The launch of N°1 de Chanel was an opportunity for the French brand and Sulapac to achieve a new step in their partnership.

Chanel’s new eco-responsible beauty collection, which combines skincare, makeup and a fragrance mist, contains up to 97% ingredients of natural origin [1]. Furthermore, the full range of packaging for the N°1 de Chanel is eco-designed and includes innovative lids that contain bio-based materials. They are the result of a collaboration that began in 2018 between the Chanel Fragrance and Beauty Packaging Innovation Department and Finnish start-up Sulapac.

Upcycled sustainable wood-chips and camillia seed shells

The new-generation lid of the N°1 de Chanel Cream is made of 90% bio based materials from renewable resources: FSC certified wood chips that are by-products of industrial side-streams combined, upon Chanel’s request, with upcycled camellia seed shells.

It was a genuine technological challenge that has now resulted in several patent-pending [2] applications. Faithful to the House of Chanel’s exacting standards, every detail was considered at length including the sensory quality of the material; its resistance to heat variations; the unique sound of the jar closing; how it feels in the hand; and the depth of the matte satin finish engraved with the iconic double C,” Chanel explains.

It took more than 40 trials before Sulapac was able to find the right material recipe.

Our first big task was to innovate a bio-based material that contains by-product camellia seed shells whilst making it resistant to heat and moisture. It was just a concept idea when we started. Camellia is inherently hydrophilic material, meaning it absorbs water strongly. Solving this was a great accomplishment from us, and the first time we have incorporated such ingredient in our packaging material in a bespoke way,” explained Piia Peltola, Sulapac’s R&D Manager.

According to Sulapac, this achievement shows the ability of the start-up to adapt its material to the specific demands of its customers.

It was fascinating to combine by products like camellia seed shells and FSC certified wood chips in this unique packaging material. Now, we have proficiency in also utilizing other side streams without compromising the functionality of the final product. It helps us to reduce the environmental footprint even further,” highlights Suvi Haimi, CEO and Co-founder of Sulapac.

Before that, Chanel and Sulapac had created a bio-based cap for the 125ml perfume bottles of ‘Les Eaux de Chanel’ collection.