Ringling College of Art + Design: Kim Daley, Daniel Moreno

Our goal is to redefine the way consumers think about bar soap through sustainable packaging and thoughtful design.

While researching the traditional bar soap, we conducted various interviews and came across several interesting finds. We discovered that many people choose not to use bar soap because it leaves unwanted soap scum rings in the shower and is also awkward to handle and slips out of their hand very easily. In addition to the functionality of traditional bar soap, another issue we discovered was the packaging. Taking a look around at our local supermarket we realized that almost all the major bar soap brands had the same packaging system: a box wrapped in plastic filled with individual bars of soap also wrapped in plastic. This seemed unnecessarily wasteful to us. We found calculations that proved that there are 79lbs. of waste in a single pallet of traditional bar soap, that’s 3,950lbs. of waste per truck load.

We discovered a better solution, Aeterna. Aeterna is a new concept on how consumers will use bar soap in the 21st century. This organic soap has an all-natural hemp wristband that comes attached to the soap to make handling much easier. First time buyers will receive a cork hanger to suspend their Aeterna soap bar in the shower, eliminating the messy soap scum residue.

The soap and the cork hanger come bundled in a unique sustainable package. They are wrapped in water-soluble plastic, similar to what you would find used for dishwashing detergent packages. This plastic is 100% compostable, dissolving completely in water, and leaves the customer and the water unharmed with no residue left behind. Customers would simply take the package with them in the shower and watch the plastic disappear before their eyes. Returning customers will also have the option to purchase just the Aeterna bar soap without the cork hanger.

When the user has finished the bar of soap they will find a small surprise. Attached to the all-natural hemp wristband in the middle of the soap is a small charm that reminds the user that they helped “clean the earth.” The wristband once used to make handling the soap easier can now be reused and worn as a bracelet to promote sustainable living, help create a relationship to the product and promote brand recognition. On the shelf, Aeterna will stand out as being the only bar soap hanging at eye level. This unique feature will attract first-time buyers but the quality of the product and awareness for the environment will create lifetime buyers.