Chanel launches first refillable beauty products as part of new low-packaging range

Luxury fashion, fragrance and beauty house Chanel has launched a range of skincare and cosmetic products described by Vogue as its most environmentally conscious to date, including its first refillable beauty product.

The range went on sale in the UK this week. Image: Chanel

The range went on sale in the UK this week. Image: Chanel

The range of products, called No. 1 de Chanel, is housed in packaging with no outer plastic wrapping and no inner paper leaflets. 

Chanel has also done away with all plastic components in the bottles and jars, opting instead for glass and urging customers to recycle the packaging once it is empty. Glass notably has a 76% recycling rate in the UK, while the recycling rate for plastic is around 43%. Non-glass packaging components are bio-based, made using by-products generated by the processing of camellias for Chanel’s product formulas.  

In a statement, Chanel said that packaging and design specialists have worked to lightweight the new bottles and jars, with weight reductions of between one-third and one-half achieved for each product.

No. 1 de Chanel includes serums, foundations, lip and cheek colourings and a new ‘Revitalising Cream’ – the firm’s first refillable beauty product. The cream is housed in a glass pot with a bio-based lid and bio-based inner pot. This inner pot can be switched out with a refill that costs £13 less than the initial product. Refills will be sold online and in stores.

Chanel’s chief sustainability officer Kate Wylie wrote on LinkedIn that the range is the culmination of more than a decade of research into natural ingredients, alternative packaging materials and refill formats. Wylie formally stepped into the role last June, taking the reins from Andrea d’Avack, who had worked for the luxury firm for more than 17 years.

The announcement from Chanel comes shortly after skincare and beauty brand Elemis joined a new collaborative initiative focused on reusable packaging, spearheaded by Scottish SME Beauty Kitchen and backed by firms including Asda and Unilever. Called the Re programme, the scheme is hoping to mitigate the landfilling of 100 million bottles within three years.

Think tanks have estimated that the global cosmetics and toiletries sector is producing 120 billion units of packaging a year. Research by the BBC in 2019 found that one-third of the single-use plastic packaging items found in typical UK households are due to bathroom products.


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Sarah George



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Circular economy | packaging | Resource Management | new business models | Reuse

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