I’m pretty sure that everyone have seen Biossance on the shelves of their nearest Sephora or heard influencers talked about it. Packaging with purpose is interested in the marriage between the use of sustainable materials and packaging design. Bartlett Brands boutique branding agency took on the role of re-branding Biossance. Lauren Golik, Bartlett Brand’s Associate Art Director is here to share how their inspirations behind Sephora’s best selling brands and her thoughts on sustainable packaging.
Biossance is a clean beauty brand that based its products on science and sustainability. The product begins with sustainably sourcing the ingredients and ends with a sustainable packaging that emphasize the importance of maintaining a healthy planet.
“A lot of things that sound green are more marketing than actual improvement.”-Lauren Golik
“I love the concept of borrowing and returning a package, rather than keeping it and being tasked with the job of disposing of it responsibly.”Lauren Golik
What were your first reactions on Biossance old packaging ?
“We felt that the original Biossance packaging didn’t reflect the brand’s values or story, and was a bit bland for a company with such a unique heritage. We knew it could be so much better!”
“Squalane” was the inspiration behind Biossance. How did you translate that into the packaging design?
“The molecular formula for Squalane is C30H62, and we incorporated that as a graphic in the packaging design. We also developed a dot and line pattern inspired by the lab’s pinpointing process, which is used to create the highest quality Squalane, and debossed the pattern on the outer cartons. Because we wanted enough real estate to effectively tell the story of Squalane, we also developed a two-part box, with additional messaging on the interior drawer.”
What was your most enjoyable moment when designing Biossance’s packaging?
“The most rewarding moment was seeing the excitement amongst the Biossance team members when we presented the packaging designs. We had captured their vision and told the brand story in a way that felt right to them. It was also really fun working with the unique paper stock that they chose—a tree-free paper made from sugarcane. It has a soft texture and a beautiful natural color tone that we worked into the design.”
Have you tried their products and what were your thoughts?
“Yes, I’m obsessed! When we redesigned the packaging, the product formulas didn’t change, because they were already so great. All the women in my office use the products. I even use them on my baby because I know how clean and safe they are.”
What are your thoughts on sustainable packaging and brands shifting into this area?
“It’s been amazing to see the shift happening in the consumer packaged goods space in the last two years. So many brands are looking to reduce their environmental impact, and this is a direct result of consumers choosing to spend money on brands that align with their values. Packaging vendors are also getting on board, and there has been a great deal of innovation by vendors to provide more sustainable options.”
“I’m especially excited about the idea of moving away from single-use packaging altogether. I love the concept of borrowing and returning a package, rather than keeping it and being tasked with the job of disposing of it responsibly. Companies like Loop by Terracycle and Returnity are great examples of this exciting shift. “
What are the considerations when designing specifically for sustainable packaging?
“I recommend that brands and designers take a three step approach to sustainable packaging development. “
Step 1: Eliminate any unnecessary elements in your package and shipper.
Step 2: Choose the best possible materials—think post-consumer recycled, sustainably sourced and recyclable.
Step 3: Look at the broader life cycle of your product and packaging, and think about other ways to reduce impact, like incorporating re-use or optimizing shipping.
Do you have any pieces of advice for designers who are new to sustainable packaging?
Research as much as you can. A lot of things that sound green are more marketing than actual improvement. For example, there are a bunch of new “biodegradable” plastic alternatives popping up. That sounds good, but if you read the fine print, some of these materials will only biodegrade in a special commercial composting facility, which isn’t accessible to most people. More likely it will end up in landfill or the ocean and won’t biodegrade in those scenarios. Sad face. Along the same line, don’t be afraid to ask vendors detailed questions about the sustainability of the different materials they offer, and to put on pressure for innovation if they don’t offer sustainable options. Unfortunately, the more sustainable option is often more expensive or more difficult to implement, but do as much as you can! Even a little improvement is better than doing nothing.
Being able to give the consumers a sneak peak of the designer’s process and their take on sustainable packaging can really inspire consumers to be more environmentally conscious. At the end of the day, designers are end users of certain products as well and so they really understand the mentality of end consumers.
Have you seen Biossance packaging? Check out other sustainable skincare brands!