Cosmetic start-up Wild has launched its latest sustainable personal hygiene product with a packaging solution designed by Morrama that can “withstand warm and wet bathroom conditions”.
In 2020, Wild released a plastic-free deodorant refill, also designed by Morrama, which has sold around 15 million in the last three years. Since then, the studio has been working with the company on a 100% plastic-free, compostable, liquid cosmetics refill to house shower gel.
“Plastic pollution is an increasing problem”, says Morrama founder Jo Barnard, revealing that British adults throw away an average of 312 plastic bottles per year, while “only half recycle bathroom packaging”. She references findings from The Big Plastic Count that show “only 12% of plastic is actually recycled in the UK with most of it burned (47%), buried (25%) or shipped overseas (17%)”.
In response to this, Barnard says Morrama looked to design a product that would “reduce our reliance on plastic” and favour “natural compostable alternatives” instead. While the deodorant is a solid product “typically used in a dry environment”, she adds that one of the challenges was finding a packaging solution for a liquid shower gel that could “withstand warm and wet bathroom conditions”.
Working collaboratively with Wild, Morrama tested and designed for “a range of materials” throughout the research and development phase, with bamboo starch coming out on top as it has waterproof properties and is fast-growing, says Barnard. The shower gel refills are made from 70% bamboo starch, with the remaining 30% made up by plant starch from agricultural waste, chosen to reinforce its structural integrity.
Once the refill is empty it can be put on the compost heap or in general waste where it will biodegrade faster than a banana peel (which takes between six and nine months in a compost heap).
Designed to “house and protect the refill” by shielding it from water and humidity, the aluminium bottles continue the same “sleek aesthetic” that Morrama established with the Wild deodorant, says Barnard. The only plastic part of the product is the pump, which is made from 50% post-consumer recycled plastic.
Barnard describes the greatest challenge of working in sustainable packaging development as “remaining agile enough to respond to new materials, new regulations and new information”. In light of the steady rate of innovation in “the sustainable material space”, Morrama has devised a design for Wild that allows new materials to be “switched in and remain compatible with the reusable aluminium dispenser”, she explains.
Morrama and Wild plan to continue the collaboration for future projects.