Earlier this month, the French competitiveness cluster Cosmetic Valley signed a partnership with Parisian region Île-de-France to further promote perfumery and cosmetics on a global stage. Signed as part of Île-de-France’s wider ‘Impact 2028’ project, it had also come together following the recent addition of cosmetics as a focus sector for the region’s local economy.
Franckie Béchereau, deputy CEO at Cosmetic Valley and director of its annual tradeshow Cosmetic 360, said the partnership was a culmination of long-standing work the competitiveness cluster had been engaged in across the region.
“There are strong links between Cosmetic Valley and the Île-de-France region,” Béchereau told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.
The value of French beauty
Since 2018, Cosmetic Valley had been coordinating collaboration across the industry, for example, but following the Parisian region’s 2022 announcement to make the cosmetic sector a “priority for its economic development”, she said this responsibility had risen further.
Cosmetics and perfumery could already be considered a “valuable sector” for France and its Île-de-France region given the number of company headquarters, R&D laboratories and wide choice of renowned beauty training centres and schools in the region, she said, but there was certainly more to be achieved in shining a brighter light on its achievements.
Cosmetic Valley, she said, wanted to bring together stakeholders throughout the beauty supply chain, in the region and beyond, to further advance innovation and opportunity in the coming years. And this also involved encouraging engagement with experts outside of beauty, she said.
“Today, I think there is a lot of porosity between sectors,” Béchereau said, particularly in tech – a core focus area for the partnership.
Applying technology to beauty – across every part of the supply chain, from formulation and production to packaging, retail and consumer use – held significant opportunity, she said, much of which was only truly possible with collaboration. “There are more and more technical aspects [to cosmetics], so you can’t manage everything by yourself.”
The 10-year cosmetics vision
Asked what the goal of Cosmetic Valley’s alliance with Île-de-France was over the next five to ten years, the deputy CEO said the ultimate vision was bringing French beauty to a global stage whilst maintaining the integrity of the sector’s know-how and long-standing skills.
“We would like to promote our specificities but also a new vision of cosmetics. We are working on a new vision – the cosmetics of this century,” she said.
The vision, she said, was based on creating an industry that was inclusive, focused on wellness, useful for humanity, respectful of the planet and liberating to consumers – all backed by products and devices based on “real scientific progress”.
Importantly, she said Cosmetic Valley planned to take companies of all sizes along with this future vision, given 80% of French beauty was made up of small companies. “It’s our role to help small companies be more competitive, and perhaps tomorrow to be the majors of tomorrow. And we are convinced that to be a major, you have to be engaged; you have to be respectful; you have to be linked with your society, with people’s wishes.”
And doing so alongside the support of the country’s territories and regions, on a strategic level, was key, she said. “I think it’s very, very important to create an ecosystem to be performing. The industry can’t do everything by itself.”