Thanks to the far-sighted vision of Founder and Chairman Steven Ko, since 2006 this Taiwanese company has been developing advanced strategies to address these environmental challenges. In doing so, it has gained a competitive advantage in what has become a must for hair & beauty brands around the world.
In 2006, O’right had already established green sustainability as its goal and by 2009 it had launched its own carbon footprint verification. The following year, it obtained the first batch of carbon footprint labels in Taiwan, followed in 2011 by the first carbon neutral label – the world’s first zero-carbon shampoo, which was certified by the British Standards Institution (BSI) . O’right then went on to achieve carbon neutrality for all its products, factories and organizations for three consecutive years since 2020, and the first zero-carbon beauty corporation in the world. Founder and Chairman Steven KO had an early insight into global trends and predicted in 2006 that “global brands will turn green sooner or later.” Today, the global supply chain is gradually moving towards green transformation, which has become an opportunity and an edge in competitiveness for businesses. If enterprises are not willing to move toward zero-carbon transformation, their future might be compromised.
From being a hair product agent to creating his own green hair and cosmetics brand, Steven Ko hopes to get rid of the stereotype that “cosmetics are equal to ordinary chemicals”. The founder has suffered from severe allergies since he was a child. Since he started his salon business, he has visited many salons and discovered that stylists’ hands were damaged by chemical ingredients. He was eager to help people stay away from toxic heavy metals and chemical substances. Therefore, Steven determined to develop the hair & cosmetics business in a way that is good for the both the environment and human beings.
In the early days of its establishment, O’right set green standards and implemented carbon reduction plans in five stages of the product life cycle, from raw material acquisition, manufacturing, consumer use to waste recycling. The raw materials emphasize the comprehensive removal of petrochemical sources. The natural and organic guidelines for cosmetics “ISO 16128” issued by the ISO organization explains that natural cosmetics means “non-petrochemical”. Since 2019, O’right has chosen USDA Biobased, the world’s most credible official USDA Biobased natural and sustainable certification, to test the “non-petrochemical ingredient ratio” of products in a scientific way and with professional instruments and cooperated with local agriculture to use raw materials in production. Agricultural by-products replace petrochemical ingredients. For example, coffee grounds are used to extract coffee oil, coffee peels are used to extract caffeine, sorghum wine grains and wolfberry roots are used to make hair, skin & beauty products. Through the principle of biological recycling, increasing the use of renewable agricultural resources can not only reduce dependence on oil and avoid creating more carbon emissions, but also mitigate climate change and protect the environment and biodiversity.
As the global sustainability and ESG trends become more and more popular, natural, and organic cosmetics products are flooding the market. They are good at marketing and communication techniques to attract consumers to buy, such as the marketing technique of recycling empty bottles in stores, but new plastic is still used on the shelves. Therefore, the European Parliament has established a proposal that environmental terms such as “environmental protection, natural, biodegradable, climate neutral, ecological” should not be used without proof, in order to curb greenwashing.
The “circular economy” is an important milestone for O’right to implement the concept of sustainability. O’right is unique in the world and has launched “100% PCR consumer products recycling”. The products are made of recycled plastic packaging.
In order to prevent plastic from ending up in the oceans or in incinerators, O’right has built an industrial recycling system, to comprehensively reuse recycled materials, to connect bottle factories and resource recycling stations and to cooperate to regenerate the PCR plastic bottle supply chain, with a carbon reduction effect of up to 80%. Since 2017, it has successfully prevented 5 million plastic bottles and plastic presses from flowing into the sea or incinerators. The final step of the circular economy – the “regeneration and remanufacturing” of recycled resources – is the responsibility of enterprises.
Over the past 17 years, Steven Ko has transformed the green supply chain, subverting the cosmetics industry. He has removed electroplating from packaging and changed composite packaging materials to refill packs. O’right has extended its transformative efforts even into everyday items like toothpaste. Since the Industrial Revolution, the main ingredients of toothpaste have remained unchanged. In response to market demands for innovations such as teeth whitening, cleansing, and sensitivity relief, chemical additives became standard in toothpaste formulations. However, O’right has disrupted this century-old tradition by developing a toothpaste that eliminates six major risk substances (high-hardness abrasives, highly irritating foaming agents, bactericides, etc.). In recent years, O’right’s research and development efforts have received recognition, winning prestigious awards such as the Sustainable Beauty Awards in France and the Japan Good Design Gold Award, solidifying the toothpaste as the epitome of excellence in the realms of cosmetics, design, and invention.
O’right’s marketing strategy in Asia
O’right has more than 30 department store experience centers in Taiwan, 5 authorized sales and official websites of cooperative e-commerce platforms, and 40 international agents around the world, including Japan, Shanghai, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, etc. in Asia. O’right, which started as a salon, has more than 7,000 salons across Taiwan using O’right’s “zero carbon” shampoo. O’right even specially commended more than 3,600 excellent “Green Salon” stores. This means that the use of hot water heated by a boiler for washing customers’ hair has achieved the “carbon neutral” zero-carbon goal.
Taking the carbon emissions of a bottle of shampoo as an example, the carbon emissions at the manufacturing end account for about 10%. The rinsing water used by consumers for shampooing and the gas and electricity required to generate hot water account for about 90%. In addition to fully implementing the carbon reduction plan and reducing carbon emissions generated in the production process, O’right needs to purchase qualified carbon credits to offset the carbon generated by consumer use. O’right has stored carbon credits for five years and promises to offset the carbon emissions generated during use every year, allowing consumers to achieve zero carbon and zero environmental impact in the process of enjoying beauty.
O’right has won many awards around the world over the years. In 2023, it won the “Reuters” Global Best Responsible Company Award, Japan’s GOOD DESIGN AWARD BEST 100, the French Paris Global Beauty Sustainability Award for the seventh consecutive time, and the Bloomberg Green Gold ESG “Annual Project of Interest” and other internationally renowned awards.