In 2021, sustainably-minded UK startup Tesoro approached blond to take a fresh look at its candle range – working from the ground up to create manufacturable products and a market-disrupting proposition. The first retail item from an ambitious pipeline is a refillable candle.
“It was important to look at the big-picture and plot Tesoro’s future by considering how it could continue to be disruptive for several years and establish a leading market position,” says James Melia, blond — Founder & Creative Director. “Carefully studying the macro view of the category landscape and analysing targeted ethnographic research allowed us to strategically define a business proposition that would resonate with the consumer.”
Our research illuminated an opportunity for the first product — a homeware-driven and inspired refillable candle; a candle that could cater to personal taste and individualism to blend into any home environment. To achieve this, we designed a simple universal refill from infinitely recyclable aluminium that can be suspended within various ‘vessels’. The suspension, as well as being aesthetically intriguing and reinforcing Tesoro’s name (treasure in Italian), also acts as a method to protect surfaces and ensure optimum safety while burning.
Design for Manufacture (DFM)
Tesoro will offer forty different fragrances that fall into ten mood categories — each with its own vibrant colour for identification. The refills adopt the ten colours with a microscopic layer of anodisation, creating a premium finish while ensuring that they remain able to be recycled at home. Finally — the category, fragrance note and Tesoro logo are etched through the anodised layer to reveal the natural aluminium. The result is not only 100% recyclable; it is an object that users will want to keep and use for other purposes (for example, a plant pot).
The first of many vessels is a simple glass frame that celebrates the refill by highlighting the suspension and creates visual intrigue by utilising refraction to distort its contents. Future vessel ranges will, first, be different materials, then eventually take other forms. The archetype flexibility not only opens up a limitless number of combinations — but also creates a platform for collaborations and one-offs, offering the brand a unique business opportunity.
Both the refills and vessels come in compact, fully recyclable cardboard packaging, also created by blond. The simple, reinforced cardboard tubes incorporate Tesoro’s wordmark, designed by Two Times Elliott, embossed on its surface. The vessel packaging, simple as it may seem, has been designed to accommodate future materials — therefore limiting Tesoro’s need to create and purchase new packaging. This enables Tesoro to circumnavigate MOQs, and achieve better price breaks that, ultimately, reduce the cost of each product.