The standard, which comprises 10 modules, five of which have already been made available for public comment, is being developed by Malaysia-based non-profit organization, the International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance).
For the Cosmetics and Toiletries module, the IHI Alliance is working closely with the Cosmetic Toiletries and Fragrance Association (CTFA) of Malaysia.
A fragmented industry
Although a number of regional standards exist, against which cosmetics and toiletries products have been certified, there is currently no global standard. According to Darhim D. Hashim, CEO of the IHI Alliance, there is a real need for harmony within this fragmented industry.
“Without a global standard at least as a benchmark for referencing, there is little chance of mutual recognition and universal acceptability of a Halal certification mark,” he told CosmeticsDesign.
Such a standard would not only increase consumer confidence by ensuring the integrity of Halal products, but could also help manufacturers of cosmetic and personal care products tap into the Muslim market.
“We strive to achieve the mantra of ‘once certified, accepted everywhere’” said Hashim. “This is good for producers who know they need to follow one set of rules to suit the general market of Halal consumers. For the consumer, they buy with confidence that a set of rules and requirements have been consistently applied” he added.
Dr Mah Hussain-Gambles, an independent Halal consultant and founder of UK-based Saaf Pure Skincare, an organic and Halal-certified skincare range, told CosmeticsDesign that she developed the range in response to increased demand born from a global rise in awareness of Halal lifestyle products.
Product safety, natural ingredients, cruelty-free formulations and corporate social responsibility are all viewed as ‘part and parcel’ of Halal accreditation, according to Dr Hussain-Gambles.
She began formulating a range that was not only 100% alcohol free, but also ensured that no alcohol was used in the manufacturing process itself.
“Getting the products vegan and vegetarian certified made it easier to be Halal compliant. I had to get additional declarations from our suppliers of raw materials to ensure that the ingredients were also GMO and Irradiation free,” she added.
The personal care and cosmetics sector had an estimated 9% share of the global Halal products market in 2005.
According to Dr Hussain-Gambles, although the primary market for skincare appears to be the Far East, with Malaysia in particular being very keen on Halal lifestyle products, the Middle East is increasingly paying more attention to Halal certified skincare.
She added that as consumers in the UK, Europe and the US are educated about greener lifestyle products, they represent a potentially huge market for Halal products.