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Beauty Flakes System

We designed a system to sell solid cosmetics in little quantities avoiding the use of sachet.

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We focused on solid cosmetics as a good alternative for packaging savings in the production and distribution process compared to the liquid ones, developing solutions also for single-doses to allow even those who don’t have the budget to buy larger amounts of product to benefit from this system, discouraging the use of sachets for single-doses. Our target are users from developing countries who buy sachet because they cannot afford to buy bigger amount of product: we notice that solid soap is already largely used instead of gel douche but this is not true for shampoos, hair balms, and sunscreens, which are instead very popular in monodosis.

Hair care by women (for example in Africa and India) is culturally very important, as well as the use of sunscreens that is becoming an important health issue. In Western countries there are already examples of solid shampoos, hair balms and sunscreens, but their cost would not be affordable for developing countries and there are no valid market solutions for single-dosis of solid cosmetics, furthermore manage small solid product doses may not be easy and may increase the risk of wasting the product during its use.

Our project makes it possible to sell single-doses of solid soaps, shampoos, hair balms and sunscreens by chopping a large bar in small pieces or flakes. Flakes can be transformed into liquid just adding some water. With this system we reduce packaging in the production and transportation phase as well as in the use phase (sachet or bottle). All the items are designed to ensure a good level of hygiene and to facilitate the sale and use of small doses of solid soap or cosmetics.

Idea Title

Beauty Flakes System

Company / Organization Name

Nuup, sustainable creativity Is a sustainable designers network active between Italy and South America since 2010.


Where are you / your team located?

We are in Milan, but we are part of a sustainable designer Network active in Italy and South America

How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

We design a system to sell sigle doses of solid cosmetics by chopping them in flakes, (allowing users to make showergel and shampoo simply adding water in the case of soaps) in this way users will need to reuse a bottle or a box to store and use the products, avoiding the use of sachet.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Our idea respond to Case 1: Single-use sachet for liquid consumer products. We were particularly inspired by the story of Rajata Working Mother in Kerala and we aim to avoid sachet use for sigle-dose soaps thanks to our project.

In what geographical context or area does your Idea plan to operate / solve?

We think developing countries markets are the target for the challenge of replacing sachets. We can start testing our project in Colombia, Burkina Faso and Italy, facilitated by contacts with some associations operating in these areas.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

Our idea is a model that can be scaled up easily, it doesn’t require expensive technologies and it can be developed locally. We think the project can easily be applied in developing countries, involving as partners local cosmetic manufacturing companies, that can sell their products through the system of beauty flackes distribution we designed. We believe that also Western markets should stimulate the sell of bulk products, so we think the project can be scaled up also in Europe and US.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Prototyping: You have conducted some small tests or experiments with prospective users and will continue developing idea through these tests.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea and working with the Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator Program will help to accelerate your solution.

We believe it will help reaching big companies that sell cosmetics in developing countries, scaling up our project faster thanks to visibility, contacts and capital and reaching a more positive impact in less time.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

As sustainable designers we were already focusing on marine litter issue, developing projects to find solutions. Recently we have also addressed the problem of preventing pollution at source and this project reflects the guidelines we had identified to prevent the problem.

Tell us about your work experience

We are active as part of the sustainable design network Nuup since 2010. As ecodesigner, we use Life Cycle Design and sustainable design strategies with the aim of minimizing environmental impacts.

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

At the moment we are single professionals working together in a network, aiming to create an associated studio.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Barbara!

We have received your Refinement Phase Submission Questions! Just a friendly reminder that the Phase closes tonight, August 31st at 11:30 p.m. PT. so please update your contribution on the platform before the deadline.

Thank you for all your work this Refinement Phase and for being member of the OpenIDEO Community!

Photo of Francesca Maccagnan

Hi Lauren, nice to meet you!
We update our final contribution for the refinement phase on the platform yesterday 31th august approximately at 10.00 am (Europe Time).
Please, let us know if the submission has not been loaded correctly.

Francesca and Beauty Flakes System Team

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