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Paul Mitchell Pulls Out of Chinese Market After Refusing to Test Their Products on Animals

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We’ve talked at length about the concept of being intentionally cruelty-free vs. being opportunistically cruelty-free:

Intentionally Cruelty-Free Beauty: Being cruelty-free because it is a core belief of your company and one that cannot be compromised. Not up for negotiation or policy change.

Opportunistically Cruelty-Free Beauty: Being cruelty-free because it is not necessary to test on animals at the time, fits within laws in the countries in which the beauty products are sold, and because it’s recognized as a valuable marketing tool. Open to negotiation and policy change. (Read more about that in our article Join the Intentionally Cruelty-Free Beauty Movement)

The subject was brought to light recently when it was revealed that companies such as Avon, Estee Lauder and Mary Kay, who claimed to be cruelty free, had resumed testing their products on animals at the behest of the Chinese government. This was the only way that they could continue to sell their products to the Chinese market. They lamented “poor us,” and went on to cry about how they were the victims of an outside government who did not share their values, and agonized over how their hands were tied and there was *nothing* they could do.

Well apparently they don’t have the same problem-solving skills as the folks at Paul Mitchell, who, when faced with the same issue, simply pulled their product from the Chinese market. Paul Mitchell CEO and co-founder John Paul DeJoria has announced that, in order to keep the integrity of the company’s cruelty-free policy, they will not sell their products in China.


China told John Paul Mitchell Systems (parent company of Paul Mitchell) that they would have to pay for animal testing if they wanted to continue to sell their products there and, unlike Mary Kay and Avon, Paul Mitchell did not bow to such pressure. DeJoria state, “Since Paul Mitchell was founded in 1980, we have been cruelty-free. We do not conduct or condone animal testing on our products, and we will not attempt to market our products in China until alternatives to animal testing methods have been accepted by the government. We are honoured and encouraged to be working with China to bring about positive change. Paul Mitchell always has been and always will be cruelty-free!”

We applaud Paul Mitchell Hair Systems for their sticking to their guns and taking a firm stance against animal testing!

If you buy Paul Mitchell products, or go to a salon that stocks Paul Mitchell products, be sure to let them know that you care about this issue, and applaud them for their stance!

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