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A beauty subscription box’s primary purpose has always been to present the user with a range of skincare, make up and other products that they’ve never tried before. Little is asked of the box itself, beyond protecting the products it contains and that anticipated unboxing experience when it arrives in the post. When approaching this design challenge, I wanted to make the box a more integral part of the product experience and increase the satisfaction it gives past the point of unboxing. So, the solutions I entertained focussed on how the box could be reused after the products were enjoyed, but without becoming obsolete after a few months had gone by and the boxes were piling up. Also influencing my process was the thought of making the box return to the raw state of being that it was before manufacture, invoking the nature of circular design tangibly. This reminded me of composting, a process that improves soil quality and is a sustainable end of life destination for brown (like cardboard) and green (like food) waste. The result of all this is ‘eon’, a brand focussed on delivering sustainable beauty products in a sustainable way. It is aimed at those wanting to find sustainable alternatives to current beauty products and those who derive enjoyment from the ‘plant wellness’ trend. The box is designed to particularly feed into these users love for plants and environmental satisfaction by encouraging them to compost their boxes via the design (see images) and the seed packets that will be part of the subscription box product list. Small kitchen compost bins are growing in popularity but despite this, not many people know how to compost or don’t know the proper ratios for good compost. However, this process may be too involved, or time consuming for some users and may wish to just recycle the box. So, to maintain sustainability of the box, the material it will made out of will be from engineering fibres originating from agricultural industry waste. Users who do not wish to compost their box may simply recycle it and still be contributing to the circular economy, giving two levels of involvement that the user can choose between. Material made from this is both recyclable and compostable, as well as forming a lighter container board material which results in fewer carbon emission during transit. While this is a relatively novel manufacturing material, companies in the UK, France and Germany are able to produce the material needed in industrial quantities. This material is a better option than simply using cardboard or even recycled cardboard as it crucially uses a waste product that would otherwise go into landfill and decompose to form methane. Additionally, this material can be coloured using plant dyes, cutting out a toxic part of the cardboard manufacturing process. This subscription box was designed to raise awareness of and give users the chance to contribute to a circular economy, hopefully increasing attraction towards more sustainable product options.
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for this submission
United World Institute of Design
Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design
Panda Pont Ltd.