Seymour Powell develops nappy of the future concept

Seymour Powell has created a design concept for Tesco for the ’nappy of the future’, focusing on improving comfort, performance and reducing the environmental footprint.

The design features a removable liner, eliminating the need to change the entire nappy, in turn reducing the impact on the environment.

Tesco approached the consultancy to work on the project in the spring. Seymour Powell then liaised with Tesco’s current nappy manufacturer, Ontex, for an overview of the project’s context, and began developing the concept in June.

Jenna Bannerman, Tesco’s baby spokeswoman, says that the brief to Seymour Powell outlined Tesco’s research into parents’ struggles with nappy-changing – such as ’wriggly’ babies, smell and mess – and asked it to ’develop a concept which will help address these issues and make the lives of parents and babies easier’.

Seymour Powell associate director Michael Webster and senior designer Magali Vitel led the project creatively.

Webster says the consultancy was approached because of its ’history of being innovative and providing innovative solutions’ and its ’ability to think outside the loop’.

Seymour Powell carried out ethnographic research, by observing different nappy-changing situations and talking to parents about possible improvements in design.These insights were then used as a stimulus for Seymour Powell’s creative discussions.

Webster says, ’Within 15 years many of the technological advances we see today, such as nanotechnology and adaptive materials, will have become widespread.

In our view, nappies of the future could improve on today’s disposable nappies in three main areas – comfort, performance and environmental footprint.’

As well as the removable liner, Seymour Powell looked at ways of ’managing’ waste in the nappy by using materials similar to those already seen in sportswear, such as biosynthetic nanomaterials.

The design envisages using a microbiological zone to break down waste before it is absorbed into the nappy’s outer layer. The nappy could also potentially communicate information to parents to highlight fever, infections and ’fullness’.

’We were given an opportunity to develop a vision, which has been great,’ says Webster. ’It’s been quite pertinent being a father, having spent the past few years “in nappies”. We’re very optimistic for what the future could hold.’

The nappy is currently in the concept stage, and there are, as yet, no plans to take the idea forward.

Bannerman says, ’While we don’t know what the future holds, given how the technology is evolving, the concept could become a reality sooner, rather than later, which would be great news for all parents.’

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