Luxury Packaging in focus with Tricia Hartmann and Fromes de Luxe
We are a specialist papermaker providing niche solutions in our chosen markets. We are looking to increase the weight of the luxury business in our portfolio. Many of our clients are global brands and we supply material to packaging manufacturers in Europe, Asia and the US.
We are seeing increased demand for paper with recycled content across the board, and recycled materials are a big focus for James Cropper.
In recognition of this shift we have developed the Rydal collection of papers for premium packaging applications, which includes an option with the ultimate 100% post-consumer waste recycled fibre, including fibre from CupCyclingTM – the world’s first recycling process dedicated to upcycling takeaway cups.
James Cropper has an on-site facility to turn used coffee cups into beautiful paper. Since launching CupCycling in 2017 we have upcycled more than 150 million cups into new paper products. The demand has been mainly from forward thinking brands who want to include the CupCycling story in their packaging DNA including Selfridges, Mulberry and Lush Cosmetics. Burberry, for instance, have designed shopping bags with paper made from 40% CupCycling fibre.
The idea behind the Rydal collection is also to give the market access to a choice of specific packaging papers. There are many paper collections that are designed for multi-applications, of which packaging is one. Rydal, on the other hand, is a product range designed specifically for packaging. Our Rydal collection can be used for folding boxes, shopping bags and box covering applications.
We also wanted to give brands the opportunity to align their choice to their marketing, so we offer three paper grades made on a regular basis: 100% post-consumer waste recycled, 40% post-consumer waste recycled and 100% fresh fibre from responsible forestry sources (FSC).
The Rydal collection comes in three shades of white and three shades of black and can be combined with our Tailor Made service to enable bespoke colours and textural finishes.
We also launched COLOURFORMTM, a thermoformed, plastic free, moulded fibre packaging innovation, in 2018. This has provided sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics for beauty brands, such as Floral Street and the L’Oreal Group, and also a contemporary new eco-responsible secondary packaging for champagne house Maison Ruinart in partnership with Pusterla. This new champagne case, is plastic-free, 100% recyclable and nine times lighter than the previous box. In the past, brands were looking for FSC, then about three years ago it became all about recycled content. Last year demand accelerated for paper incorporating post-consumer waste, and in the last few months we’ve seen more requests for CupCycling. The more we advance in sustainable products and the more the mindset of our customers and the end consumer evolves, the more selective the demand becomes.
FSC is no longer a differentiator in itself; all of our papers are FSC-certified and it’s a standard that has now been democratized. Recycled gets more complicated, so we are discerning in the recycled fibres that we process as you can have different quality content. One of the best post-consumer waste fibres for packaging comes from CupCycling, as the fibres are long and have the strength characteristics that suit luxury packaging papers -the recycled fibres in the Rydal range always include CupCycling. We also use other PCW sources such as recycled office waste.
Our luxury clients often look for something that is unique, in terms of a Tailor Made colour and often a textural finish, and for those brands wanting the added assurance of anti-viral product protection, our innovative PaperGard incorporating silver ion technology can be included for all Rydal packaging options.
The antimicrobial papers have been a part of the product portfolio since 2006. We’ve made paper for the medical industry for years, so this contributed to our reactivity in launching this offer on the market. PaperGard offers product protection for the lifetime of the paper. We’ve mainly had requests for PaperGard in the luxury space for shopping bags and rigid boxes. It’s less of a problem for folding boxes as if you purchase a perfume for example, it usually comes with a protective film. However, if the brands decide to remove the packaging film from their offer, then PaperGard would be a benefit here too.
Going forward, we are planning a significant investment to expand our in-house embossing facilities. This is also linked to sustainability as shopping bags often used to be laminated with plastic, but brands are increasingly asking for embossing because in addition to the visual product benefits it also helps in resistance to finger-marks and scuffing.