HCP introduces new sustainable offer, to expand into skincare

HCP's aluminum mono-material lipstick

Packaging company HCP is to launch an aluminum mono-material lipstick in response to beauty brands’ demand for easily recyclable packaging.

The move is part of the company’s expansion into new and different sustainable materials. HCP has long offered PCR, says HCP France president & HCP Germany Sales head Eric Firmin, for both custom and stock packages; however, the company is looking into new materials to expand its offer.

HCP highlighted its new, exclusive-to-HCP material called EcoWood. Ater 15 years of research and two years of factory testing, EcoWood is free of both plastics and toxic materials and can be run in conventional injection tooling. The material comes in a variety of different finishes, from clear, opaque, matte, gloss to rigid or flexible. EcoWood can be injected, extruded and blow molded.  Thanks to its long-chain molecular structure, EcoWood has strong chemical resistance and barrier qualities like traditional plastics. The material can contain products with chemicals like SPF, without foregoing packaging aesthetics, notes Firmin.

HCP’s eco-friendly standard packaging offer Hush uses black EcoWood in the range’s mascara brush.

The company is also working with ocean waste plastic, whereby discarded ocean plastic is re-used in packaging. HCP is currently trialing the material for PET and PP materials.

Additionally, the packaging company is looking into sustainable solutions for brushes. While brushes are typically made from nylon, HCP is looking into castor oil to produce a 100% bio-based brush. Early tests show this materials is almost equivalent to a nylon brush.

Also highlighted was a new stock design that offers an easy-to-use refill option. Called Echo 50ml Refill Jar, it is a thick-walled PET jar that includes a PP inner jar that can be easily removed to refill and is best suited for creams and skincare treatments.

Focus on stock portfolio

HCP says that it has a strong portfolio of stock packaging for mascara and lip gloss and its stock portfolio represents over 90% of business volumes. The offer includes mascara, lip gloss, eyeliner and applicators for twisted wire brushes for mascara.

The company showcased six new trend lines for spring/summer 2021.  Eco-trend Hush includes sustainable beauty packaging with products using PCR, FSC/recycled paper and refill options. It includes textured finishes that are said to be inspired by nature with a “granite” spray. It includes mascara, a palette and a lip gloss, among other products.

The company also highlighted Midas, a range of palettes, lip and eye products, which have gold metallic finishes in different textures. HCP notes that there is strong demand for highly decorated metallic packaging, especially among luxury brands and from the Asian market.

Rose Luxe includes 3D diamond effect printing featuring photographic designs with a high level of detail, says the company. Hypnotize includes prismatic coating, matte magnetic printing and shifts between different colors, in addition to incorporated glitter.

Meanwhile Neon Flash, a smaller range, launched at the beginning of the year includes packaging with neon colors with prints, opaque or tinted effects. Lastly, Festive Minis are compact products intended for beauty advent calendars, beauty boxes or samples. The range can be decorated in the same detail as its full-size counterpart.

New investments

In May, HCP renamed its Rusi Entity  “HCP Germany Cosmetic GmbH & Co. KG” and the company has made a series of investments in its German site.  “2020 is set to be HCP Germany’s year of transformation into beauty brands’ preferred European manufacturing site,” says Firmin. HCP acquired Germany-based packager Rusi Cosmetic in 2017.

HCP Germany is located in the country’s brush center, Bechhofen, and Rusi’s core business was mascara brushes. HCP acquired Simp in 2016, which specializes in the production of complex micro-injected plastic brushes and rubber wipers.

The company’s German operations will continue to focus on Rusi’s strengths in the eye category with mascara and eyeliner, in addition to lip with lip gloss and lipstick, with a focus on lipstick.

HCP Germany also plans to expand its offer thanks to a partnership with packaging manufacturer Pum-Tech Korea inked in April. Pum-Tech Korea specializes in designing and producing dispensing technology and airless packaging for cosmetics and skincare products like pumps, compacts, tubes, sticks, ampoules and droppers. The move will allow HCP Germany to have greater penetration in the global skincare category, notes Firmin.

Additionally, HCP Germany invested in a new decoration department, a new molding department and eight new injection molding machines. The investment will support the company’s plans to produce other packaging categories like compacts, closures and jars.

The plan also saw the investment in 10 new fully electric injection machines and resin dryers which result in significant energy savings, says the company. The implementation of the latest cooling technology in a new injection hall has led to high savings on energy consumption and the reduction of material waste.

HCP also launched studios in Shanghai, New Hampshire, US and Tigery, France to offer help customers make quick decisions on primary packaging. Called Lash Studio, customers can personalize mascara brushes with the help of HCP mascara experts.

Response to the crisis

HCP Germany says the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted turnover by about 25%, and has particularly affected the lip category. Impact has varied by region; sales in Asia have completely recovered, says Firmin.

HCP says its investment in mascara and partnership with Pum-Tech Korea are benefiting current consumer shifts to eye products and skincare.

HCP has 10 production facilities worldwide, with three in the US, two in Europe and five in China.  HCP Group reported a turnover of €373m in 2019.