Manufacturer: James Cropper COLOURFORM
Location: United Kingdom
Project Type: Produced
Client: Maison Ruinart
Product Launch Location: Global
Packaging Contents: Champagne bottle
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Responsibly sourced natural wood fibres

Following two years of research and design, James Cropper COLOURFORM™, working with Pusterla 1880, will see its first eco-responsible packaging for champagne brand Maison Ruinart showcased in Selfridges as part of the store’s ‘Project Earth’ sustainable initiative both in-store and online.

COLOURFORM’s partnership with Pusterla 1880 and Maison Ruinart, the very first champagne house founded 290 years ago, has been a long-term project focused on reimagining the packaging solution for several of the brand’s champagnes.

Patrick Willink, managing director of James Cropper COLOURFORM™, says: “We are incredibly proud of this disruptive piece of work. The case represents another step in Maison Ruinart’s holistic approach to development which respects the environment.

“It has been a long-term project. We experimented with different technological advances in the art of paper making to achieve a moulded form which precisely follows the contours of the bottle in a single piece. A total of seven prototypes were considered before achieving the final case design.

“The absence of edges was made possible thanks to the precise, high-pressure waterjet cutting of the hull’s contours, a process that we have been perfecting in COLOURFORM™. Further adding to the elegance of it is the unique paper pulp closure system, activated by a beautifully crafted snap button moulded directly into the case.

“The perfecting of the chalk-like texture – a very natural non-repeating design with a richness, depth and finesse of detail – represents a true technological feat.”

The new cases will replace Maison Ruinart’s existing champagne boxes forR, R vintage, Rosé andBlanc de Blancs cuvéesand were unveiled in June 2020 at the Paris VIVATECH trade show, and now available from selected premium and luxury retailers across western Europe.

Frédéric Dufour, President of Maison Ruinart says: “With this second skin case Maison Ruinart confirms its pioneering role in champagne, and its ambition in terms of social and environmental responsibility. This disruptive project embodies the Maison’s firm commitment to more sustainable development for its packaging across all stages of the development and marketing of our products, from the tending of the vine to the consumer experience.”

Ever since its founding in 1729, Maison Ruinart has dared to innovate. The very first champagne house, it was also the first to market a rosé champagne in 1764; the first to acquire the millennial chalk cellars ideal for aging wines; the first to collaborate with artists in 1896, by commissioningAlphonse Mucha to designan “advertising campaign”to promote its wines,as well as the first to use wooden cases for the transport of its bottles in 1769.

Patrick Willink concludes: “Marking a departure from the familiar visual codes and forms associated with the boxes used for champagne bottles, the new COLOURFORM™case breaks the category’s traditional offering. It embodies Maison Ruinart’s vision in a more sustainable, contemporary product, which the House hopes will inspire other players.”

The second skin casing is nine times lighter than the existing box and reduces the carbon footprint by 60%, compared to the current generation of Ruinart boxes.

The ultra-light case is a mono-material design with genuine sustainability credentials, crafted from responsibly sourced natural wood fibres. Set to revolutionise the gift-box and cases market, the eco-designed packaging uses zero plastic and is 100% recyclable.

Like a second skin made of paper, the case follows the lines of the bottle’s emblematic curves and allows the integrity of the Maison Ruinart flavour to be preserved until tasting. The raw and sophisticated texture was inspired by the walls of Crayères, the Maison’s historic chalk-pit cellars in Reims.