Emphasizes sustainability approach in forestry and manufacturing
Faber-Castell, the 257-year old Germany-based company that was founded prior to the French Revolution—and best known for its fine writing and art products and slide rules—began manufacturing cosmetic pencils in 1978. Now led by its ninth generation, the company remains completely family-owned. Countess Mary von Faber-Castell serves as president, Faber-Castell Cosmetics. About a year ago, a non-family executive was brought in, with Daniel Rogger, being named chairman of the Faber-Castell Group, commissioned to run the entire organization.
To mark the firm’s 40th anniversary in the cosmetics industry, Countess Mary von Faber-Castell—who met her husband, Count von Faber-Castell (eighth generation), when she was a customer, working in New York at Chanel in the ’70s—recently held a press conference in Paris, in which she highlighted the world’s oldest pencil manufacturer’s achievements in the category, describing key products (including her personal favorites) and new launches.
They now manufacture 2.3 billion wood-cased pencils per year, which for perspective, would reach from here to the moon. For the fiscal year 2016-17, they achieved a turnover of 667 million Euros; the Cosmetics industry accounts for around 15% of the total and is growing. They have production sites in nine countries—and have their own sustainable forest in South America. They now also injection mold their own plastic components and can custom match the lead. With an eye on flexibility and agility, the company says it is “fully integrated for short times to market.” The global private label manufacturer also prides themselves on their “one-stop shop” approach.
Countess Mary, as she is called, emphasized Faber-Castell’s sustainable approach, which she said “is fully integrated from seed to wood to pencil.” They follow what she calls a “sustainable forestry approach” and were certified “carbon-neutral” in 2014. She said the company employs multi-generational families and is “deeply rooted in social and environmental responsibility.”
An array of wood-cased, capillary, flow-through, mechanical, capillary, slim, sharpenable—with all formulas “perfectly compliant” were shown. Now looking at 2020 trends, Countess Mary explained with the face very important now, due to selfies, etc., the company felt like a new texture was needed, so they launched a pencil with a light texture for concealing and highlighting. A new basic texture pencil is available in a metallic package as well as in a retractable jumbo pencil. Long-lasting sharpenable eye pencils were also an attraction.
When asked if they would continue to expand their product line? Countess Mary merely smiled…
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