2020 has been a challenging year, where businesses have had to test their resilience, innovation and agility. A forced change in routine due to COVID-19 has left its mark on behaviours and expectations, and 2021 starts on an uncertain note for many cosmetics businesses, although some trends can already be seen out there.
Think about eco packaging and the three Rs immediately spring to mind. Reuse. Recycle. Reduce. Earth-friendly containers help save resources, energy, money and, of course, the environment. For cosmetics brands, however, such words may conjure up images of low-quality bottles, jars and tubes, that look cheap and perform accordingly.
Now more than ever, this could not be farther from the truth. Today's reality is that sustainable packaging can look and perform as well as concepts devised without the planet in mind, while tying in with a rising public awareness.
A brand's eco credentials are an increasingly important factor in purchasing decisions. So how can cosmetic companies ensure that their environmentally-friendly pack lives up to their brand's aesthetics?
In the beauty sector, tentative in-roads have been made into resuable concepts. Stores such as Equivalenza in Spain have been successful in offering proprietary fragrances in reusable bottles (30, 50 and 100ml on a descending price scale). Of course, this kind of reuse has limited prospects in the luxury segment which, by its very nature, adores exclusivity and abhors bulk sales.
On the other hand, reuse has real potential across the board where a pack can continue life in a different role. PET kilner jars used for body scrubs or bath salts can be reused to store trinkets. A wooden perfume box can be reused as a jewellery case. The great benefit for beauty companies is that the visibility of the brand is lengthened by extension.
Packaging made of recycled materials is almost commonplace nowadays. In the beauty sector, natural materials are trending. Glass, aluminium, cardboard and, more recently, wood, are being integrated into sophisticated and even surprising packaging concepts.
Plastic materials like PP, PET and HDPE can all be recycled, each offering different properties. Polypropylene is known for its excellent compatibility with cosmetic formulas. Its relatively low price tag makes it a good candidate for masstige OTC formulas. PET lends itself to all kinds of packaging where a degree of flexibility is required. It can be completely transparent for a 'looks-like-glass' appearance without the risk of breaking. Typically used for detergents, HDPE is more suited for aggressive formulas like nail polish remover.
Recycled plastics can also be included in a plastic pack from the start. Quadpack has products in its range that allow cosmetics brands to choose the percentage of recycled content. The Eco Foamer from Quadpack's Q-Line range, for example, comes with a choice of 50 or 100 per cent recycled PET, topped with a high-end foam pump from Korean manufacturer Apollo.
Recycled plastics used for beauty packaging typically come from used water bottles. The recycling process produces a yellowish tinge to the material; the greater the recycled content, the more pronounced the effect. However, Quadpack's decoration service renders this unnoticeable. In fact, rPET can be colour-matched to meet the most sophisticated brand requirements.
Glass is a time-honoured green material. Popular throughout the ages, its properties have made it perfect for perfumery and cosmetics. Aesthetically, its look, feel and weight add substance to a pack. Practically, it can withstand almost any formula without concerns for compatibility. Environmentally, it is totally natural and recyclable – and, of course, glass packs are often reused.
Wood deserves a special mention for being the only material which is 100% renewable. Provided it is sourced from sustainable forests, wood becomes an unlimited resource. The wood used at Technotraf Wood Packaging (at Quadpack's Manufacturing Division in Torelló) is certified on the PEFC custody chain. The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification tracks wood from its origin to the finished product.
The tactile appeal of wood has made it popular in perfumery, not only for caps, but also for bottles and fragrance boxes. Wood adds something special to a pack, gifting a piece of nature, with its own grain pattern, unique in the world. It offers a sensory experience you can touch and feel that satisfies at a very basic level.
The third R is only just taking hold in the beauty sector, with body care leading the way. Here, too, it is the masstige and mass market brands who can best take advantage of the cost savings involved in reducing material content. The knock-on effect on the environment is a happy consequence.
Quadpack is consciously introducing standard packs into its range that offer reduced content without compromising on aesthetics. The newly-launched 50ml Acrylic Jar from Quadpack's Q-Line family offers a premium-look container but with thinner walls (6.5mm instead of the usual 10mm). The look and performance are identical to a standard luxury jar, with the combined benefit of a lower price tag and reduced environmental impact.
Of course, one surefire way to reduce packaging is to split the pack into an outer container and an interior one holding the formula. This should be the fourth R: refill. Refill concepts effectively reduce the material used in producing packaging. And this is where the beauty industry has seen real progress across all market segments.
Quadpack's range has a large number of refillable packs for skin care and perfumery. Yonwoo's Ampoule Program and 10ml Syringe are two refillable concepts that protect the formula with patented airless technology. Technotraf is preparing a range of refillable travel purse sprays in maple wood, with easily detachable components to facilitate recycling.
Reuse. Recycle. Reduce. There are myriad opportunities throughout a product's development to minimize its environmental footprint. Finding the right balance between aesthetic requirements and ecological sustainability is something that each brand needs to determine. A good packaging partner will help navigate the options, bearing in mind that these go beyond the packaging itself.
Beauty companies can also choose to work with packaging partners that demonstrate sustainable processes, after all, the way in which a company conducts its business has an impact on the environment, too. To use Technotraf as an example, its PEFC certification enables it to prove the sustainable nature of its raw materials from the forest to the final product. Moreover, Technotraf recycles 100 per cent of the waste products in its factory. All by-products are reused as animal bedding, chipboard and combustible fuels.
Ethical and environmental audits are an increasing requirement of multinationals when selecting their suppliers. They, in turn, are being driven by consumer demand for earth-friendly products and fair and sustainable practices. Step by step, the beauty industry is becoming a market where environmental needs and commercial goals are converging. That is good news for everyone – including the planet.
Smart manufacturing, in the region, for the region
The fourth article of Quadpack’s packaging development series dives into our manufacturing processes and capabilities – and how they help beauty brands perform. We invite you to discover how our manufacturing teams work to deliver the perfect packaging for each client.
Embracing the difference: the power of empathy
Activism and transparency are at the core of Breaking moulds, one of the #qppackfuture themes based on Quadpack Design Team’s perspective of how people will live and connect in the next few years. Quadpack’s Design Team has developed prototypes that represent the Breaking Moulds theme.
Less is more: when buying has meaning
Conscious consumerism is rising. While people all around the world have been increasingly aware of what’s behind the advertising, paying attention to products’ ingredients and sourcing, in recent times the environmental and social impact of every purchase has also become a general concern.
Beauty e-commerce enters a new era
At some point so far this year, half of the world’s population has been asked or ordered to stay home. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed most of our habits and the purchasing experience is one of the most affected. Quadpack interviewed some of its global clients to better understand what’s behind the e-commerce ‘new normal’.
The world is our lab
Meet Community Lab, one of the themes of #qppackfuture that will help you understand what’s to come. Community Lab is one of the themes presented by #qppackfuture this year, as part of in-depth research made by Quadpack’s Design team to understand how people’s lives will be in the next years.
Waterless formulas have become a smart, green solution for beauty brands, answering to consumers’ needs for more eco-conscious products. Besides saving water, which is the main ingredient in many cosmetic formulas, these products allow reduced packaging and are mostly preservative-free, since these additives are used to avoid bacterial contamination that is common in water.
Forget the taboo. Cannabis sativa is not a synonym of narcotics – this resourceful plant has much more to offer than meets the eye. From textiles to medicine that helps many conditions like Parkinson’s and epilepsy, the famous hemp is multi-purpose and may have amazing effects if added into your skincare routine.
Modern but Mature, Lavinia Is Curious about What's to Come
The most experienced member of the Quadpack Family doesn’t believe in age labels. Her beauty routine translates into a mix of traditional and new: while she’s kept loyal to her favourite brands so far, she’s curious about new formulas and packs.
A day in the life of Lauren, Quadpack's proud eco-citizen
Like many urban spirits, Lauren loves her busy life. As an ever-connected urban citizen, she’s already ordered everything online, making sure that the packaging is reusable and recyclable. Tired but still committed to her self-care, she doesn’t forget to finish the day with her beauty regime.
Crafting the future: How luxury packaging is changing for the better
Business transformation for a more sustainable world was a key topic of Luxepack Monaco, one of the most important luxury packaging exhibitions in Europe that was held from September 30 to October 2, 2019. By rethinking packaging, the industry is investing in reusable, renewable, recyclable and reduced solutions, even for the most sophisticated products.
Rosa likes her skincare and make-up rituals to have a spiritual side
Over the past few months, as part of the new Trend Roadmap, we have introduced you to Quadpack’s new tribe of virtual personalities. Each one of them expresses a driving tendency in the here, now and future of the beauty and fragrance sector. They are there to help you keep you ahead of the curve in a consumer landscape that is increasingly nuanced. This month, representing the Oracle trend, we are introducing Rosa.
Let's connect with Charlotte
Over the past few months, as part of our Trend Roadmap, we have introduced you to Quadpack’s family of virtual personalities. Together, these people paint a picture of modern life and are there to guide you through an increasingly complex consumer landscape. Now it’s time to meet Charlotte, the Gen Z embodiment of the Phygital trend.
How to choose packaging for my product?
The success of any product depends heavily on the message it carries. Luxury, youth, sustainability, minimalism are more than mere categories: they communicate with consumers’ feelings and expectations. And how better to convey your message than with the perfect packaging? Some of Quadpack’s best specialists will guide you through the enchanted world of jars, tubes and packs.
Meet Frankie. He’s hip and eco-aware. Just don’t call him a hippy
Last month you met Georgina. This month it’s Frankie’s turn. Frankie is the eco warrior of the new Quadpack family of personalities. The 3R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) is Frankie’s mantra, and these values guide everything he does. Frankie spends time and money making sure his food and clothing are from ethical sources. Personal grooming is important, but formulas and their packaging must adhere to green criteria.
Understanding Sustainability. It starts with Eco Design
The first Quadpack Roadshow for 2019 gave Category Managers and Sales teams the opportunity to discuss the topic on everyone’s mind; sustainability. Making Quadpack’s products and processes greener touches every inch of the company as it aims not only to reduce its own carbon footprint, but that of its clients and customers.
Helping beauty brands develop sustainability goals
Everyone is talking about becoming sustainable. When you are a beauty brand, however, it is not easily achieved. The formula can be additive-free, animal-friendly and 100% organic, but what about the packaging? That’s where Quadpack is stepping in to help, offering clients insights into the various approaches to sustainability.
New Design & Advanced Technologies department concentrates on pro-active research and conceptual ideas
Beauty brands need packaging that protect and enable the formula, fit the brand and bring differentiation. Considering this triple requirement as early as possible is the focus of the new department of Design & Advanced Technologies at Quadpack Industries. Dedicated to proactive research into new trends, product ideas, techniques and materials, it aims to work alongside brands and contract manufacturers during the creation of their new formulations.
Customisation: make-up meets diversity
Women of mixed ethnicity constitute a target group that is set to growth exponentially. Yet their colour cosmetics needs are far from being met. As brands seek ways to cater to the many skin tones within this group, packaging will emerge as a key factor in 'serving the underserved'.
Niche is the new normal
It is every brand's wish to be different. In fragrance, where aesthetics rule, differentiation becomes even more important. In recent years, this has spurred a trend that has seen more and more niche brands appearing in an ever-crowded market. With a large percentage of the 2,000 global fragrance references launched by these niche players last year, the current status looks to be stabilising. In other words, niche is the new normal.
- Jo Webb
- Company News -> QP Corporate News
- Created 03 Jun 2015
- Modified 23 Jul 2018
- Hits 9517