Eco-design, the story of Wauters & Patyka

Sustainable innovation

CSR is steering us all towards new practices, and our customers welcome initiative and differentiation along the way.
Bio-renewable inks, PET alternatives, less equipment, more responsible cardboard… All these areas for improvement are evolving and becoming established at industrial level and amongst brands’ aesthetic demands.
As always, the Wauters Group isn’t expecting the perfect balance. The environment, innovation and efficiency guide our decisions to invest in equipment, energy production or the recyclability of consumables.
For example, we spearheaded environmental awareness by gaining FSC and PEFC certification as early as 2009, even before customers demanded it, and by proposing back in 2013 to calculate the packaging’s carbon footprint depending on the chosen materials, finishes, transport, etc. That was a first step for objectivity over the selection criteria available to us. In 2018, we launched an exclusive partnership with SUN and its bio-renewable inks.

Ecodesign: a proactive move

Today, ecodesign is at the heart of every brief. In our technical interpretation, we focus on responsibility. The question is, ‘how can the packaging’s design contribute to minimizing the product’s environmental impact?’ But often, beyond the technical choices, it touches on portraying the brand’s values, its relationships with consumers…

Patyka, an excellent example to follow…

There’s nothing better than a practical illustration of a theoretical approach.
We’ve chosen to tell you about our collaboration with Patyka, beginning with the brand’s relaunch. In 2008, after taking Patyka over, Pierre Juhen and Alexandre Benamran faced a complex challenge: launching a comprehensive range of certified organic skincare with very high-end formulations, when the organic boom was just starting and its sensory benefits were trailing far behind. The roadmap for Wauters was clear: the packaging had to represent an innovative, thought-through and coherent initiative, making organics sophisticated and sought-after. That led to the Explosion Pack, known to Patyka as the Origami Pack.
Today, Patyka’s Marketing Director Mélia Roger offers us some insights into her ecodesign journey with Wauters…

Ecodesign, a technical and adaptable innovation

“At the foundation, there’s real collaboration. From the outset, the pack design was a joint development between our Artistic Director and the Wauters engineers. We sought to stand out from the competition by the shape of the box. An ecodesigned line with no adhesive, without that taking away from the appeal and experience, and the idea of it opening up like a jewellery box. At Wauters, we found genuine expertise. Format suggestions, carefully considered solutions. The double-sided printed (with vegetable-based inks) pack removes the need for inserts and saves paper. The way it opens up enhances the product and is now a hallmark of the brand. In fact, it was relaunched with the Origami Pack. Not all our products are boxed now, only those that need an instruction leaflet or to be showcased, like the anti-ageing range or our bestseller the Huile Absolue.”

Ecodesign, a clear commitment

“It’s a decisive choice. In packaging terms, with 50,000 to 100,000 units per product, it’s not the easy option. No machine can package them, only our workers can, it’s restrictive and expensive, but it’s also a deliberate approach showcasing French artisanship, which reflects our values.”

Ecodesign, a long-term vision

“Beyond identifying an ecodesign solution, our day-to-day interaction with the Wauters team on advances in new techniques, on what could work well with our colour schemes and brand identity, continues to inspire our projects. It’s an ongoing joint initiative: ‘How can we improve our impact further without losing the brand’s premium value proposition?’ In design terms, we’re considering the use of cold stamping for example. Wauters is about to invest and that’s an advantage for the brand. We’ve already done trials with them.

In terms of efficiency, cost optimization and equipment use, the dual possibility of the Wauters and B.Pack tool enables us to make adjustments depending on our requirements, the formats and the number of products to avoid wasting materials, for example. Wauters and Patyka is a sustainable partnership, in every sense of the term. We’re committed to manufacturing in France, to developing close, local relationships with our suppliers, almost friendships. We benefit from the flexibility and dialogue, and we want to keep that strength.”

And that’s how, with an honest and comprehensive approach, a brand can create visible differentiation, both aesthetic and functional, for its users. It’s what we mean by thinking outside the box!

Many thanks to Mélia Roger for her time and sustainable work with us.

The Wauters and B.Pack teams