The 2nd Asia-Pacific edition of the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit
closed in Hong Kong on November 8th, revealing that the Asian cosmetics industry needs to raise the bar for sustainability. The region is lagging in many ethical and ecological areas, such as alternatives to animal testing, ecological packaging, green formulations, as well as consumer education.
Sam McKay, CEO of Jurlique, delivered the opening keynote address, saying: "Asia has become our number one focus as a region." Jurlique is expanding across Asia, but the brand has faced some challenges. "All the big brands are looking at Asia, making it difficult for us to get listings and build distribution," said McKay.
Sustainable packaging was also discussed -- and the fact that very few Asian brands are taking steps to reduce the environmental footprint of their packaging. Most packaging companies aren't interested in supplying sustainable materials, according to Grace Culhaci from Pure and Green Organics, which includes PLA in its packaging. The fact that there is a low level of understanding of green issues among Asian consumers presents further challenges for brands.