Ruinart’s Second Skin gift case is shaking up the limits of sustainable packaging

By Michelle Johnson | 03 Sep 2020 | Indulge

Inspired by the maison’s historic crayères, the eco-friendly gift packaged bottles are available to buy in Selfridges

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The world’s oldest champagne house, Maison Ruinart, has long been pushing the boundaries of sustainable production while perfecting the authentic art de vivre of its champagne. Now, the brand is breaking with tradition in its packaging, too, introducing the Second Skin case. 

The eco-friendly casing is made of a completely recyclable cloak composed of 100% natural wood fibres, and its silky texture is inspired by the brand’s historic crayères in Reims. 

The Second Skin gift case, which is available in Selfridges, took two years of development with partners Pusterla 1880 and James Cropper. It is nine times lighter than previous gift boxes and results in an impressive 60% reduction in the carbon footprint.

The team focused its efforts on a material – cellulose fibres from pulped paper – that solved its two technological challenges: rendering the case impermeable to any light that might risk altering the quality of the wine, and protecting the wine up until tasting, including from contact with water.

A new technique was developed to enrich the cellulose mix with natural metallic oxide to reinforce its opacity, before it was developed further to ensure it could adapt to refrigeration – the case can maintain its integrity in a bucket of ice for several hours.   

Related: Celebrating English wine, Bolney Wine Estate’s Sam Linter tells us about the country’s oldest vineyard

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“We wanted to go as far as possible to lessen our environmental imprint, thus challenging finishings, aesthetic, and uses,” says Violaine Basse, Ruinart’s director of marketing and communications.

Ruinart turned to Lake District manufacturer James Cropper, who was available to develop a process whereby 91% of water used in the creation of the Second Skin case was clean enough to be release back into river. The remaining 9% either evaporates during the drying process or remains as natural humidity within the case. 

“The challenge was to imagine a unique packaging that reflects the spirit of Maison Ruinart, is recyclable and leaves no waste behind,” said Phil Wild, James Cropper president.

Ruinart is well known for its innovation within the industry. It was founded in 1729 in Reims, and has become the oldest champagne house to continuously produce the sparkling wine. In 1764, Ruinart became the first to introduce a rosé champagne, then called oeil de perdix (partridge eye). Its links to art began in 1896, when the maison commissioned artist Alphonse Mucha to create a surprising – and slightly scandalous – advertisement. 

Available to purchase in the UK from Selfridges.

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