Nars makeup lovers around the world have threatened to boycott the brand over its decision to begin testing its products on animals in order to enter the lucrative Chinese market.
In a bid to placate fans, Nars, which has marketed its cruelty-free practices in the US and Europe for many years, took to Instagram with a post explaining its decision.
“We want you to know that we hear you,” the company said.
“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.”
Nars, a French company founded by make-up artist and photographer François Nars in 1994 and bought by Shiseido in 2000, officially entered the Chinese market last month.
According to a recent report by the US Department of Commerce, China’s personal care and cosmetics market was valued at an estimated US$50 billion in 2015 and is expected to grow seven to 10 per cent annually for at least the next five years.
“China is projected to become the largest market for personal care and cosmetics products globally in the next five to ten years,” reports the Asia Personal Care & Cosmetics Market Guide 2016.
“Multinational companies continue to dominate the personal care products market in China, with nine of the top ten largest sellers across categories being foreign companies.
“The three largest sellers in China currently are Procter and Gamble, L’Oreal and Shiseido.
“This trend is also reflected in domestic production, with over 80 percent of products produced via foreign-owned or joint ventures.”
Despite its move into China, Nars told Instagram followers it is “committed and actively working to advance alternative testing methods.”
“We are proud to support the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, a globally recognised organisation 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.”