Well-informed consumers are increasingly opting for halal fashion and lifestyle products as their wholesomeness appeals even to non-Muslims. Patricea Chow-Capodieci rounds up some halal lifestyle brands, some of which also adopt ethical and environmentally friendly practices.
The interest in halal products is a global phenomenon, and the halal market is reported by various respected newspapers and journals to be worth US$2 trillion. Part of this is due to these products being highly sought by non-Muslims. Halal products are more than just about the exclusion of haram (prohibited) components or ingredients such as alcohol and other intoxicants, swine or pork and its by-products, and animals not slaughtered in the Islamic way. They are also indicated by their purpose: whether they were acquired legally, whether they are harmful, and others. All this resonates well with the current consumer movement of preferring products that are ethical, safe for consumption and caring towards the Earth as well as its dwellers.
Not all manufacturers of products that are permissible in Islam are Muslim or even Islamic. They do not need to be. Islam is a way of life that promotes healthy practices in all aspects of living, some of which overlap with the beliefs of those who choose ethical, organic, vegan or non-alcoholic paths. Whether their commitment is driven by faith or self-respect, today’s consumers are more conscious about what they apply, consume or put on.
And spend in the way of Allah and do not throw (yourselves) with your (own) hands into destruction (by refraining). And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.
BEAUTY & SKIN CARE
Martha Tilaar Group is helmed by well-known Indonesian entrepreneur Martha Tilaar. It is responsible for many prestigious brands, including award-winners Sariayu and Biokos, and Sariayu SOLUSI, all produced with the Muslim community in mind by being free of animal products and not tested on animals. Sariayu is a range of head-to-toe skincare, herbal supplements, bodycare and haircare products, and makeup. Biokos is a label of advanced skincare for women in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
The Group’s commitment to high production standards has garnered certifications for ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 for quality and environmental management, respectively. They also support the preservation of the culture and nature of Indonesia through special lines of products that benefit the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). This year, with every sale from the Sariayu Exotic Indonesia—The Colours of Asia line, Rp500 (US$0.06) will be donated to WWF in support of Indonesia’s oceanic biodiversity. Sariayu’s commitment to providing ‘natural total beauty care’ is met with Sariayu SOLUSI skincare products that contain 100 per cent organic grape seed and licorice extracts, and are free from synthetic chemicals and pesticides.
Biokos contains natural ingredients such as Humulus Lupulus extract, Alpha Arbutin and Saccharomyces/Xylinum Black Tea Complex, well known for their ability to even-out skin tone, lighten skin colour and increase skin clarity and brightness, respectively. Further, Biokos Derma Bright products are sold in vacuum-packed containers held in environmentally friendly packages. Products are priced from US$1.50 (Sariayu), US$3.75 (Sariayu SOLUSI) and US$19 (Biokos), available from various outlets across Indonesia and Malaysia. In Singapore, Sariayu SOLUSI products are available at the Martha Tilaar Shop at Marina Square. www.marthatilaarshop.com and www.biokos.com
With more than 10 years of experience as a makeup artist in the USA and Canada, Layla Mandi knows that proper skin care is important. Upon converting to Islam, she found that many beauty products and skincare lines used ingredients that were haram. Believing that beauty and faith do not have to be in conflict, she then spent two years working with a chemist and a dermatologist to develop OnePure, a skincare range that consists ‘solely’ of halal ingredients and that also ‘applies Sharia-compliance to its entire value chain’.
Besides daily, whitening and anti-aging products of cleansers, toners, moisturisers and masks, the brand also offers serums that nourish, enhance and boost skin’s performance, and treatment formulations that repair skin damage and eliminate skin problems. According to Layla, ‘I see that most brands formulate products for cold weather and they are too oily or break down and lose their effectiveness in hot or humid weather. So all OnePure products are formulated to combat extreme weather effects.’ The brand’s website has a consultation page that suggests products for your type of skin concern. Their most popular products are The Perfect Toner (US$29), 12-Hour Night Repair Treatment (US$67) and Target Serum: Fair + Spotless (US$67). Shipping is free worldwide and delivery times vary according to location. www.onepurehalalbeauty.com
Haram means unlawful or prohibited in Arabic
SAAF PURE SKINCARE
‘I believe halal is beyond alcohol- and pork-free, but also about being pure, not harming the environment and its inhabitants, and not harming animals. It is also about running a business ethically, about corporate social responsibility, and about Tayyib,’ says founder Dr Mahvash Hussain-Gambles. A natural skincare specialist with a doctorate in Clinical Trials, Dr Mahvash has more than 15 years’ experience of in-depth skincare research. Combine this with ‘sound’ science and the result is the leading-edge skincare solution that is Saaf Pure Skincare.
Tayyib is Arabic for pure and wholesome.
Following her beliefs, Saaf’s claims of ‘the world’s most highly accredited skincare range currently on the market’ are matched by its many certifications. The company is organic certified by the Soil Association for using 100 percent organic raw materials and being free of genetically modified organisms and synthetic additives; halal certified by the European Halal Authority; vegetarian certified by the Vegetarian Society; vegan registered and checked by the Vegan Society; endorsed by Naturewatch as a cruelty-free brand; and, approved by BUAV, a respected authority on animal testing issues, certified as a company that follows The Humane Cosmetics Standard, the only global scheme for cruelty-free cosmetics, with over 300 companies currently being considered for approval. Saaf also cares for the Earth by using glass containers and cartons that are recyclable.
Prices start from US$29 for a two-piece pack of Organic Clean Sweep Face Cloth. Available in Malaysia from TNS Skin Lab (www.ozwin.com.my) and Shins (www.shins.com.my). In Singapore, products are available at www.salve.com.sg. Customers in other countries can order from www.saafpureskincare.com.
SAMINA PUREMINERAL MAKEUP
It was Samina Akhter’s passion for pure and natural beauty that is also halal that drove her to create a range of makeup that reflects her beliefs. Says Samina: ‘I want all women to experience how Samina Pure Mineral Makeup can improve their looks and confidence but at the same time offer a health beauty solution to the makeup currently available. The ingredients we use are of the highest quality, combining age-old natural ingredients such as plant extracts and plant butters with modern science to create high performance natural makeup and colours with staying power.’ The brand also does not test on animals at any stage of production and packaging is kept to a minimum – stocks of individual items normally arrive without outer cartons but, when required, are made from recycled paper. Items are priced from US$5 for mini pots of loose powder foundation or loose setting powder, and gift packs are available. International shipping (standard cost of US$8.90; deliverable between 10 and 14 working days) and payments by PayPal are available.
Not only is Wardah’s range of fragrance, cosmetics, skincare and whitening products halal-certified, but the company also follows Islamic teachings that endorse cleanliness, health, beauty and modesty. ‘This is done by using high quality halal raw materials, in products that are developed by beauty experts, which then inspires beauty in women,’ Wardah’s marketing manager informs us. From its Basic and Personal series of daily cleansing essentials for the face and body to its Scentsation fragrances and makeup range, Wardah products are all formulated for Asian skin and for use in tropical conditions. Coupled with its affordable price range that starts from US$1, it is not surprising that Wardah is the fifth-best-selling brand at Matahari, Indonesia’s largest department store, ranking behind four international makeup brands. It is also the preferred makeup brand of leading Indonesian television stations RCTI and Trans TV. Available at all major retailers in Indonesia including Carrefour, LotteMart, Watsons and Giant.
ZINK MINERAL COSMETICS
Zink products are manufactured in Australia using pure Australian minerals that are absolutely sans fillers like clay, talc and synthetic chemicals. Owner James McCartney, an Australian entrepreneur, says: ‘Working closely with my partners, including a beauty therapist and makeup artist, I have put together a range that excels in quality and sits within a medium price range to give maximum value in every way to the marketplace. Our product is Sharia-compliant [in such a way that] it contains no animal products or animal by-products and no alcohol.’ Everything is also 100 percent vegan, free from chemical preservatives and offers Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 15. Due to the purity of Zink products, they can be applied on skin immediately after non-invasive cosmetic surgery such as microdermabrasion, laser hair removal or waxing without fear of skin irritation or allergies. Zink products are also non-comedogenic. Prices range from US$22 for a 5g jar of mineral eyeshadow or mineral brow definer/eyeliner. International orders are accepted via www.zinkmineralcosmetics.com.
ZUII ORGANIC COSMETICS
‘Wear Flowers on Your Face.’ So says the tagline of Zuii Organic Cosmetics, an Australian brand that is ‘the only 100% Certified Organic cosmetic range produced from flowers’. Its powder products are made from the petals of organic flowers like rose, jasmine and chamomile while a USDA certification affirms that over 95 per cent of plant extracts, essential oils, and vitamins and minerals used in its products are organic. Nothing is tested on animals and there are no parabens, synthetic chemicals, petrochemicals, genetically modified ingredients, talcs or preservatives in any of its products. Zuii is not limited by its natural goodness, as can be seen from its range that includes lip tints (US$25.40), lipsticks (US$30.55), blushers (US$29.50) and eyeshadows (US$22.25). Orders can be placed via www.zuiiorganic.com or by sending queries to email@example.com.
Muslim couples looking to improve their sexual wellbeing and sexual health can turn to El Asira that may very well be, as it claims, the world’s first Sharia-compliant online ‘webshop catered to the sexual health of primarily Muslim couples’. There are simply no others quite like it. There are no sex toys, pornographic materials or even nudity found on its website. Instead, find products like Swede Senze Massage Candles that melt into oil for massages, Lylou Kissable Glamour Cream that aids sexual energy and the well-received Swede Fruity Love BODYJAM. Only products that have a strong focus on botanic or organic ingredients are included, and these are further inspected to ensure that they are Sharia-compliant. As for this interesting concept owned by Abdelaziz Aouragh and two partners, Abdelaziz says, ‘Sexuality is a normal part of everyone’s life. And El Asira promotes understanding of that part of life in a way that is appropriate from an Islamic perspective.’ Products on www.elasira.com cost from US$10 and shipping is arranged within three working days after orders are placed.
Continue to part 2 of our feature, Fabulously Halal Clothing & Accessories
This article originally appeared in the March/April 2011 edition of Aquila Style magazine