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Inside Shiseido’s new beauty brand Ulé

Katie Nichol
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Inside Shiseido’s new beauty brand Ulé

Ulé is Japanese beauty group Shiseido’s first made-in-Europe beauty brand. Its packaging strategy combines glass jars and bottles with bio-based Sulapac lids.

Ulé, Shiseido’s new “conscious beauty” brand, has launched with a skincare collection that includes serums, a mist, oil and CBD moisturizer. The brand is spearheaded by Ulé New Brand Development Vice President Lindsay Azpitarte, a beauty industry veteran who has been with Shiseido for ten years.

In line with its focus on “reducing and recycling” its packaging, Ulé opted for lightweighted glass bottles and bio-based lids sourced from Europe. “Ulé is a conscious beauty brand, so it made sense to design our packaging with the most minimal impact on the environment right from the start. At the same time, we wanted products with a desirable look and feel, in line with our brand codes,” Azpitarte tells Luxe Packaging Insight.

All Ulé’s jars and bottles (Bormioli Luigi/Catalana de Frascos/PCM) are made of glass. From Bormioli Luigi’s Ecoline range, the brand choose the 100ml ecoBottle and Verdi stock models, along with the 50ml ecoJar and the 15ml Aphrodite jar. For the serums and mini mist, the brand worked with Catalana de Frascos and decoration specialist PCM. “We used the most lightweight possible recycled and drawn glass,” Azpitarte explains. “For example, our jar is 58% lighter than the market norm and contains 15% PCR glass. Our eco-responsible lacquer does not release polluting particles, while still insuring shock resistance.”

The caps (VPI Faiveley Plast) are made of Sulapac, the eponymous bio-based material formed from wood chips from industrial side streams and plant-based binders. Sulapac CEO and Co-founder Suvi Haimi explains that the supplier’s collaboration with Ulé resulted in a two-color lid with Sulapac Arctic white and a custom-made shade of green. Ulé also utilized Sulapac Barrier for water-based products that is said to biodegrade. 

Azpitarte says that Ulé wanted to eliminate plastic as much as possible from its packaging. “The only plastic we have in our line today is our dropper, and the pump for our mist, which features a 100% PCR cover (Silgan Dispensing's SP22 Maximist fine mist sprayer).”

The FSC-certified outer packaging (Printor Packaging/Model Kramp) is produced with papermaker James Cropper’s Rydal natural white board, made with 100% recycled fibers. Black text is printed on a nude matte background, while thin vertical lines in relief created via debossing on the surface of the folding cartons combines with embossing at the center of the facing. Ulé eliminated leaflets and inner carton components from its secondary packaging.

Through a partnership with the start-up Tower Farms, Ulé grows the three key exotic plants used in its formulas at its vertical farm near Paris. Cultivating and extracting these plants enables the brand to “maintain the shortest supply chain possible and lessen our environmental impact, while ensuring the freshness of our plants,” Azpitarte says.

Component

Bottles/jarsBormioli Luigi/Catalana de Frascos/PCM

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CapsVPI Faiveley Plast/Sulapac

Component

PumpSilgan Dispensing

Component

BoxPrintor Packaging/Model Kramp

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Box paperJames Cropper

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