As far as trends in laundry detergent go, the use of plant-based, non-synthetic ingredients is, well, so yesterday. Everybody, including domestic doyenne Martha Stewart and big name brands like Arm + Hammer and Clorox, are doing it. The new thing in eco-friendly laundering revolves around packaging — a shift away from cumbersome plastic jugs.
Case in points are Dropps, biodegradable capsules filled with a pre-measured dose of super-concentrated detergent take their cue from dissolving dishwasher detergent packets. And then there are the tiny-teeny pump bottles from Method filled with ultra-concentrated, plant-based detergent. I’ve tried out both of these jug-less wonders and must say that they’ve made hauling dirty clothes to my local laundromat in Brooklyn a hell of a lot easier.
New to the less-wasteful, easier-to-transport laundry detergent packaging scene is Berry+, a design-centric, eco-friendly brand that launched at select college campuses over the summer (and Newark Airport, of all places, in November). As of today, the brand is also available at Alice.com in addition to the Berry+ online store.
Berry+’s packaging, conceived by a “multidisciplinary solutionist think tank” (read: design and branding firm) called The Moderns, is intriguing. When you buy Berry+, you get a lightweight, clamshell container (not much unlike a birth control pill case) made from recyclable materials that contains miniature vials filled with 2-milliliter (less than half a teaspoon) micro-doses of 99.8 percent natural detergent. Only one dose per load is required. I’ve yet to actually hold a container of Berry+, but I imagine it gives laundering an almost science lab-y (or pharmaceutical) feel. I'm instantly reminded of the awesome Help Remedies line of bandages, aspirin, etc., which would make sense given that the tagline of Berry+ is "First Aid For Your Laundry + the Planet."
According to the company’s blog, Berry+ uses 30 percent less packaging than standard jug detergent, requiring 3.67 times fewer trucks to transport the stuff. The product comes in 2, 10 or 20 packs with 40, 60, and 100 packs coming soon.
The detergent itself is, as mentioned, super-concentrated and contains 95 percent soapberry-extract (yep, soapberries) as well as vegetable glycerin, olive leaf extract, and a small amount of food-grade preservatives. Berry+ also works well in cold water and is produced in the U.S., giving it further eco-cred.
I’ve yet to try out Berry+ and just recently found out about it via Trendhunter. (I guess I don’t hang out on college campuses or Newark Airport enough.) It’s unclear if Berry+ will be available at brick-and-mortar retail locations anytime soon. Have you tried it? If not, do you think you will in the near feature, now that it’s available at Alice.com?