Cosmax CEO Lee Kyung-soo said in a statement that the company had taken this step to keep up with the market demands for more ethical products.
“Demand for environmentally friendly items, such as vegan and halal products, has been multiplying in the global cosmetics market,” said Lee. “We will continue to make new products that meet the various needs of our global clients.”
Citing a report from US market research firm Grand View Research, Cosmax said that the global vegan cosmetics market is expected to grow at an average of 6.3% annually to reach $2.08bn by 2025.
In 2016, the Korean National Assembly passed a bill stating that all South Korean cosmetic companies are required to stop testing cosmetic ingredients on animals by 2018.
According to Cosmax’s website, the company has dealings with over 600 cosmetics and personal care companies.
Their portfolio includes brands such as Maybelline, Shu Uemura, A.S. Watson Group, Yves Saint Laurent and L’Oreal Paris. Domestically, Cosmax counts The Face Shop, Missha, Nature Republic, Banila Co and Olive Young as its customers.
Currently, popular vegan brands from South Korea include Klairs, Neogen, Cosrx and Whamisa, which are smaller and newer brands in the market.
EVE VEGAN is an internationally recognised certification. In order to obtain the vegan label from EVE VEGAN, companies must adhere to strict guidelines.
It requires the composition and packaging of the product to avoid any ingredients of animal origin as well as ingredients that are on EVE VEGAN’s list of carcinogens, mutagens and reprotoxics (CMR).
Products must not be tested on animals, and companies certified with EVE must make a “commitment” not to export their products to countries that require animal-testing before it goes on the shelves.
This requirement would apply to China however, which does continue to conduct compulsory animal-testing on imported cosmetics.
Cosmax was the first South Korean Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) to establish a subsidiary in China. Cosmax China is based in Shanghai, and supplies more than 200 companies with in-house developed cosmetic products.