A Muslim businesswoman in Britain has launched the country’s first range of halal cosmetics which are free from alcohol and animal products.
British entrepreneur Samina Akhter set up Samina Pure Make-up at her home in Birmingham after questioning the ingredients of many international brand makeup products, Sky News reported.
She was shocked to find out that some of the products she used contained fatty acids and gelatine from pigs. “As a Muslim, I was questioning what I was putting on my skin. I wanted to know whether it was permissible in Islam,” she said.
Akhter says her make-up products are made from plant extracts, minerals, essential oils and vitamins. “Many Muslim women like me have been frustrated by wanting to look good and follow their faith,” she said.
Halal cosmetics are an up and coming business. Malaysian singer-turned-entrepreneur Famiza Zulkifli began her company four years ago and now has an annual turnover of $1.6 billion. She exports dozens of beauty products to Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand and Brunei, and plans to expand her business to Europe next year.
A Malaysian research company has estimated the global halal business to be worth $635 billion a year, which has expanded from Muslim countries to Western nations with a growing Muslim population. The halal cosmetics business is estimated to be worth $560 million globally and is seen by analysts as next in line for growth after the halal food and Islamic finance sectors.
This trend is catching on in Pakistan but has not yet become the norm. While several local supermarkets stock halal cosmetics and perfumes, the demand for it is still less in comparison to regular make-up products.
However, skeptics claim that the halal stamp is a gimmick, and there are no checks in place to determine whether a product being certified is halal or not.
Abdalhamid David Evans, a British expert on the halal business, believes that more manufacturers will jump on the bandwagon as Muslims choose halal products to reinforce their identity while others become more eco-conscious.
“People are becoming increasingly concerned about those things and they become a marketing issue, and without a doubt, (the halal cosmetics industry) is going to be big,” said Evans.
WITH INFORMATION FROM AFP
Published in The Express Tribune, 27th, 2010.
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