Vegan Beauty Wave, the key of ethical consumption in Korea

April 11, 2021 · 3 mins read

innisfree fake package

Recently, some pictures of beauty products were uploaded on Facebook and they soon went viral. In the picture, there was a bottle of serum written “I’m paper bottle” but when it was cut in half, there was a hidden PLASTIC inside. This news soon spread overseas. The product in the picture was a limited edition from Innisfree. Why on earth did Innisfree do such as fraud?

Green Beauty Market In Korea 2021

vegan brand in Korea

In 2019, The economist has designated the year as the ‘vegan year’. At some point, Korea was no exception, and as followed vegan beauty brands began to prosper. As we’ve already introduced in our blog before, Melixer as a pioneer, vegan indie brand toun28 was launched and now there are even luxury vegan brands such as athe, dear dahlia and et cetera. (more details about those brands will be coming out soon in near future) This tendency directly describes that the ethical consumption market has great potential in Korea.

Definition of Vegan beauty

Then what is the exact definition of Vegan beauty?

Vegan beauty means the absence of animal ingredients, while cruelty-free refers to a product that doesn’t test on animals. In other words, it’s possible for a vegan item to have been tested on an animal and a cruelty-free product to contain animal ingredients. (NYTimes. 2019)

Vegan beauty is not just a product that simply excludes animal ingredients, but thoroughly excludes all violence against animals. In other words, the core value of vegan beauty lies in ‘ethical consumption.

Definition of Vegan beauty

As the ethical consumption market gradually expanded around Generation Z, brand new keywords began to emerge which is ‘Conscious Beauty. The definition of conscious beauty is as followed.

‘Conscious Beauty’ describes the way people choose their beauty products, according to their personal values. Generally, this means choosing organic products, products that contain fewer chemicals and pesticides, and those that are eco-friendly, and cruelty-free. (Allbeauty. 2020)

Now, the key is to care not only about animals but also mother nature. One significant example is the Zero waste package. According to the study, above 90% of the packages used in cosmetics cannot be recycled. As the reality is, consumers are paying more and more attention to brands that care about environmental protection, such as using eco-friendly materials such as biodegradable packages to reduce waste.

The happening of Innisfree’s fake ‘paper bottle package’ was due to their exertion to capture these ‘ethical consumer groups’ but rather, it struck consumer’s resentment instead. Their opinion is that the plastic containers used inside are 100% recyclable, and used paper is packaged outside to protect the product instead of colored film paper instead which cannot be recycled.

As we are now living in increasingly hazardous times such as global warming and pandemic, people’s needs for sustainable beauty will continue as it warranties no one’s sacrifice. That is why we see conscious beauty as a new normal, not a simple trend.

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