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Italy's beauty cluster focuses Innovation Day on sustainability

Pascale Ruchon

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Italy's beauty cluster focuses Innovation Day on sustainability

Sustainable cosmetics will be the theme of the fourth edition of Italian business cluster Polo Technologico della Cosmesi’s Innovation Day, which will be held on October 29 in Crema, Italy. "This issue will be with us in the years to come and represents a major challenge that we need to tackle," affirms association president Matteo Moretti. The cluster counts some 70 cosmetic formulation and packaging companies.

The day will be devoted to conferences and roundtable discussions on a variety of topics: the links shared by industry, research and ecology; the new frontiers of renewable resources and recycled materials; ethics, sustainability and new business models in the cosmetics sector; innovation and sustainability 3.0. As in previous years, the event will take place at a car dealership, the objective being to symbolically bring the beauty sector in closer proximity to another type of industry. For visitors, it will also be an opportunity to become better acquainted with the vast Italian cosmetics industry, which is mainly concentrated in the Lombardy region near Milan.

According to a study by consulting firm The European House-Ambrosetti, there are more than 590 companies in this region alone that generate a turnover of more than €5.7bn with around 25,000 employees. Most of the activity is dedicated to contract manufacturing of cosmetic formulas, with a turnover of more than €3bn euros followed by packaging manufacturers, which represent more than €2bn in turnover, and about 60 machinery manufacturers with sales totaling €365m.

This industry is also a heavyweight in terms of exports; estimates show that 65% of the world's makeup production comes from this region of Italy, with the major Western brands sourcing their products there. This economic performance is often either underestimated or even ignored. To maintain the momentum and face increasing competition from Asia, the Italian cosmetics industry is investing heavily in R&D, and innovation in the area of sustainable development is becoming a strategic focus.

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