The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. They craft and deliver the highest quality products and packaging for the most discerning consumers around the world.
ELC has been present in Europe since the early days of the company: their first international sales expansion was to London in 1960, and within a decade they had expanded into several European countries.
ELC’s history with Belgium began in 1965, when they opened their first overseas plant in Oevel, in the municipality of Westerlo. The year after, they started commercial operations.
Today, the Estée Lauder Companies is the market leader in Belgium for prestige beauty, distributing over 20 brands. They are present in perfumeries and department stores through selective distribution agreements, in addition to operating their own network of stores and websites.
Belgium has a broader relevance for ELC as the country hosts their Benelux affiliate, coordinating operations for the Netherlands and Luxembourg as well.
The Oevel site has become a global production center which manufactures more than 15 brands in ELC’s portfolio. The site specializes in make-up production and manufactures a selection of skin care products as well.
Along with the manufacturing facility, Oevel is also home to a key distribution center for the company, serving as a hub for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region (EMEA) and for online sales across Western Europe. The facility in Oevel is a key employer in Belgium and in the EMEA region, with more than 1,000 employees. Today, ELC is the largest cosmetics manufacturer in Belgium.
In Belgium, ELC sells the following brands: Estée Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Origins, Tommy Hilfiger, M·A·C, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Donna Karan New York, DKNY, Aveda, Jo Malone London, Bumble and bumble, Michael Kors, Darphin Paris, TOM FORD BEAUTY, Smashbox, Ermenegildo Zegna, AERIN, Le Labo, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, GLAMGLOW, KILIAN PARIS and the DECIEM family of brands.
A good corporate citizen
As an organization with a mission of bringing the best to everyone they deal with, ELC has embedded citizenship and sustainability across their business to reflect their focus on long-term, sustainable growth. They are responsive to the dynamic interests of their key stakeholders: consumers who increasingly seek out purpose-driven brands, investors who are looking beyond the traditional financial metrics used to measure a company’s performance and employees who expect the firm to actively live out the ELC family values.
In the fiscal year 2019, ELC set goals that aligned with the areas of their business where they believe they have the biggest opportunity to create positive impact. These are outlined and discussed in detail in their 2020 Citizenship and Sustainability Report, Beauty Inspired, Values Driven.
Since its founding, The Estée Lauder Companies has remained dedicated to serving the communities in which they live and work. Their impact is seen through the efforts of their charitable foundation, pioneering cause-marketing campaigns, and employees’ generosity of time and charitable contributions. They have enterprise citizenship programs that span the entirety of the organization, focusing on health, the environment and education. Their most iconic and longstanding programs are The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Campaign and M·A·C VIVA GLAM.
For instance, through their Breast Cancer Campaign, they have donated over €800,000 to support the battle against breast cancer in Belgium through their collaboration with Pink Ribbon Belgium and the KU Leuven Cancer Institute.