I’ll admit I don’t spend a lot of time browsing bath and shower products, so it’s taken me a while to spot PZ Cusson’s Original Source ‘shower pouches’. These seem great on two counts: first and most obviously, as they loudly declare on the packs themselves, they use much less plastic than a conventional shower gel bottle. But equally importantly, they’re an example of ‘green’ design actually making a product look great, rather than niche.
This is a difficult thing to get right – arguably some of the ‘greener’ washing powders have tried a similar trick with round tubs of tablets, but in my mind they go too far down that road, mixing innovative structural design with labelling that overplays the eco-card.
If I ‘focus group’ myself for a minute, I end up wondering whether my instinctive reaction doesn’t actually have more to do with the difference between a new, green brand and the ‘greening’ of an established brand. If my sample of one is in any way representative of your everyday consumer, then that’s a little depressing for new entrants to the green market, since it suggests that they may need to establish themselves alongside conventional products before making a major play on their green credentials – at least in design terms. It would also increase the onus on the big players to lead from the front.
That in turn leads to a final question for the people at Original Source, who, rather than using the pouch approach to replace their conventional bottles, seem have launched them as a brand extension alongside their existing shower gel range. Fingers crossed the consumer response is good and the changes are rolled out more widely in the not too distant future.