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Beauty Flakes System

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

Photo of Barbara
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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.

Website

www.nuup.it

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.

8 comments

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Spam
Photo of Lauren Ito
Team

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!

Spam
Photo of Francesca Maccagnan
Team

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.

Best,
Francesca and Beauty Flakes System Team

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Barbara!

There are 7 days left in the refinement phase.

If there is key information in the comments on your idea submission, I recommend that you move them to the main body of your idea submission before the cut-off time.

I just want to remind you that the deadline to complete the Refinement Questions via the online submission form is August 31 at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Barbara!

Welcome to the refinement phase.

Do you need to flake the product at point of sale? Could it be pre-flaked?

The system looks like it could be sensitive to clogging and un-flexible due to need for cleaning etc when you switch the product in the dispenser stack. How do you address these concerns?

How will this apply at scale?

What addition assumptions/key questions do you have about your idea? How could you test a key assumption/question through a further prototype?

There are a few ideas from previous challenges that might give you some ideas for further prototyping and gathering feedback?

Friendly ATM - https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/financial-longevity/top-ideas/all-generation-friendly-atm - a top idea from our financial longevity challenge has a great example of rapid, low budget prototyping and gathering feedback from customers. The use of video to demonstrate the prototyping/testing session is really good.

Stairwear -
https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/fall-prevention/finalfeedback/stairwalker - is a great example of low fidelity prototyping and filming and gathering feedback from the user at the same time.

You might want to reach out to the OpenIDEO Bogota Chapter for advice/feedback for the Colombia market - https://beta.openideo.com/chapters/15

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me by tagging me here (@ followed by my name) or send me an email - krushton@ideo.com

I just want to remind you that the deadline to complete the Refinement Questions via the online submission form is August 31 at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Spam
Photo of Barbara
Team

@Kate Rushton
Dear Kate, thanks for your questions and the links you shared with us!
Here below our reply.

1. Do you need to flake the product at point of sale? Could it be pre-flaked?
> It would be preferable because shipping a bar and flaking it at the point of sale will help maintain the freshness of the cosmetics and avoid further packaging during the transport and preserving the cosmetics before the sale (Which would be indispensable if we would ship them in flakes form).

2. The system looks like it could be sensitive to clogging and un-flexible due to need for cleaning etc when you switch the product in the dispenser stack. How do you address these concerns?
> Our goal is to provide the cosmetic in a fresh and clean state with the same standard used for liquid soaps, to do so we are designing the dispenser in order to avoid dust and dirt to get in contact with the cosmetic, avoiding clogging problems.

3. How will this apply at scale?
> After the first tests in small scale we will adjust the whole systems based on the feedbacks we will receive and we think that thanks to the training provided to the sellers we can involve easily more neighborhood shops thanks to the word of mouth.

4. What addition assumptions/key questions do you have about your idea? How could you test a key assumption/question through a further prototype?
> The tests could help us understand if there are any prejudices about purchasing a solid cosmetic compared to a liquid one and if the action of dissolve the flakes in water may be perceived as annoying.

5. There are a few ideas from previous challenges that might give you some ideas for further prototyping and gathering feedback?
> Not really, but thank you for the links, We are about to documenting our first tests so the links you suggested give us a better idea about how we should better communicate our tests.

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Barbara!

This is a really interesting idea!

What would potentially be the biggest barrier to implementation of this idea?

How would you incorporate branding/brand recognition into your product?

What are the next steps in developing your idea?

Spam
Photo of Barbara
Team

Hi Kate, thanks for your comment! Here below our reply.

1_What would potentially be the biggest barrier to implementation of this idea?
We think that reaching big companies that sell cosmetics in developing countries asking to take action into a social business would be the biggest barrier, but having the chance to receive the help of the Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator Program will add value to the project and help establish a business-level dialogue with companies.
We see in the involvement of major brands both a barrier and a big opportunity to improve the market of monodose cosmetics, reducing plastic packaging waste.

2_How would you incorporate branding/brand recognition into your product?
We want the brand to be recognized through the whole system:
- By placing the brand on the product itself (cosmetic bar), on the packaging (metal boxes and bottle) and on the dispenser
- Through the involvement of major brands that can support local soap productions, creating social and economical value locally and reducing logistics costs
- By engaging, supporting and educating the sellers to establishing a trusted relationship with customers.

3_What are the next steps in developing your idea?
We already prototyped the cosmetic flakes idea with good results concerning the product main characteristics and usability. Now we plan to test the whole system first in a little community in Colombia or Burkina Faso, both countries where some associations we are working with are involved in social development projects for poor communities.

Spam
Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Barbara Pollini 
The Ideas Phase of the challenge closes TONIGHT at 11:30 p.m. PT. Your post is currently unpublished, in draft mode. In order to be eligible for evaluation, your post must be published on the platform.

We'd love to have it be included in the challenge. You can publish it by hitting the "Publish" button at the top of your post. You can also update your post by clicking on the "Edit Contribution" on top. Thanks!