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Forgo: Sustainable personal care from product to pack

Katie Nichol

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Forgo: Sustainable personal care from product to pack

Sometimes creating a brand or product is more about “common sense than innovation”, and about using what already exists, rather than looking to create something revolutionary. Soon-to-be-launched Swedish brand Forgo is a case in point.

Forgo is an initiative incubated by Stockholm-based agency Form Us With Love, which works on design from a sustainable perspective. The idea behind the brand is simple: doing better with less. What if, instead of purchasing a bottle of liquid hand wash (liquid soaps range from 80% to 95% water, says Forgo), consumers could buy the empty bottle along with soap in powder format, and add tap water at home?

“It's not just the material that matters, but the design’s entire lifecycle. I brought the idea to the table two years ago after reflecting on how might we make something more sustainable with less. It was more common sense than innovation as the ingredients and the packaging have been around for years,” Form Us With Love design manager Allon Libermann explained to Luxe Packaging Insight.

The custom bottle is made in Portugal by glass manufacturer Crisbase and is decorated using screen-printing and etching. The powder formula comes in paper sachets coated with a water-soluble heat-sealable plant base. The sachets are said to be recyclable in normal recycling paper streams as the proprietary coating is soluble in the re-pulping process. Forgo’s shipping boxes are made of recycled cardboard.

“We consider the full lifecycle of every part of our product. Our recycled paper pack has a minimal environmental impact when thrown away and a high chance of being recycled and the glass bottles and steel pumps are made of sturdy materials meant to last a very long time. These decisions were carefully weighed, and although any packaging method harbors its own pros and cons, we decided that these options offer the most balanced solution to the single-use plastic problem.”

Forgo also highlights the sustainable aspect of its distribution: in the space a single bottle of liquid soap would occupy, the brand claims it can ship more than 18 refill sachets.

The list of ingredients has been reduced to six essentials, compared to the more than ten ingredients used in the average liquid soap. In terms of scent, Forgo also looked to unlikely sources, with the aim of “making waste a new resource” and reducing its use of raw materials. Its Wood scent is distilled from timber yard scraps in Canada, while the Citrus scent is distilled from leftover peels and pulp from organic juicing plants in the Caribbean.

Forgo’s starter kit, which includes the glass bottle and three refills, retails for €37. The set of three refills is priced at €16.50. The brand will start shipping products this summer, to Europe and North America.

The brand is working on other items including body wash, deodorant and toothpaste, Libermann concludes.

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