The Korea Herald

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Cosmetics maker Siita sets off new syndrome in sustainability

By Park Soong-joo

Published : Aug. 30, 2023 - 11:17

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Former K-pop star and activist Lee Hyo-ri poses with Siita's new sustainable hand lotion for Vogue magazine. (Siita) Former K-pop star and activist Lee Hyo-ri poses with Siita's new sustainable hand lotion for Vogue magazine. (Siita)

Korean vegan skincare brand Siita's sustainable hand cream released in May sold more than $9 million worth of product over the last three months, selling out a year's worth of inventory on its day of release.

Former K-pop star and activist Lee Hyo-ri, a figure who swore off commercial advertising, has been actively publicizing Siita's new sustainable hand cream.

Through Siita, public engagement in sustainability has been increasing in Korea.

Biodegradable plastic was deemed unattainable as a proper product material because of its unmalleable properties and lack of heat resistance. But Siita's product, contained in biodegradable plastic that is pliable, sturdy and appealing in design.

Siita adapted biodegradable plastic in manufacturing in 2021 and further succeeded in minimizing the difference between sustainable plastic and plastic.

With no apparent difference on the surface, Siita's biodegradable plastic products allow consumers to renounce the common myth that plastic is irreplaceable.

The vegan cosmetics brand was the first in the world to install a manufacturing facility for biodegradable plastics in September 2021. All of Siita's products, including the packaging, are 100 percent biodegradable, taking about three months to decompose.

As of today, Siita is the only company in the industry that uses biodegradable plastics. Last year alone, Siita was responsible for safely getting rid of an amount of plastic comparable to the size of a World Cup stadium.

A photo of Siita facility (bottom) and an image of the company's material processing cycle. (Siita) A photo of Siita facility (bottom) and an image of the company's material processing cycle. (Siita)

Such innovation has led to the company being described by some as “Apple of the cosmetics industry,” according to Siita officials.

Globally acclaimed media, including Bloomberg and the IBTimes, as well as well-known stars like Jeremy Renner and CL, have been showing their support for the brand.

Siita's mission to leave no waste behind for future generations is ongoing.

The company has broken down nearly 5,000 tons of plastic so far at its facility in Yangyang, Gangwon Province. Building on its core technologies, the company has set its eyes on the global market for biodegradable plastic raw materials, estimated to be worth $40.9 billion. Beyond this initial target, the company hopes to make inroads into the trillion dollar plastic market, and ultimately to transform the industry into a sustainable industry.