Designing the Single-Use Plastic Free Deodorant of the Future - Fussy

Designing the Single-Use Plastic Free Deodorant of the Future

Four friends and their life savings sat round a kitchen table sniffing essential oils and discussing how to design an eco-friendly deodorant. Sounds like the start of a good story -  and it is.  This is where it all started. We were working evenings and weekends, holding down our day jobs and starting families, all during a global pandemic. 

From the kitchen table to your armpits

We launched on Kickstarter in October 2020 (you can watch the video here) and thanks to the thousands of wonderful armpits that backed us, Matt and Eddie have now taken on the mission of pleasing pits and the planet full-time.

Our sustainable deodorant design challenge  

Our challenge was to create an eco-friendly deodorant unlike any other.  That meant no trips to refill stores, no rubbing creams under your armpits, no cardboard tubes that you can’t get wet, and no complicated recycling instructions. Just a simple, high quality, sustainable deodorant that actually works.

What did the design process look like?

We began with everyone’s favourite tool of 2020 - Zoom. Designing a product is hard at the best of times but not being in the same room as our design agency made things even harder.

In deciding how the product functioned we wanted to keep things as familiar and simple as possible. After all, we’re already asking people to change their behaviour just by refilling. Although we went through thousands of concepts, using a simple twist-bottom mechanism made the most sense. It also gives a lovely satisfying click with each turn.

Plastic-free refills...

The refills we make are manufactured from a material called bagasse. It’s a paper pulp made from waste sugarcane and fully home-compostable within 6-12 months or fine to just pop in your bin.

Achieving the curved oval shape of the refills was a real technical challenge, so much so, we were originally told it was impossible. Not only that, but once filled with deodorant, we had a serious problem with sinkage. All our deodorants literally had a hole in the middle! Making the refill slightly wider solved this and also increased its capacity so it lasts longer. a beautiful recycled plastic case

Inspired by a pebble you might find on the beach, our outer case is made with recycled and recyclable plastic and comes in five eye-popping colours. It’s designed to sit beautifully in the hand and slip easily into your bag or pocket. 

We worked hard to make sure the case is highly durable by specifying extra-large screw threads and wall thicknesses. Our biggest challenge here was fitting the internal mechanisms, within the size constraints of a UK letterbox whilst still having room for our deodorant to fit inside!

Why didn’t you use aluminium?

Choosing the material for our case was by far the most difficult decision. It was much more complicated than simply choosing the material with the lowest carbon footprint or best recycling rate. We had to consider every aspect of our materials across manufacturing, transportation, recycling, accessibility, reusability and end-of-life disposal. 

We concluded there was no perfect material. Every material has its own advantages and disadvantages. But we did decide early on that we wanted the case to be made entirely from one material so that it could be easily recycled if needed. Using aluminum  would have meant gluing internal plastic parts  and made the case harder to recycle.

By using recycled plastic we believe we can prevent even more plastic from ending up in landfill or our oceans. But we know this won’t solve our problem alone. What we need to do is rethink how we use plastic, ban the manufacturing of single-use plastic entirely and move completely to a circular economy.

Sustainably-sourced ingredients

As everybody knows, it’s what’s on the inside that really counts so we’ve been extra fussy with our ingredients.

Manufactured in the UK, we only use premium, natural ingredients produced from renewable, raw materials and we source them all as close to home as possible. Tested on smelly people, never animals, our ingredients are cruelty-free and vegan. You can read more about our ingredients here. 

Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin

Yep, don’t worry, all our packaging is sustainably designed too. Our boxes are made from recycled cardboard, FSC approved and sealed with a kiss (Ok, not that… it’s actually environmentally friendly tape).

To reduce our carbon footprint even further, once our delivery angels have packed your order, we ship using existing mail routes. It might take a little longer than your latest Amazon Prime delivery but it’s about half the carbon footprint.

Each deodorant is Certified Carbon Neutral 

With our friends at Climate Partners we have calculated all unavoidable carbon emissions created at every stage of manufacturing, transporting and distributing our eco-friendly deodorant. . We then offset these emissions by providing support for green energy projects around the world. 

Measuring our carbon footprint like this also shows us areas for improvement and will help us move towards a fully sustainable supply chain.

How does all this compare to a non-sustainable deodorant? Well, we found that every fussy saves over 80% in carbon emissions compared to a non-sustainable single-use plastic deodorant. Pretty cool, right?

Using business as a force for good

Once we had designed our product and looked at its impact, it was important for us to put as much scrutiny into our company. That’s where B Corp comes in. 

Becoming B Corp Pending underlines our continued commitment to people and planet, from making sure our suppliers sign up to fair working practices, to having a diverse and inclusive workforce. We’re using business as a force for good  and we want to take you on every step of the journey.

If you have any questions on our approach to sustainability, please just contact us or you can pre-order fussy today for just £10.


  • Fussy Hannah

    @KRIS but the plastic itself is thrown away after use, and used for a relatively short amount of time compared to it’s production time and impact on the environment. Fussy’s case is made to be kept for life, not just one month

  • Kris

    But deodorant isn’t “single-use”. I use the same plastic roll-on deodorant 50 or 60 times before discarding it. Single-use plastic means something like a straw or package wrapper, not an applicator that’s used for a month or more!

  • Loretta McDonald

    Awesome giveaway thanks for the opportunity.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published