We Love This Plastic-Free Shampoo Bar Concept Packaging That Utilizes SCOBY

by Shawn Binder on 08/08/2019 | 3 Minute Read

If Somma & MakeGrowLab have their way, 2019 would be the year of immaculately designed shampoo bars.

And for a good reason too. Shampoo and conditioner bars are a growing trend in the beauty and cosmetic community, one that has the potential to make significant waves in the way we consume plastic when it comes to all things suds. According to National Geographic, concentrated shampoo bars “will outlast two to three bottles of liquid shampoo, meaning you save money and extra trips to the store.” 

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As a result, Roza Rutkowska from MakeGrowLab and packaging designer Ula Krasny teamed up to show just how gorgeously packaged these shampoo alternatives can be with 100% waste-free packaging. Although the Somma shampoo bars are just a concept and aren't yet available for purchase, both wanted to show how a product packed in SCOBY (symbiotic cultures of bacteria and yeast) could stand out on the shelf. 

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This concept knocked us off our feet; the Somma shampoo bars are striking with a crisp, white label with the brand’s leaf logo debossed in the paper (Materica Gesso, FTW).

The logo utilizes a serif font, while other packaging details get conveyed to the consumer in a striking san-serif bolded font. “The design - Somma project - had to be visually attractive and built with only eco-friendly solutions," says packaging designer Ula Krasny. "For example, minimal design is more material effective than a non-minimal design, so I used paper and embossing instead of other print techniques. One of the advantages of it is that it can be used even for a small number of products. If you have a stamping die, you can easily and cheaply produce 100 labels. Or 10. It's very flexible. Just like SCOBY is.” 

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Their SCOBY packaging that wraps the bar gets made through a process of weaving bio-waste into bio-material. The result is a material that creates water and microbial barrier for shampoo bars and is a viable option when it comes to zero-waste packaging. The manufacturer - Ró?a Rutkowska - is working on lowering manufacturing costs to mass-produce SCOBY packaging while also making it competitive with other materials like various types of foil.

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“At the end of its use, the material can be composted and used to grow more food which, sooner or later, will once again become waste, creating a symbiotic circular process,” says Ula. “This creative innovation, designed to store semi-dry foods, cosmetics, clothes, and others, may be our answer to the future of zero-waste packaging which won’t pollute the environment and even regenerates soil.” 

The prospect of more items being packaged using a SCOBY is, indeed, a bright one. A shampoo bar that not only looks great but whose packaging could easily make its presence felt in the circular economy is a win for everyone.

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