an important consideration for US consumers?

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