Loop is a household goods delivery service that is aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the disposable plastics by partnering with brands to produce sustainable, recyclable containers for common products. From their website:
“To help solve the negatives of living a disposable life, while maintaining its virtues of ease and affordability, we have teamed up with world-leading manufacturers and retailers (as well as start ups and local companies) to reimagine their products and the operations behind them.
We asked the simple question: why own something that as soon as it’s empty we don’t want to own?”
The answer, of course, is: don’t. This is the core value proposition of the service – if you truly don’t care about the container, and it appears in the case of household products that the value of the container object is negligible compared to what it contains, then why not embrace a new iteration of the product that capitalizes on this insight in order to combat a huge environmental problem?
Convenience and affordability are the key indicators Loop calls out in the tendency to choose disposable products that are difficult to recycle, so addressing those two issues with automatic shipments and a hassle-free return/recycle process will be key to Loop’s success in shifting behavior around household goods.
Beyond the design of the program and process, the aesthetic of the product packaging design stands out in the household goods space and calls back to certain traditions in art, advertising and design. The sleek, minimal design of each container at once is a glorification of the constructed material, and a celebration of the product it contains – the aesthetic aspects of the object are derived directly from the material and the process of its production, as in the Modernist tradition.
The packaging also embodies a specific aspect of the Arts and Crafts movement:
“Morris sought to restore … the basic beauty of useful objects and domestic spaces that he believed had existed in an earlier era” (Drucker and McVarish 2013, 153).
Though Loop’s packaging execution is the polar opposite of Morris’ ornate work, the idea that elevating a product’s design could make it more valuable, more meaningful and less likely to be disposed of carelessly is clear. In a comparison between the packaging of the average, disposable versions and Loop’s sustainable versions of laundry and oral care products above, it’s easy to imagine how Loop’s designs have much more of a place as aesthetic, meaningful objects in the home, thus embodying another of the Arts and Crafts movement’s objectives, to find “alternatives to industrial forms and methods that … reconcile everyday life with human and organic values” (155).
Loop Store USA. https://www.loopstore.com/.
Drucker, Johanna and Emily McVarish. “Graphic Design History: A Critical Guide.” New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc., 2009.