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Kao South Africa: Committed to Ethics & Sustainability

Kao South Africa, distributors of Goldwell and KMS, is proud to be part of a company that adheres to the highest standards of ethics and sustainability worldwide.

Here is more info on the standards Kao has achieved so far, and our commitment to ongoing future improvements.

“Kirei” and What it Means

The Japanese word kirei describes something that is clean, hygienic and beautiful all at once. Kao embodies the spirit of kirei and stands for responsibility, care, innovation and integrity. We believe in doing what is right, not what is easy, to contribute to the sustainability of the world. Every ingredient we use is chosen with care because we are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our consumers and our environment. Kirei goes beyond external beauty to include health, wellness and peace-of-mind, creating a positive impact for society and the environment.


For 13 consecutive years we have been recognised as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. We strive to foster diversity and gender equality, and 90% of our direct material vendors meet high ethical standards.

Animal Testing

Kao stopped all animal testing in the late 80s, well before the official EU legislation in 2004. The Kao Group continues to work hard towards the global abolition of animal testing.

Safety and Quality

At Kao we are committed to Yoki-Monozukuri which means we don’t accept the status quo and we believe in always trying to do things better

Product safety, quality and performance is key for our customers. We comply with all laws and requirements in all the countries we operate in. In addition, we have established our own Kao Group safety standards which are usually even stricter. We conduct nearly 25,000 raw material tests and nearly 90,000 tests of finished goods every year to ensure the high quality of our products.

The ingredients used in hair dyes are continually monitored and checked by a range of international scientists. In addition to a comprehensive list of ingredients on products, we also include information on potential allergies.

Our Depot Can System

The Goldwell Depot Can System offers easier handling, and more precise and economical dispensing. They offer fast, clean, accurate mixing, exact dosing, and no oxidative waste. This gives them a long shelf life, and a clear price advantage. The aluminium used is 95% recyclable.


We believe that gorgeous fragrances make life more beautiful. They are an important part of many of our products. We make this magic with talented fragrance creators around the world; and all fragrances meet the standards of the International Fragrance association (IFRA).

Palm oil

Kao purchases sustainable palm oil, traceable to the mill. We are committed, by 2020, to zero deforestation at the source of palm oil and we are working to achieve this through cooperation with plantations, mills, refineries and third-party organisations. We ensure all our suppliers comply with our guidelines.


The pollution of the world’s oceans is on the increase and of serious concern to us and to our consumers. Since 2016, none of our products have contained plastic microbeads. Our Formulation Scientists purposefully design our formulas to avoid these materials and use alternatives that give the same quality and performance.


Preservatives play an important role in protecting products against contamination. At Kao we only use parabens in quantities approved as safe by regulatory authorities. We clearly list the ingredients on all of our products, and are always aiming to reduce the level of preservatives to the minimum concentration that is needed to protect a particular product.


At Kao we only use high performing silicones which are water or shampoo soluble so there is no danger of the build-up that gave silicones a negative reputation in the past. All the silicones we use have been rigorously tested and we continually monitor any new scientific findings.

Plastic Use and Recycling

We believe that the plastic we use should be made within limits our own planet can safely handle. Plastic should never enter nature and every piece should either be reused or recycled. We strive to minimise the amount of plastic we use and want to empower our consumers to use less packaging and recycle more. Water Reduction

We reduced our water consumption by 12% in 2016 – and our waste water is almost the quality of drinking water. Our goal for 2020 is to reach an additional 10% reduction.

Paper By 2020, Kao will purchase only recycled paper or sustainably sourced paper and pulp for use in its consumer products, packaging and office paper.

Love Goldwell / KMS approach to ethics and sustainability?

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Want to try out our top quality, rigorously tested products?

Call 011 312 5070 to book a visit from one of our friendly consultants

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