The Philosophy Behind Public Goods Product Design - Public Goods

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The Philosophy Behind Public Goods Product Design

Going to the drugstore can feel like being in the womb of an evil corporation.

bottles of public goods shampoo

Brands use loud colors and flashy fonts so their products stand out on store shelves, but they don’t think about where the goods actually end up. Once you buy, they’re done with you.

When you bring these products home and arrange them around your bathroom and kitchen, it looks like a horde of obnoxious colors invaded and splashed themselves all over the place. The bright tones inevitably clash with your walls, counters and furniture. There are sections of your home that start to resemble shelves in the bathroom aisle of the local drug store.

Brands design products to stand out on shelves. They don’t think about what happens after consumers buy the goods. The aesthetics of people’s homes and the clarity of product labels do not matter to them.

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Functional Design to Compliment Your Home

With this visual dilemma in mind, Public Goods Co-Founder Morgan Hirsh designed our products to compliment your home, not visually assault it.

“Because we only sell our products on our own store, we have the luxury to be more thoughtful about design,” Hirsh said. “The main word is the product — like ‘SHAMPOO’ — not the brand, because once you’re in the shower that’s the most important thing, not the company that makes it.”

Our products use simple black and white colors, as well as a sleek, elegant design. Members have loved being able to give their bathrooms a boutique hotel treatment that looks chic, not garrish.

One of of our members said, “I love the simplicity of the bottles and how they look with my decor.” Many others have echoed this sentiment.

Delightful Packaging for a Fun Unboxing

Picking up toiletries at the store is a chore. Receiving a box from Public Goods, however, can be a fun experience. Several reviewers and dozens of our members have commented on how they enjoy opening our boxes and reveling in the packaging.

A reviewer from AskMen wrote, “It’s hard not to admire the minimalist, refine packaging demonstrated on all shipments.”

From packaging to product, we design everything we make for you, not retailers. If you want high-quality products that will accent the beauty of your home, think about becoming a Public Goods member.

Download Our Free Guide to Sustainable Living.

From reducing waste to recycling and upcycling, our e-book shows simple ways to make choices you can feel good about.

Comments (8)

  • To get serious about reducing use of plastic, how about offering shampoo and conditioner in 1-quart and 2-quart coated paper packaging? The only reason I’m not buying your hair products is that they only come in smaller plastic containers. Give me a larger quantity from which I can refill my dispenser.

    • We already have refill pouches by the way! Sorry I forgot to mention that. Also, our team said they have been researching what you mentioned, but it’s very difficult to find people who do that for personal care products. We will send you updates when we can.

  • I’m confused by all the different plastics. I wish more options came in glass – I’m looking at you newly released almond and peanut butter offerings…I really wish y’all would put things in glass unless they absolutely have to be in plastic for some reason 🙂
    Also – is sugar plastic better? Do we know this for a fact? I have been trying to research it but hard to find info. I have a friend who works in plastics who said that sugar plastic is not better because it just turns to methane in the land fill and you can’t recycle it. It’s all SO confusing. Help please 🙂

    • Hi Tamara,

      Sorry for the confusing information. We are trying to reduce plastic across the board and replace non-compostable plastics with home compostable options.

      Creating new sugarcane plastic is more sustainable than producing new petroleum-based plastic because the former is carbon neutral and doesn’t support the fossil fuel industry. Nonetheless, both of them can emit methane once in a landfill.

      One problem with sugarcane plastic is it’s harder to recycle. Some recycling machines can’t properly identify it.

      Lately we have realized that the ideal solution is switching to 100% recycled plastic from the ocean. That way we can clean up the ocean and avoid introducing new plastic into the world. This plastic is easier to recycle, too. We’ll let you know once we start making this shift.

  • I have some Public Goods vitamin products and have been wondering about recycling for these plastic jars. I can’t find a number at the bottom of the container, and I just really want to be sure that these jars could be recycled.

    Also, I really like the idea of reusing the bottles of the cleaning product, but am hesitant about purchasing the refill pouches because recycling new plastic bottles might be easier than recycling the pouches. Are the pouches made with plastic film? Is there anyway we could recycle them? Is there some bioplastic substitute for the plastic film at the very least?

    Please let me know!

    • Hi Elsa,

      All of our supplement containers are #1 PET plastic bottles that can be recycled almost everywhere in the U.S.

      Regarding the pouches, we get where you’re coming from. The plastic film pouches do reduce plastic consumption overall. The problem is they can’t be recycled in most municipal facilities. If you want to recycle these types of materials, we recommend signing up for TerraCycle.

      Currently we haven’t found a bioplastic substitute for the pouches. We are considering switching the bottles to aluminum, and the pouches to cartons that could be recycled in municipal systems.

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