For nearly three centuries, Maison Ruinart has been committed to providing an authentic, essential and responsible vision of art de vivre. In 2020, Ruinart breaks with the tradition of individual gift boxes, and pushes its global, environmental approach further with the second skin case. This eco-designed casing perfectly marries the emblematic silhouette of the Maison’s signature bottle with Ruinart’s taste integrity.. By revolutionizing the packaging, Maison Ruinart puts its leadership role in service of sustainable development: where a big gift box made sense in the past, an entirely recyclable cloak composed of 100% natural wood fibers is a more suitable fit today. The sustainable innovation of the second skin case calls for a return to nature and to the natural: it aims to reduce waste and recycle materials (on site at Maison Ruinart in Reims, 98.7% of all waste is recycled and all by-products of the vinification process are 100% recycled) without denaturing experience or taste. A direct hommage to the Crayères, the minimalist paper case features a silky yet textured surface that evokes the historic wine cellars of the Maison in Reims. Today, Ruinart is shaking up the norms.
After more than two years of research and development alongside it’s manufacturing partners – Pursterla 1880 and James Cooper, Maison Ruinart now unveils the ‘second skin case’: a innovative, eco-designed packaging, 9 times lighter than the previous generation of gift boxes and a 60% reduction in the carbon footprint compared to the previous generation of gift boxes.
Together, they focused their efforts on a material—namely cellulose fibers, or pulped paper—that solved two technological challenges:
- The first challenge was to render the case impermeable to any light that might risk altering the wine, especially with clear glass bottles therefore a new technique was developed to enrich the cellulose mix with a natural metallic oxide, which reinforced the opacity by adding a protective layer.
- The second challenge was to insure that the case could protect the wine right up until tasting, while being resistant to service uses (including contact with water) without deteriorating. Adapted to refrigerated conservation, the case even maintains its integrity for several hours when stored in a bucket of ice.
The development of the second skin case is part of a global approach.
Since as early as 2015, the Maison has been innovating with the launch of a 50g lighter gift box that, at the time, saved more than 200 tons of paper. That same year, all forms of plastic wrapping were removed, eliminating some additional 26 tons. In addition, all packaging materials used are from France (87%) or Western Europe (12%), Cardboard packaging and wooden boxes—as well as the natural wood fiber used to make the second skin case—are all sourced in a sustainable manner (eco-managed forests, certified FSC or PEFC).
Manufacturer James Cropper was established in 1845, on the shores of the Lake District National Park between Scotland and England, where it developed a unique savoir-faire. The family business is specialized in paper, respectfully leading innovations amidst a landscape classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The water indispensable to the creation of the second skin case is drawn from the site, 91% of which is clean enough to be released back into the river after manufacture. Half of the remaining 9% evaporates during the drying process of the pulped paper, and the other half corresponds to the natural humidity present in the case. At the start, the primary characteristics were determined thanks to digital modeling; thereafter, molds engraved with unique details were developed. These were then dipped in baths of a liquid cellulose mix, then pressed to bring the fibers together and form a three-dimensional white paper case. The result is obtained without the use of plastic or glue. As it seals up, the monobloc perfectly fits itself to the form of the bottle and is endowed with elegant finishings, referential to the Ruinart heritage. The case is assembled by hand in the unique terroir of Champagne: it covers each precious bottle like a second skin.
For Ruinart, sustainability is a must: and therefore decided to extend this to every element of the metier. Whether it is transport, packaging solutions or identifying committed artists for collaboration, every aspect is taken into account. By dreaming up the second skin case, Ruinart offers a sustainable alternative to an entire industry and heightens consciousness. The Maison wishes to open up a dialogue with the wider public and help both industry behaviour and consumer behaviour evolve.