Premium Beauty News - Groupe GM seems to be doing very well.
Stéphanie Thévenot - Indeed, we have achieved very strong growth over the past few years, both on the production and distribution levels. Business-wise, we have signed several partnership contracts with renowned global hotel chains, like Mandarin Oriental and Sofitel, and we have just been referenced in the amenities programme of one of the biggest world groups in the luxury hotel industry, with five of the brands we represent: Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, Guerlain, Atelier Cologne, Codage, and Le petit Prince.
In 2015, we produced 40 million tubes and bottles. In 2018, this figure reached 65 million, and we plan to make 85 million in 2019! To meet these new production requirements, we have invested 4.5 million euros to extend our French site in Lyon, dedicated to foaming products (shower gels, shampoos…) and emulsions, plus 2.4 million in our Portugal-based soap plant.
Premium Beauty News - You have just inaugurated a new subsidiary in Hong Kong to enhance your presence in Asia. What are your next external growth projects?
Stéphanie Thévenot - This new subsidiary in Hong Kong also covers Macau, so, in addition to China and Taiwan, we now have three subsidiaries in Asia, where we are present in most countries. We will now target new strategic markets, like India.
Premium Beauty News - What about Brazil?
Stéphanie Thévenot - Since the elections, there has been a new momentum, an acceleration. We have beautiful projects in this country.
Premium Beauty News - Just like most manufacturers, you are facing an ecological emergency. Can you tell us more about brands’ demand and your strategy?
Stéphanie Thévenot - We are at an ecological turning point, so we have been questioning our model. We need to think about new solutions, about a different approach to these single-use products. A few of our customers have already committed to this strategy, like Mandarin Oriental. They have embraced a zero plastic policy for 2019, and it integrates their amenities. All these major groups are aware of the emergency to get rid of plastic. As an answer, we have set up the Care about Earth programme: we undertake to reduce our products’ impact on the environment as soon as the development phase.
More specifically, as an alternative for voluntary brands, we offer 300 ml Ecopumps with a plant-based bottle made of resins derived from sugar cane. We also make eco-sourced wall-mounted airless dispensers, which represent 58 times less plastic material than 30 ml bottles. Some of our packs are already based on recycled plastic, in particular our own line, Scandinavian White. Two other solutions are under study: they are based on additives which accelerate the decomposition of plastics chemical structure.
As regards our formulations, they are already highly environmentally friendly, since they contain at least 90% natural ingredients – 92% for shampoos. Our formulas are Ecocert-approved and Cosmebio-labelled. Our soaps are 99% derived from plants and we are committed to using sustainable, RSPO-certified palm oil. Ultimately, we have been working on a Care about Earth formula containing no controversial ingredient.
Last, but not least, we have developed solid formulas, in particular for shampoos. This plastic-free solution also helps reduce water consumption during the manufacturing phase.
Premium Beauty News - What are your future objectives?
Stéphanie Thévenot - One of our main objectives is to broaden our brand portfolio. It is a major ambition, because we endeavour to keep offering new services and exclusive products. Apart from the green demand, today, many hotels want to be able to choose among different luxury brands. Right now, we have about thirty brands, including new ones, like Courrèges and Caudalie, and a new, very important one will soon be announced.