The ingredient and packaging industries respond to the Indie Beauty movement

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

The ingredient and packaging industries respond to the Indie Beauty movement
Independent cosmetics, personal care, and fragrance brands get a lot of credit for product innovation, for social media domination, for being a market-disrupting sensation. Here, Cosmetics Design looks at ways that startups and founder-lead brands are motivating multinational corporations to modify their approach to business.

Much of conventional beauty takes place on an industrial scale. So to engage with startups, the industry has had to reimagine the size and scope of its products, procedures, and practices. At the close of 2018, Cosmetics Design noted in our annual trends projection video that 2019 would be a key year in terms of Indie Integration.  And here are some of the sifts this publication is watching as the year unfolds.  

Ingredient suppliers scale down

As they are getting established, startup personal care brands and indie beauty companies rarely order ingredients at industrial scale. And for some time, this detail meant indies could not buy from the same suppliers that the big manufacturers work with. But just a few short years into the current indie movement, that has changed.

In April at in-cosmetics global (arguably the world’s largest beauty ingredient tradeshow), some 30+ suppliers chose to participate in a new feature called The Indie Trail, where startup brands could expect to find companies interested in working with emerging beauty brands, supplying small minimum order quantities (MOQs) and occasionally offering additional services and/or insights to help indie brands compete. At that event, this publication checked in with brands along The Indie Trail to find out more about what is going on at the intersection of industry and indie. Watch this Cosmetics Design video montage​ to hear from a selection of Indie Trail suppliers.

And at next month’s Uplink Live event in New York City, prominent ingredient suppliers will be meeting with indie brand leaders, beginning and building relationships that will redefine business as usual in beauty.

For instance, Gattefossé will be at Uplink Live and that legacy ingredient supplier sees themselves as “a company that has remained independent for almost 140 years,”​ according to the profile they shared with the Uplink Live team; and the company goes on to emphasize that “Gattefossé understands what it takes to build and maintain an indie brand. Therefore, they aim to support indie beauty brands by sharing their expertise to help foster innovation, providing attentive and responsive customer service, and delivering high-quality ingredients.” Learn more about the inaugural Uplink Live event here on Cosmetics Design.

Packagers pivot

Aptar was an early adopter, if you will, of the indie business model and launched its Indie Boutique packaging service at the 2018 New York City edition of BeautyX. What multinational Aptar knew then and other packaging and dispensing suppliers are acknowledging now is that it takes some adjusting to partner with indie leaders but it's well worth the investment.

When Cosmetics Design spoke with Aptar’s marketing strategist Jaimee Given at that BeautyX event (video here​), she explained that, “what we’ve been hearing a lot from indie brands, as we’ve been working with them, is how to…better provide them with solutions.”

And, as Given observed, what’s crucial in any successful business relationship is simply, “being here, being present, knowing what they need, listening and hearing what they’re saying at places like IBE, places like Luxepack LA, and other locations…[indie brands are] really reaching out and saying here’s what our desires are and here’s what we need to really be successful.”

It’s not surprising, given that insight, that Aptar has continued to expand on its indie beauty platform. Early this year, the company launched a website that corresponds to its offerings for startups and emerging brands.

Eloi Fernandez, who serves as general manager and vice president of beauty North America at Aptar, shed light on the company’s motivation for growing its indie-facing business, saying “In six short months since [the] launch [of the Indie Boutique,] we continue learning, adapting, and we are here to help,” as Cosmetics Design reported​.

And Aptar will be at this year’s Uplink Live event too (which, like BeautyX, is hosted by the Indie Beauty Media Group). And that tradeshow will likely further the dispensing company’s proficiency in the independent personal care, fragrance, and cosmetics space.



Deanna Utroske, Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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