Vegan, which used to be a food staple, has now become a presence that can be seen in various fields. In the midst of a vegan craze, people can now easily find it in real life, with vegan-certified cosmetics and fashion among the examples. In fact, this vegan craze has not come out of nowhere recently. The awakening that the natural destruction of mankind and the resulting climate crisis caused the COVID-19 pandemic began with this change. As a result, as value consumption began to spread from 2020, veganism became a culture and a trend.
Vegan cosmetics are cosmetic products which do not undergo animal testing and use only eco-friendly ingredients derived from nature instead of animal-based raw materials. Recently, the trend of value consumption and conscious beauty has continued to spread among the MZ generation(Millennial + Z generation), resulting in a fad for veganism. Conscious beauty refers to a conscious cosmetics consumption trend that excludes suspected harmful ingredients, does not conduct animal testing, and even considers the global environment. Since the revision of the Cosmetics Act in 2016, interest in vegan cosmetics has increased as distribution and sales of cosmetics produced by animal testing have been banned, and this has led to the appearance of vegan keywords in the cosmetics industry. Cosmetics, which usually incorporated animal testing into its production, and included animal-derived ingredients, are now changing their raw materials. Animal-derived raw materials include animal fat, wax, and other subcutaneous tissues of animals, and ingredients extracted from organs or produced by animals, including egg oil(an egg yolk), squalene(shark liver oil), lanolin(wool), beeswax(honey), milk, and snail mucus. However, with the revision of the Cosmetics Act and the beginning of the vegan boom, it is being replaced by vegetable raw materials such as pitch bio-formula, shea butter, cacao butter, and vetiver oil.
In fact, CJ Olive Young(Health & Beauty store) has selected “vegan beauty” as the strategic keyword for this year, and is aiming for vegan cosmetics. According to the Institute for brand reputation in Korea, in April 2023, the top 10 vegan cosmetics brand reviews were analyzed in the order of LUSH, AROMATICA, TOUN 28, belief, DEAR DAHLIA, DR. BRONNER’S, HOURGLASS, melixir, and Bonajour.
According to the “2023 Expected Beauty Trends” released by mobile beauty platform Hwahae in March, search volume related to the environment and veganism has increased 3.6 times over the past two years. Particularly, if women in their 20s were previously interested in sustainable beauty, the trend of related searches surged by 151% in their 30s and 140% in their 40s last year, showing even interest among all age groups. Vegan is said to be a craze among the MZ generation, but it now encompasses the 20s and 40s from Gen Z to Millennials and X Generation.
Yu Ha-bin(Dept. of Korean Language and Literature, 21), a student who uses vegan cosmetics said, “Thanks to an acquaintance who is very interested in the environment and animal rights, I naturally came across things about veganism. I use hand cream among vegan cosmetics, but I have never felt that there is a big difference in performance and effectiveness from non-vegan cosmetics. When I first started using vegan cosmetics, it was not easy to find vegan-certified products, but these days, I think it is even better to find many vegan-certified products in Korea. As accessibility is better than before, I think I will continue to use vegan cosmetics. Personally, it is not easy to practice veganism completely in eating, so I am thinking of choosing vegan products little by little in this area.”
Additionally, Cheon Mun-hui(Dept. of School of Business, 21) said, “As I was looking for a product with good reviews, I chose a vegan product, and I am using Dr.G sunblock and FEEV lip balm. First of all, I think the biggest advantage is that you feel that you have made reasonable and environmental consumption. It is a small satisfaction that I am implementing small changes in my daily life. These days, vegan cosmetics have good product power and reasonable prices, so I am thinking of buying them. I hope that various companies will release vegan products.”
Vegan fashion refers to clothes made without using animal materials such as leather, fur, and wool. The fashion industry has the negative distinction of being an industry that causes environmental pollution. This is because the entire process, from producing clothes to distribution to disposal, emits a significant amount of greenhouse gases that affect climate change. Additionally, the fashion industry includes the sacrifice of many kinds of animals, and numerous resources are used in the process of raising and slaughtering animals. As a result, the fashion industry has recognized the impact on environmental pollution and is striving to implement sustainable fashion to correct it.
A typical vegan fashion brand is VEGAN TIGER. It is the first vegan fashion brand in Korea launched in 2015, and is introducing animal-friendly fashion that replaces fur and leather without using animal materials to end animal abuse in fashion. Moreover, VEGAN TIGER, which has the philosophy of “Changing fashion with my thoughts rather than revealing my fashionable self,” participates in LA Vegan Fashion Week every year, which began in 2019, and held the Milan Sustainable Fashion Exhibition for the first time in Asia in Feb. 2020.
In addition, there are diverse vegan fashion brands like OPENPLAN, which aims for plastic-free and vegan fashion by insisting only on vegetable natural fibers and renewable fibers with the belief that “We will no longer make trash under the name of fashion,” and HEUREUX, which contains the hope that happiness will be delivered not only to humans but also to animals. By using a French brand name, which means “to bring happiness,” and NOT OURS, which thinks about things that are not “ours” as its name suggests. Vegan fashion continues to rise in demand. Vegan fashion, which is mainly made of vegetable ingredients that are sustainable and even environmentally friendly, continues to emerge, not fast fashion that immediately reflects the latest trends and quickly produces them according to trends.
Is not the reason for the recent ability of veganism to establish not only what people eat but also what people wear and use in their real lives, the change in consumer consumption trends? Consumption of value has spread as people think about the environment and animals, which is causing a craze that encompasses many generations. As vegan has established itself in culture, it may be able to be combined in various fields in the future. Below is the vegan certification mark, and wherever it can be found, it means that the product is vegan.
Veganism, which has expanded according to the consumer’s consumption culture, has now grown into a full-blown culture.
By Kim Si-eun | email@example.com
By Kim Ye-rin | firstname.lastname@example.org