Finalist 2020

Unpackaged

Michael McMahon / Unpackaged Eco

The design challenge was to ensure the brand mark conveyed both environmental sustainability and the unique logistical nature of the refillable products.

Unpackaged Eco is a brand of sustainable, closed-loop products that allows consumers to purchase everyday items that they can refill or return, online or in-store. The packaging is uniquely designed to be cleaned and refilled by consumers to eliminate single-use plastic once and for all.

This project was commissioned to create a brand identity for the company to be used across all media channels including print, packaging, advertising, digital, etc. The design challenge was to ensure the brand mark conveyed both environmental sustainability and the unique logistical nature of the refillable products.

Design Excellence

Reminiscent of the iconic simplicity of the recycling symbol\’s three R\’s—reduce, reuse, recycle—the idea for the brand came about by introducing a fourth… return!

The U-turn arrow is both immediately recognisable and effective at communicating the brands core, sustainable purpose, that is, returnable and refillable everyday products.

Communicating the unique logistics of the brand was central to its success. As such, a core consideration was to create a distinctive visual language to ensure consumers were clear about the brands reason for being. All touch-points from the brand mark, packaging and in-store communications were crafted with this in mind.

Design Impact

The Unpackaged Eco brands\’ primary aim is environmental; revolutionise the packaging sector by eradicating single-use plastic from supply chains.

In order to achieve this aim, Unpackaged Eco sought to build a genuinely sustainable brand that would help deliver everyday products into a circular system to kick-start a change in eliminating wasteful consumer behaviour.

Additionally, the returnable packaging itself was designed to be considerate of the brands core purpose. Rather than using labels that require waterproof coating and adhesive glues, they were screen-printed onto glass using single colour ink to ensure durability, which fitted the long-term needs of a reusable item.

Design Transformation

As a believer in supporting local businesses, Unpackaged Eco is owned and produced in Melbourne, Australia and widely sold in independent supermarkets and local green grocers. Specifically engaging local design talent for the project, the brand is a testament to the combined strength of Melbourne\’s uniquely creative and entrepreneurial culture.

Using the brand to champion the concept of a circular economy, Unpackaged Eco seeks to make a sizable impact within its social, commercial and environmental context. It is a small brand that stands proudly as a mark of excellence for both local sustainability initiatives and Victorian design as a whole.

Design Innovation

True to the spirit of the brands underlying purpose, Unpackaged aims to achieve a sustainable dream; effectively remove packaging from the product lifecycle. This requires not only a smart and novel system, but also a distinctive brand that allows consumers to relate, understand and cooperate efficiently with that system.

Returning and refilling a product fundamentally changes the nature of its packaging. Instead of a waste product that is discarded, the consumer-product relationship is oriented toward one of ownership, responsibility and care.

Unpackaged is a prompt for consumers to contemplate their purchase habits and consider their long-term responsibilities towards the environment.

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