MONTE CARLO, Monaco — The beauty industry is paying more than lip service in its pursuit of innovation.
That’s at least the experience of packaging designer Marc Rosen, who has been promoting a new kind of clear plastic polymer, made by Eastman Chemical Co., for use in makeup packaging.
This is a departure from industry thinking, Rosen said this week, because product developers have long held that makeup only looks glamorous in black packaging.
“I’ve tried to create a superluxurious packaging with clear plastic,” he said. And to his surprise, Rosen said he received more queries than expected from major brands after unveiling his ideas in late October at the premier Luxe Pack trade show here. The material, called Eastar CN copolyester, a branch of Eastman’s The Glass Polymer series, is unusual in that it can create containers with thick walls and sharp edges and corners, Rosen noted. Last year, he had used the same material to make treatment packaging. This time, Rosen worked with five suppliers, each of whom provided the tooling to create a different design.
“It was truly a unique collaboration,” Rosen said, adding that the time for action is now. “Suppliers need to present innovation to the brands, if they want to get the business. They can’t get the business anymore just by offering good prices.”
Certainly, innovation was in the air at Luxe Pack. Its preregistration numbers rose 15 percent versus its 2009 session, according to Nathalie Grosdidier, deputy managing editor of Idice, Luxe Pack’s organizer. However, actual visitor count declined 3 percent on-year to 5,726, due to difficult travel conditions from French transit strikes.
Meanwhile, the number of companies represented by attendees at the event increased 3 percent. International visitors — from at least 80 countries — made up 54 percent of the total, and trade show organizers noted more people from the U.S., U.K. and Spain.
Luxe Pack’s 340 exhibitors, which included 10 first-timers, hailed from more than 30 European countries.
Two new features of the trade show this year were an Innovation Forum and the Luxe Pack in Green prize, which was awarded to Promens for its Ecolution ecological airless distribution system.
Indeed, many Luxe Pack exhibitors focused on environmentally responsible packaging. Lumson, of Capergnanica, Italy, for instance, presented new decorations for its Tag System, billed to be the first and only airless system with a glass bottle. These included spray lacquering with metallic inks on the inside of the flacons.
The company calls the Tag System “responsible recycling packaging,” thanks to its patented “Eco-Lock system” component that allows end consumers to separate plastic parts from the glass bottle therefore letting each material be recycled separately. To encourage the eco-friendly attribute, Lampson developed and patented a “Responsible Recycling Packaging — Separate Glass from Plastic” logo.
For its part, the Groupe Verpack subsidiary CLP Packaging, of Neuilly Plaisance, France, and Billerud, of Solna, Sweden, highlighted FibreForm. It’s an environmentally friendly, highly elastic thick paper said to be a good substitute for plastic for shaped packaging, for instance. FibreForm allows for highly pronounced embossing on packaging such as coffrets. It is based on renewable raw material that is recyclable and compostable.
During the trade show, Rosen led a panel discussion on the topic of how the industry can revive itself after two devastating years of recession. Its panelists included Lynne Greene, global brand president of the Clinique, Origins, Ojon divisions of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.; Rochelle Bloom, president of the Fragrance Foundation; Tim Dell, vice president of innovation and sustainability at Eastman Chemical, and Terry Young, managing director, Rapp, a division of Omnicom.
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