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First Place Design Award for Sustainable Packaging Competition with the global brand Moroccanoil, 2020

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A zero-waste packaging designed for Treatment oil aiming to create a luxurious and delicate experience of hair care. By incorporating water-soluble material, it leaves no trace after use but only shine hair.

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We are challenged to create a disruptive, unique, and environmentally-friendly packaging for Moroccanoil salons and products to inspire and attract new and repeat customers. The design proposal will re-examine material culture and experience economy in relation to ecological concerns within a globalized world. We are encouraged to enable changes in our attitudes regarding our consumption habits and lifestyle. By reframing project goals through designers' lens, we aim to produce tangible, workable, provocative, and thoughtful results.


Moroccanoil's three top-selling products are made with plastic and glass materials that are not widely accepted as recyclable. More than 552 million hair care product containers are thrown away each year.

In this proposal, we focused on redesigning the packaging for Moroccanoil's best-seller, Treatment oil.



Current Moroccanoil Treatment oil packaging 


Moroccanoil Treatment oil packaging To-be

We start the project by looking at the life cycle of the current packaging for treatment oil, although the amber glass bottle is very iconic and elegant, we see an opportunity to delivering the product with minimal environmental impact by totally eliminate the waste of primary packaging. If eliminating the glass bottle, the weight will be reduced by 70%, and we estimated that there will 50% energy saving in transportation. Considering how much energy it takes to make glass bottles, we can imagine it saving more. On the consumer end, the primary packaging biodegrades along with the use of the oil and goes back to nature with zero-waste. 

The use of hair oil mostly happens in the bathroom, we thought that we really want to use something that dissolves in water. We mainly looked at a material called polyvinyl alcohol, it is a water-soluble synthetic polymer that naturally biodegrades into the environment. After further research, we found that PVA can be dissolved in cold water or hot water, and it is suitable as a packing film. What’s more, PVA has superior resistance to oil and chemicals, therefore it can work with cosmetic and personal care products. As for manufacture, PVA is well-suited to all sorts of processing and fabrication methods.


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After we decided to work with PVA, we bought several kinds of PVA material from different companies. They are quite different in thickness, texture, and durability. After careful comparison, we choose the last one, heavy-duty water-soluble film since it’s 4 times stronger than normal PVA film, and it has a very smooth surface.


While we are exploring materials, we found something interesting by observing people using the Treatment oil. That is, many people tend to wash their hands after use to rinse off the grease on the fingertip. Therefore, we thought it would be nice if we could incorporate a soap into the packaging that deals with the grease. In the meantime, we found that Moroccanoil has this limited edition set that has a bottle of Treatment oil and a body soap bar that comes together in one set. So we decided to incorporate these two products together in our design

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​Having this idea in mind, we did a series of form exploration with clay. and play with the size and ratio of the two parts, oil and soap. Among the sketch models, we selected some shapes that interest us the most to develop further. We begin to design with the water-soluble material that we choose to use, and put the actual product, the treatment oil in our packaging design. While making the models, we focused on the sensation of squeezing the oil and experimented with different forms and sizes.

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Finally, we arrived at two forms that we really like. The transparent material highlights the golden color of the oil and the tactility of the material gives people a sense of fluidity of the oil. Both the rectangular and square form fits nicely in your finger and the size of the soap is just enough to rinse off the grease. 


The ideal user journey has three simple steps: squeeze, apply, and wash. First, you squeeze from the Pack, a small puddle of treatment oil will drip into your palm. Second, gently rub it in your palm and apply the oil to the tip of your hair. Finally, dissolve the packaging underwater and rinse your fingertip with the soap. Simple and clean.





Based on our water-soluble packaging design, we expanded it and designed the secondary packaging based on three scenarios: retail, testers, and samples. They are designed to not only elegantly presents the product but also minimize material use. 

For retail, we want the packaging to be compact and convenient. Each box contains 30 small packs and has using directions clearly illustrated on the box.

For samples, we packed it in an album shape card made with paperboard so it’s safe to store and can be distributed for promoting use and events. Such as fashion weeks and gifts after purchasing in salons and retail stores.

For testers, we want to design it to be a more convenient and sanitary alternative for testers in retail stores like Sephora. The box can be placed or hang on the shelf and customers can tear down a pack of treatment oil as a tester along the perforated dash line.

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"Vicky Shi and Sihui Wong were awarded for designing a completely zero waste/biodegradable solution to delivering the Moroccanoil Treatment. Their simple but elegant design offers a dramatic reduction in the overall environmental impact of delivering the hero product."

— Maggie Mulhern, Salon Today

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