In the world of growing beauty standards and burgeoning products to supplement the same, China being one of the leading beauty product manufacturers is leading with all the wrong examples. Despite the ubiquity of the products, very little is known about what goes behind the shutters of the factories producing them. Upon digging deeper into China’s cosmetic industry,the truth of the dungeon reveals the desperate need for intervention to save lives that are under the swinging knives of the Chinese authorities.
In this era of globalisation, with China having one eye on becoming the largest economy in the world by 2024, another on becoming the superpower, there emerges a definite possibility attracting the world towards the lower developed countries for investment, job opportunities, and setting up of manufacturing units. However, the pricing in the country seems to take priority to leave other countries in a desperate shape. To ensure this price competitiveness, Chinese beauty product manufacturers employ a host of cost-cutting tactics that do not only involve employment of degraded raw materials, but also engage in unlawful labour practices and other illegal means.
Every year, India’s imports from China surges as China captures the price-conscious Indian consumers during the festive season. This year, the sentiments have taken a drastic change. Demand for a product does not depend on price factors alone, but also the country’s relations with India. Moreover, the shocking revelations of what goes behind the beauty industry in China have perturbed all Indians.
In China, cheap labour equals to forced labour. An average factory worker in China earns ₹22,467 per month and in suburbs as low as ₹10.860 per month which turns out to be ₹150 per hour for the highest paid worker. China’s “Prison slave labour industry” contours the countless products made using forced labour for which there is no fair wage, no respect, no ethical treatment and humane working conditions. Also, it becomes hazardous to do business with some Chinese factories under such obscurecircumstances.
No wonder, six of the top twenty most polluted cities in the world are in China. A recent examination on Chinese business showed 70% violation of environmental standards. Although China is still striving to improve their historically lax pollution law, it still contributes to extreme levels of pollution in the all the aspects. The chemical run- off, hazardous emissions in the process of making products harms the environment by entering the air and oceans on regular basis.
Historically, cosmetic industries in China required to test their products on animals. Animal testing, has long been a worrisome issue in China, excluding Hong Kong, in order to physically sell the foreign product in the country. Although, China’s campaign on – #becrueltyfree is still under process, pre-marketing testing is still prevalent in China, while the rest of the world has adopted a cruelty free and more conscious branding.
Since the cosmetics industry in china uses animals as test subjects by dripping chemicals, giving large doses with no pain relief provided, leaving them brutally bruised, blinded, and poisoned is the only method known to the self-serving authoritarian authorities, a complete ban on animal testing in China by cosmetic industry is unlikely on its own. It is improbable for the industry to adopt alternatives due to great time and money that transition will cost. Such a transition can bring a huge blow for the Chinese cosmetics industry in terms of their demand as well as productivity of crueltyfreeproducts.
The nightmare in the cosmetic industry continues in the world’s knock-off capital in the world. China is infamous when it comes to manufacturing knock-offs. They replicate the entire look of a product with the lowest, inexpensive material, mostly filled with toxic ingredients harmful for health. China’s knock off trade with India is tremendously widespread that the products look identical at the glance, and only peaks during the Diwali season.
Indian consumers need to be wary of the knock-off products from China, where the manufactures substitute a brand’s ingredients with cheaper quality ingredients without consultation. The most significant instance here is the products which China manufactures to India. It consists of the lowest quality, cheapest raw materials used. That is to say Chinese cosmetics industry is guilty of major intellectual property theft. The consumers are duped into buying the fake products causing skin irritation and other health problems, while on the other hand, the original brands suffer from tarnished brand image due to the knock-offs.
This festive season India is a pious and holy time. The people believe that good trumps evil, as evil is burned away. To put it into practice, Indian consumers need to be mindful of their purchases as the market is beleaguered with the counterfeit products produced in China, in the backdrop oflabour exploitation, and cruelty to the animals that is the brand image of cosmetics industry of China.