Indie brand Manik Skincare partners with Sulapac – collaboration highlights a shift in tattoo culture and societal values

From florals, mandalas, elegant fine line tattoos and vegan ink, tattoo culture is undergoing a strong shift away from the traditional imagery often associated with masculine subcultures, such as bikers or gangs.

German Manik Skincare, founded as a side project by Hamburg-based visual design and branding entrepreneurs Manou and Mik Rahner, and Manuel Camacho, was developed for people with strong environmental and self-care values.

Also working as a tattoo artist, Mik Rahner wanted to offer his clients high-quality aftercare products, but nothing on the market was both effective, organic and sustainably packaged. With vegan cosmetics strongly on the rise, there was a gap in the market for a new kind of tattoo aftercare product.

‘Regular aftercare products are okay but did not truly meet the criteria I had in mind. The three of us sat down to put together the concept of Manik, and then we began to work on recipes. It took us two years to develop the two vegan products – the balm and the soap, using selected medicinal herbs and plant oils,’ says Mik Rahner.

The packaging also had to meet Manik’s strict requirements for eco-friendliness and recyclability, which meant that fossil fuel based plastics were not an option.

‘Sustainability is one of the most important criteria in our product development, from the raw materials to the packaging. The real value of our products lies not only in the benefits for the user but also in avoiding any harm to the environment. Ecology before economy, environmental protection before profit – that is our mantra. When we found Sulapac, we didn’t even have to consider other options – it was a perfect match for us,’ says Manou Rahner.

For its Herbal Tattoo Series products, the brand chose industrially compostable Sulapac® Nordic Collection by Quadpack. Sulapac’s award-winning packaging material is made from FSC-certified wood chips from industrial waste streams and plant-based materials. The material also biodegrades without leaving permanent microplastics behind. The brand’s logo and a botanical design are screen-printed on the lid of the balm jar.

‘We are proud to be able to provide both long-standing and independent brands a more sustainable option for cosmetics packaging. The values of Manik Skincare and Sulapac are naturally aligned, making this collaboration particularly appropriate. Sulapac was born out of concern for the environment and the ever-growing amounts of plastic waste – we are dedicated to accelerating the transition towards circular economy by providing materials that are beautiful, functional and sustainable – like nature,’ says Dr. Suvi Haimi, CEO and Co-Founder of Sulapac.

Once a symbol of counter culture, tattoos are quickly becoming part of mainstream culture with more than a third of Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 having at least one tattoo. The normalisation of tattoos over the last decade stems mainly from more exposure to tattoos through social media and popular culture from musicians to sports stars, as well as the strong individualism of the Millennial and Gen Z generations.

‘This change is also evident in the requests and choices of tattoo clients. People want art that represents them and their beliefs about life and the world. Nature-oriented botanical tattoos have increased heavily in popularity. It makes perfect sense that tattoo enthusiasts also want products that support their values,’ says Mik Rahner.

Sulapac has also collaborated on packaging with brands such as CHANEL, Okanagan Lavender, Innerbark, Akane, RDP Skincare, I+M, and Edinburgh Skincare – among others. Several brands Sulapac has worked with have received acclaim for their products. I+M, which chose Sulapac jars for their We Reduce! range, was one of the finalists of the German Sustainability Award Design in 2021. Akane was winner of the 2021 Pure Beauty Global Award, and RDP Skincare winner of the Swedish Beauty Oscar 2021.