Features

A Diamond in the Rough

By Karen McIntyre, Editor | April 14, 2012

Diamond Wipes relies on an environmental conscience to help guide its way in the wipes market.

Diamond Wipes got its start in 1994 when Taiwanese immigrant Eve Yen wanted to bring the hot towel concept that was so big in her native country to the U.S. Deciding that the disposable concept worked best in this product area, Yen invested in a disposable wipes production line and started selling to hospitality markets such as hotels, airlines and restaurants.

Soon she started moving into other applications like makeup removal wipes and before long she was contract manufacturing and packaging scores of new products for the wipes market.

Today, the entrepreneur has over 400 SKUs plus a few hundred personal care formulations, a successful contract manufacturing business and two trademarked brands—Diamond Wipes and LaFresh.


Eve Yen started Diamond Wipes in 1994
shortly after emigrating from Taiwan
.
“We really have a juice, a lotion or a wipes for the majority of applications in wipes,” she explains. “The advantages we can offer is since we know wipes and know what works best, we can offer specialty filling.”

With the ability to make over one million wipes per day, Diamond operates a total of about 40 lines in California and Ohio. The majority of the company’s business is in North and Central America but some activity is beginning in Asia and the company has had a long-term customer in the UK.

Currently about 40% of the business is private label, 40% if contract manufacturing and the remaining 20% is trademarked brands.

According to Yen, branding is where the company would like to grow. The challenge here is educating people to get them to try new products. “We also have to develop sales channels,” she says. “This has become easier with the internet and social networking.”

Going fresh

The LaFresh brand was founded in 1999 as
a means to better target consumer markets.

In 1999, Yen developed LaFresh in an effort to build up the branded part of its business but at that point the contract manufacturing side was so strong, it was hard to focus on their own products.

It was not until 2007 when the company launched LaFresh travel packs, single use sachays containing wipes in nearly anything you could need to travel—nail polish removal wipes, moisturizing wipes and makeup removal wipes. In 2010, the company started modifying these products creating Ecobeauty which feature all natural ingredients, biodegradable substrate.

“There is no other wipes line using all natural ingredients that can do the jobs that this line of wipes can do,” Yen explains.

Sustainability offering are also crucial to the Diamond Wipes brand. Here Yen recently launched two eco-friendly dining wipes, known in the restaurant industry as 'oshibori.'

Naturally Yours' premium wipes and 'Warm Welcome' economy wipes are both made of biodegradable, compostable, FSC-approved cloth. The wrappers are made of recyclable OPP (oriented polypropylene) monolayer film and the formulas contain 99.9% natural ingredients.

"My company began as an oshibori manufacturer catering to the restaurant industry. Over time, we have grown to produce about a million oshibori wipes per day," comments Yen. "In any given year, we could be responsible for thousands of tons of material for oshibori restaurant wipes alone."

Investing in the Earth

Product development is not the only area where Diamond Wipes is mindful of the environment. Earlier this year, the company completed construction of its 3360 panel clean energy solar installation, which will generate nearly 550,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year for its Southern California manufacturing facility.

“As business continues to grow, I've become increasingly attuned to the near and long term impact we may have on the environment” says Yen. "As a good corporate citizen, I want to do everything I can to support eco-conscious behaviors and practices.”


LaFresh Ecobeauty was launched last year
to give consumers a green option across a
number of personal care applications.
Yen adds that solar panels are much more common in Taiwan so incorporating them into her business seemed like a natural fit for her.

In other green efforts, Diamond has already begun utilizing its new clean energy system, offsetting up to 86% of its primary factory's energy utilization away from traditional electric.

These efforts will help Diamond and Le Fresh continue to grow in the wipes market, a business that Yen says will remain strong. “There are still so many untapped uses for wipes,” she says. “It’s such as great applicator to skin and surface areas.Today’s younger generation grew up with wipes and won’t know any differently. Just like it’s unheard of to use cloth diapers in place of the disposable ones, future generations won’t think twice about using wipes. Some day no one will know about handkerchiefs.”
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • What’s New at La Prairie?

    What’s New at La Prairie?

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||April 25, 2016
    VP of marketing shares the latest buzz with Happi.

  • Mapping Out Multicultural Beauty

    Mapping Out Multicultural Beauty

    April 25, 2016
    Agnieszka Saintemarie of Kline Group about current trends and challenges in multicultural beauty.

  • At a Loss for Curls?

    April 22, 2016
    Amplixin, a Miami-based maker of hair strengthening products, has a solution for hair loss.

  • The Zika Threat

    The Zika Threat

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||April 1, 2016
    Concerns are spreading about transmission of this mosquito-borne disease.

  • The New Spot For Acne Care

    The New Spot For Acne Care

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||April 1, 2016
    Acne Treatment Research Center opens in Morristown, NJ.

  • The Essence of Individuality

    The Essence of Individuality

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||April 1, 2016
    Fragrance sales are fueled by unique facets.

  • The Scalp Microbiome

    The Scalp Microbiome

    Nava Dayan PhD, Dr. Nava Dayan LLC||April 1, 2016
    A review of recent findings and innovative approaches for treating scalp disorders.

  • Multi-Cultural Beauty Update

    Multi-Cultural Beauty Update

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||April 1, 2016
    Established brands and start-ups address the needs of multi-cultural beauty consumers.

  • Who Makes That?

    Who Makes That?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||April 1, 2016
    From concept and formulation to testing and filling, today’s contract manufacturers perform a range of services for marketers

  • Inspiring the Next Generation Of Personal Care Products

    Inspiring the Next Generation Of Personal Care Products

    March 1, 2016
    In-Cosmetics 2016 returns to Paris next month, April 12-14, 2016.

  • Playing Doctor

    Playing Doctor

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||March 1, 2016
    The OTC aisle offers a wide array of no-prescription-needed treatments.

  • Shielding Skin from Airborne Antagonists

    Shielding Skin from Airborne Antagonists

    Shyam Gupta, Ph.D., John Stanek and Melinda Wochner, Bioderm Research and CoValence Laboratories, Inc.||March 1, 2016
    The enemy, it seems, is all around us. Researchers explain how to alleviate damage caused by a variety of villains.

  • Makeup Magic

    Makeup Magic

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||March 1, 2016
    Sales get a lift from novel ingredients and endorsements from the likes of Gwen Stefani.

  • Feel the Burn?

    Feel the Burn?

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 1, 2016
    Sun care product sales rise, but more must be done to make sure compliance rates grow.

  • New Sun Care Ingredients

    March 1, 2016
    Here is a list of new ingredients for sun care that have been introduced by industry suppliers during the past 12 months. For information regarding any of the products listed here, contact the supplier directly using the information provided.

  • Cleaning Up

    Cleaning Up

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 1, 2016
    At the American Cleaning Institute’s 90th Annual Meeting & Industry Convention attendees work on regulatory issues and hammer out business deals.

  • Supply-Side Solutions

    Supply-Side Solutions

    Tom Branna , Editorial Director||March 1, 2016
    Executives from leading detergent industry suppliers sat down with Happi during the recent annual meeting of the American Cleaning Institute to discuss the problems, products and answers that are transforming the cleaning space.

  • Cleaning Industry Heads to Singapore

    Cleaning Industry Heads to Singapore

    March 1, 2016
    The World Conference on Fabric and Home Care, sponsored by the American Oil Chemists Society, will be held Oct. 4-7 in Singapore.

  • Electric Slide

    Electric Slide

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||February 3, 2016
    Skin care devices bring anti-aging to the next level

  • Crowning Glory

    Crowning Glory

    Christine Esposito , Associate Editor||February 3, 2016
    Celebrity stylists and experts from leading hair care brands talk about the ingredients and formats driving the styling sector.

  • Innovation On Display

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||February 3, 2016
    P&G Beauty Digital Studio showcases new products for 2016

  • Testing for Sustainable Preservatives

    Adam P. Byrne, William Michael Hart-Cooper, Kaj Johnson, Larry H. Stanker, Dominic W. S. Wong, William J. Orts||January 4, 2016
    A rapid, inexpensive and qualitative protocol for determining microbial growth inhibition.

  • Burgeoning Beauty

    Burgeoning Beauty

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||January 4, 2016
    A look at trailblazers for 2016 and beyond.

  • Looking Great, Even at 70!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 4, 2016
    The Society of Cosmetic Chemists marked its 70th anniversary during the annual meeting in New York last month.

  • It’s All About Teamwork

    It’s All About Teamwork

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||January 4, 2016
    Collaboration was the theme of the Consumer Specialty Products Association 2015 annual meeting.

  • Making Sense of Smells

    Making Sense of Smells

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||January 1, 2016
    Household product perfumery is more complex than ever, with a variety of notes obtained from many different sources.

  • Pod Nation

    Pod Nation

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||January 1, 2016
    Laundry detergent sales remain steady, but where consumers are spending money and how they’re cleaning clothes is changing.

  • Innovator to the End

    Innovator to the End

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||December 2, 2015
    After nearly 40 years in the industry, Kevin Gallagher is set to retire from Croda.