biom: Brings Sustainable Innovation To Everyday Wipes Through The Power Of Design
by Chloe Gordon on 04/13/2022 | 5 Minute Read
Cleaning wipes carried us and our desperate grocery wipe-downs through the early days of the pandemic. Yet, as the days of wiping off our potato chip and salad bags with wipes are in the past, the constant need for cleaning wipes around our homes endures.
Besides being helpful by way of cleaning, wipe packaging is typically a wasteful eyesore, damaging the aesthetics of homes and adding to already full landfills. To combat both of these issues, biom's all-purpose wipes use plant-based and biodegradable formulas. biom's packaging is made from a flow warp machine that reduces plastic waste significantly.
Additionally, biom's dispenser employs a double-pressure hinge, inspired by Apple’s AirPods charger, with a silicone gasket on the lid, concealed magnets, and a recessed gasket with a twist lock to guarantee an airtight seal after each use.
No longer will cleaning wipes be hidden in the back of drawers or under sinks. This packaging is practical, environmentally friendly, and aesthetically pleasing enough to become a part of a space instead of concealed from it.
Cleaning wipes have always been a basic part of our everyday lives, however their importance has skyrocketed recently as a result of the pandemic. As these products transformed into essential items due to the high demand for sanitation, we watched them fly off of store shelves, being out of stock for days or weeks at a time. While wipes do a great job at making us feel cleaner overall, most consumers are unaware of the immense damage that they’re causing on both ourselves and the environment. The majority of wipes on the market contain toxins, along with fibers like polyester and polypropylene, which never break down over time, and contribute to billions of pounds of plastic waste each year.
As an avid ocean lover, biom Founder Will Gahagan was motivated to create wipes that would reduce the amount of plastic waste contributing to the deterioration of nature. An unexpected COVID diagnosis caused him to act even quicker. Watching his father fight for his life in the ICU really pushed Will to set the bar for a new standard of cleaning. He realized that you could protect the health and safety of those around you by making a conscious effort to keep your spaces sanitary with an item as simple as a wipe. Faced with the urge to encourage consumers to take on better habits, Will began to ideate around the concept of biom.
biom marries the power of good design with functionality to bring sustainable innovation to everyday wipes, crafted with the consumer and planet in mind. biom’s Sanitizing and All- Purpose Wipes leverage formulations that are plant-based (made from 100% viscose) and biodegradable - fibers are extracted from sustainably grown wood, using a unique closed loop system, which recovers and re-uses the solvents used, minimizing the environmental impact of production. All wipe scents are derived from essential oils, containing no synthetic fragrances. With these properties in mind, biom’s wipes are gentle on the skin, with efficient moisture management and a high tenacity profile. To eliminate the single-use tube that many wipes are available in, biom packages its wipes using a flow wrap machine, which reduces plastic waste by +85%. biom’s wipe packaging is made from 75% post-consumer recycled material and is #1 (PET).
In addition to their negative impact on human health and the planet, another major downside of the existing wipes on the market is the lack of thoughtful product design. Will learned that 80% of consumers hide their wipes somewhere out of sight, while 70% view their packaging as an eyesore. These stats pushed him to prioritize the look of biom in order to reimagine the way that consumers interact with wipes. He teamed up with designer and biom Co-Founder Hank Schellenger to build a product that consumers would be proud to showcase in their homes.
They paid close attention to conscious consumerism - the everyday shopper is more inclined to seek planet-friendly products, or make an effort to reduce their waste at the minimum. In order to encourage better habits, biom’s aesthetic would have to fit the bill. If biom lived out in the open (not placed beneath sinks or hiding in cabinets), it would serve as a reminder to tidy up and/or sanitize more regularly. Will and Hank found inspiration from brands like Apple, Yeti, and Bang & Olufsen to design a refillable wipes dispenser. They tirelessly sought feedback regarding shape, look and feel until they landed on a design that they were ready to bring to market.
Aside from being beautiful to look at, biom’s dispenser addresses a common frustration amongst consumers, which is that wipes quickly dry out, ultimately defeating their purpose. The biom dispenser utilizes a double-pressure hinge (modeled after Apple’s AirPods charger) with a silicone gasket on the lid, concealed magnets, and a recessed gasket with a twist lock to ensure a secure and airtight seal every time.
Additionally, it tackles the annoyance of having more than one wipe come out of the dispenser at a time. To prevent this from happening, biom tested 50+ different spouts and eventually landed on a silicone solution. The width of the dispenser hole was optimized to create just the right amount of friction to tear one wipe each time. This was particularly challenging as viscose fibers do not tear as clean as wipes that are made with plastic. After testing nine perforated blades with their manufacturer, biom found the perfect cut.
A testament to inspiring people to live and embrace better habits through thoughtfully designed products, biom is here to shake up an industry that has long been lacking innovation. Created to elevate everyday life, biom’s wipes and dispensers are designed to be just as functional as they are beautiful. The team wanted to demonstrate that choosing a sustainable or beautiful product wouldn't mean sacrificing efficacy or functionality.From ingredients to product design, biom keeps the environment and human health top of mind. With its new line of products, biom is taking on the ugly side of cleaning with a daily ritual that fits elegantly into consumers’ lives by blending the ordinary with the exceptional.
- Designed By: Hank Schellenger
- Designed By: Will Gahagan
- Designed By: Aaron Saxton
- Designed By:: Garret McGregor
Olberding Brand Family
Technical Color Manager