For over 40 years, HAGINA (company trading in industrial items and medical specialities) have only produced cosmetic products from raw materials which have not been tested on animals or came from dead animals” says Thomas Epping, head of HAGINA Cosmetic “This road is full of challenges and not always easy. This means you have to decide quite firmly if you want to go down this way or not.” Thomas Epping is the product manager, head of sales, head of production and customer advisor all in one. And he knows only too well what difficulties need to be overcome when you make animal protection the top priority in his sector.
Under the brand name “Naturgeist“, HAGINA Cosmetic produce and bottle high quality, natural cosmetic products for both professional cosmetic treatments as well as for end consumers in accordance with the guidelines of the German Tierverbund e.V.. With its company headquarters in Iffeldorf in Bavaria, all products are “Made in Germany” and come under our slogan “From Bavaria with Love”.
Hagina Cosmetic went through a lot of development. The company was founded 40 years ago by a married couple from Munich who only produced two herbal oils in the beginning. When the couple wanted to develop their first cosmetics series, the motto was “no animal testing” even then. To organise the sales properly, the couple looked for a professional and found Wolfgang Epping. He came from a long-established family of chemists near Cologne which had influenced his interest for the cosmetics industry at an early stage. He had been the sales manager of the large cosmetics company Marbert and had developed a line of fragrances for the label MCM.
After three years at HAGINA, Wolfgang Epping took over the company as the couple’s successor, moved their head offices into Penzberg in Upper Bavaria and consistently expanded the product range – without ever forgetting about the original commitment of “no animal testing”. These constant efforts mean that the products bear the Tierschutzbund seal: a protective hand above a rabbit. The crucial impulse for the further development and internationalisation of Hagina then came from his junior, Thomas Epping, who had always been fascinated by his father’s work and joined the company after his degree in business studies.
From then on, Thomas Epping looked after the production of the products. This quickly resulted in the old company offices in Penzberg becoming much too small for this. A new building had to be constructed a few kilometres from the town in idyllic Iffeldorf. There, around 200,000 kg are produced per year - part of it now for other companies which have learned to value the HAGINA quality.
Hagina works on product development closely together with a free pharmacy which has specialised in the manufacture of natural cosmetics. This pharmacy is given specifications by Thomas Epping of which requirements a new cream should meet, for example, and which raw materials should be used. From these specifications, the pharmacist then develops a recipe and completes a first mixture, called a ‘model attempt’. From this, you can check how the cream looks, how it smells, how it feels on the skin. If it meets expectations and the animal protection requirements, the mixture is subjected to extreme tests, is heated to a high temperature, frozen, exposed to germs. It will only be approved for production once all tests are passed.