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Hot new materials seen at Edition Spéciale by LUXE PACK 2022

Katie Nichol

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Hot new materials seen at Edition Spéciale by LUXE PACK 2022

© Laetitia d'Aboville

An exhibition by French artist Johé Bruneau and a dedicated area showcasing cutting-edge, sustainable materials proved a big hit with visitors at this year’s Edition Spéciale by LUXE PACK show. We take a closer look.

Marine leather specialist Ictyos showed its latest developments at the show. Thanks to fragrance microcapsules on fish skin, the material is imbued with a scent of leather that changes to eucalyptus when it is rubbed. The fragrance can last up to two years.

Another innovation is around color with a new purple shade achieved during the tanning process using grape marc. 

UK-based start-up Notpla, a finalist of the Tom Ford Plastic Innovation prize, comes from the idea of using seaweed as an alternative to single-use plastic. In packaging, its Notpla paper can be used to wrap soaps or to create secondary packaging, while its sachets can house products like body oil. The company has also developed a rigid material for molded products.

French company Embelium, featured in the summer 2022 issue of Formes de Luxe magazine, makes “cultivated packaging” by planting agricultural by-products (hemp, vine shoots) in a mold with mycelium. Compostable and biodegradable, the material can be laser engraved, or brand logos created in the mold. Lengthening the cultivation process results in a velvety texture, while adding a layer of plant-based wax makes the fibers visible. Embelium can be used for luxury packaging inserts as well as molded coffrets.

Arrosia’s EcoPin pine resin is extracted using a sustainable process described as “similar to giving a blood sample”. It is used as a binder in Houbly’s material (detailed elsewhere in this article), for example, or with other agroforestry by-products such as flax fibers or pine needles to create plastic alternatives. Packaging applications include bottles, caps or boxes.

Malakio’s composite material with its marble-like aesthetic is made from shells sourced from seafood farming (oysters, mussels, scallops). The composition is roughly 60% shell and 40% mineral binder. With a thickness of 5mm, it can be used to create fragrance caps, or potentially a lipstick case. Malakio is currently testing the reintegration of its production offcuts.

Austrian company Organoid creates surfaces from untreated natural plants (alpine hay, rose petals, lavender blossom...) mixed with ecological binding agents. Its material can be used in luxury packaging, such as coffrets and labels.

Sericyne, a purveyor of natural and non-woven silk, was showcasing the packaging applications for its eponymous material: it has been used by Italian wine brand BellaVista as a bottle label, and by Guerlain for a limited-edition of its Muguet fragrance.

Houbly creates packaging from biosourced materials. Bio-sourced resin (such as that from Arrosia, see above) are mixed with cocoa pods from chocolate production or brewery spent grains from beer making for molding or thermocompression. Natural pigments can be added to create different colors. Boxes, fragrance caps or spirits stoppers are all potential packaging applications.

Studio Samuel Tomatis showed three algae-based materials created by the eponymous designer. The 100% algae paper can be used for labels and boxes, while the flexible material that resembles leather or plastic has applications in leather goods, and could also be used to sheath a coffret. The rigid material mainly has applications in point-of-sale merchandising, although a coffret could be envisaged.


France-based artist and "low-tech" designer Johé Bruneau showcased his creations in a dedicated area of the show. Specialized in using recycled plastic such as PP or HDPE, Bruneau makes objects such as toothbrush handles and soap dishes. It is the selection of the plastic that creates the array of colors in his work, the artist says, noting that fragrance caps, spirits stoppers or jewelry boxes are all possible when it comes to luxury packaging. “Being sustainable will work when products are desirable,” he notes.

©Laetitia d'Aboville 

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