Refillable Deodorant


Bedroom startup to supermarket shelves

Fussy approached BLOND in 2020 to design a refillable deodorant with a screw-base actuator that could house compostable refills. To facilitate their subscription service, the refills had to fit through UK letterboxes. From the start, we leaned into the restrictions and asked some fundamental questions that would allow us to re-imagine the product completely. We questioned why deodorants need to stand upright, why they couldn’t be more discrete, and how we could improve upon existing refillable cosmetics, many of which do not consider the container’s end-of-life. The result is a deodorant containing natural ingredients and inspired by natural forms. As Fussy’s aim is to reduce the amount of single-use plastics that end up in oceans and on beaches, we took inspiration from the humble pebble. The naturally-ergonomic form appears as though it has been slowly worn away over time, emphasising the aims of the design: longevity and sustainability. When actuated, the soft form is broken, revealing the glossy inner surfaces, just like the inside of a pebble. Unlike other deodorants which are often shouting for attention; the product lies flat and more closely resembles a bar of soap. This approach helps the object blend into its environment.

The casing is one single material and has been designed to be long-lasting, with increased wall thicknesses and a robust actuator mechanism. It’s made from recycled plastic, which is resilient and recyclable itself. Refills are made from waste sugarcane and are intuitively top-loading. In 2022 our design for Fussy featured on the popular U.K. television show; Dragon’s Den, where Fussy pitched to a panel of British entrepreneurs. Fussy was successful, gaining not only investment, but two very valuable business partners.

Design Strategy
Industrial Design
Product Design
Design for Manufacture (DFM)
Packaging Design

As part of our collaboration with Fussy, we presented a product ecosystem built around the refillable deodorant and its compostable refills. The Deo Dish (seen here) is a place to store the deodorant casing as well as the refills. The object can neatly house two refills; keeping them safe, dry and easily accessible. Photography (below) by Two Times Elliott.

“James and the team have been incredible from beginning to end, helping guide us through the design process … we agonised over every detail and decision (we’re called Fussy after all), but BLOND were patient, collaborative and understanding”. Matt Kennedy, Fussy—CEO

“There are several refillable deodorants on the market, all fighting for a righteous cause: a world with less single-use plastics. However, when Fussy approached us, we felt there was still an opportunity to create a more sustainable offering. Firstly, we designed a hard-wearing case to promote longevity. Increased wall thicknesses and thickened mechanisms ensure the case lasts as long as possible. Secondly, we have intentionally used only one material for the case; this allows the assembly to be recycled. Finally, we have designed the item to be as harmonious as possible to the user’s lifestyle—whether it’s at home, in the pocket, at work or in a bag, the container blends in seamlessly and the natural patina developed over time will only enhance its aesthetic.” James Melia, BLOND—Founder & Creative Director

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