@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.
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.