‘Sustainable, but fun’: Singapore solid beauty start-up stresses importance of product design for market acceptance

By Si Ying Thian

- Last updated on GMT

 JOMO Studio says it is determined to change the ‘good product, bad design’ mindset when it comes to sustainable products in APAC. ©JOMO Studio
JOMO Studio says it is determined to change the ‘good product, bad design’ mindset when it comes to sustainable products in APAC. ©JOMO Studio

Related tags solid beauty Sustainability waterless Packaging plant based beauty

Singapore solid beauty JOMO Studio says it is determined to change the ‘good product, bad design’ mindset when it comes to sustainable products in APAC.

Founded in November 2022 by designer duo Joey Gan and Tiffany Wang, JOMO Studio offers a range of solid personal care products, spanning shampoo and conditioner bars, facial cleansing tablets, body wash tablets, and deodorant bars.

Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Asia​, Gan said that its products target consumers who feel inclined to make their lifestyles more sustainable, but are highly resistant to change.

“We try to have a spectrum of products that fit every lifestyle. For example, while we have the solid shampoo and conditioner, some people are still not getting it as they don’t want to share a bar together, so we came up with the fizzle ‘o’ foam (body and hand wash tablet) which doesn’t change much of their lifestyles and a lot of people were more ready to accept it,​” she added.

Its best-selling products are the body wash tablets and facial cleansing tablets, due to their similarities to how the conventional versions are used. For the former, the tablet is dropped into water and fizzes out into foam in 20 minutes, while the latter is crushed and mixed with water for use.

Take on sustainability

The brand claimed that its product range do not undergo animal testing, only contain plant-based ingredients and are free of sulphate and parabens. Its packaging is also limited to “low-waste​” materials such as waxed paper, cardboard, aluminium, and glass.

However, notably, the Gan said its proposition is not to wave sustainability in the faces of potential customers, but fronting other aspects of the product to make it enticing for them purchase.

Haircare mini collection © JOMO Studio

“We want to address the pain points of sustainability. It can be expensive and [the packaging] looks flimsy. You don’t want to buy something that is super overpriced and look so normal. So, we want to put in all the reasons on why you should buy in one product. If I buy something sustainable and it looks good, the price is okay, I feel we can overcome this barrier.”

The start-up prides itself on its product design, by using an egg carton for packaging and flower-designed soaps.

Gan said standing out from the crowd will be crucial for future new product development, due to the influx of players in the scene.

We prefer what we do best that is differentiated from the rehearsed. We want to understand which brackets in the industry that are not explored yet. Brands on Lazada and even SHEIN are rolling out bath bombs, for children as well. We want to see where our market share is.”

Consumer education and outreach still the focus in APAC

The brand's products are currently available via its website for shipping within Singapore, and at sporadic pop-up events.

Bath bomb workshop hosted by JOMO Studio © JOMO Studio

Gan emphasised on the importance of “touch and feel”​ when it comes to educating consumers about solid beauty.

It currently exploring worldwide shipping via its website and via e-commerce sites such as Shopee and Amazon US, and ramp up its impact with business-to-business (B2B) partnerships with hotels, hospitality chains, cafes, gyms, and yoga studios.

The US and Europe are key export targets because consumer understanding around sustainability is high.

Japan, Hong Kong, and Thailand are on the hitlist in Asia, but there are some challenges to overcome, Gan said.

We have some Japanese people coming to us saying they like it, but there is still a cultural mindset to change as everybody have been using plastic bottles for the longest time. It takes time and a lot of education, especially for the older generations in Japan. For Thailand, while the consumers are young and willing to try new things, we’re not so sure about the water quality.”

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