Sustainable Packaging Tells the Story for a Clean Beauty Brand | Cosmetics

12/16/2021 RRD

Sustainable Packaging Tells the Story for a Clean Beauty Brand | Cosmetics

RRD’s scalable packaging solutions support rapidly expanding  cosmetics company


A leading biotech company that owns several beauty brands was committed to using sustainable packaging for its new color cosmetics brand. The foundation for this brand is “clean beauty” — safe, effective, and sustainable products and packaging.

The company wanted the packaging to speak for itself, something different that would tell a sustainability story all on its own. In addition to meeting their environmental goals, the packaging partner to this fast-growing company needed the capability to handle rapid SKU growth, maintain color continuity across multiple platforms, and still deliver on time to multiple co-packer locations nationwide.


RRD introduced this client to a customized hemp stock, a paperboard that uses hemp, straw, and recycled cotton fiber. The hemp product met the client’s approval criteria from a sustainability perspective — the amount of trees needed is reduced and replaced by alternative fiber sources, each with its own positive attributes. The surface texture prints smoothly with flood coats, and the paper does not crack when it is scored. Perfect for the cosmetics packaging they were seeking. 

RRD designed and developed a variety of carton structures using the brand’s actual beauty items for proper use and fit. After several iterations of structures and treatments, 19 different SKUs were finalized. RRD printed and embossed the hemp cartons using 35 special colors of custom-mixed, soy-based inks which match the shades of the boxed cosmetics.

RRD smoothly handled the processes required to fulfill this brand’s rapidly expanding needs, from carton design to all printing and label applications. This phase of the project included:

  • Embossed folding cartons
  • Instructions for use inserts over six versions
  • E-shippers over three sizes with direct print exterior and a litho label interior

The overall look of the cartons drew praise from the client and consumers upon the launch of the e-commerce and in-store products. The next phase for developing new SKUs and the replenishment of existing SKUs is in the planning stage.

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