Sunlit Dish Soap

Sunlit was the project was for a graduate studio class on sustainability leadership and transforming companies from talking about sustainability into completely sustainability integrated companies. Our group collaborated to design a new biodegradable dish soap line for Dawn, a refill station for liquid soap at grocery or box stores, and a family-friendly app to encourage the purchase of the product, educate about Dawn’s partnership with International Bird Rescue, and promote other sustainable citizenship behaviors through a game with adorable animals. (Dawn® is not in any way affiliated with this content. This was an academic project.)

Renderings by Yu Chu Chen

Creating a new product line is an industry accepted strategy to move a company toward sustainability. Sunlit followed examples such as the Considered Boot by Nike® and Green Works by Clorox®.

Renderings by Hiba Abueilreish

Very few companies yet offer bulk liquid soap for customer bottles. Creating a refill station, designed for deconstruction, would put Dawn ahead of the curve and draw in the ‘Aspirational’ (sustainably minded) consumers which make up about 40% of the global market (Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and Globe Scan, 2015).

Renderings by Hiba Abueilreish & Yu Chu Chen
Renderings by Yu Chu Chen

We used tools–such as the Sustainability sSWOT analysis and Stakeholder Engagement maps–to organize our research and hone in on the best solutions.

To learn more about our teams process, see below.

(not-affiliated with Dawn or P&G/educational project)

View the full PDF of our process book:

Team Ideation & Primary Research

For the Sunlit Dish Soap project, we had three solutions for shifting the company and consumer behaviors: a biodegradable dish soap line in an ocean plastic bottle, a soap refill station for stores, and an app to playfully engage consumers. We first utilized a number of systems analysis sustainability tools (see above for examples) to sort our secondary research. We used this research on Dawn, their competitors, and their supply chain hone in the the biggest issues.

From there, we began the ideation process for our designs. To brainstorm these ideas and hash out how we could make each design feasible, we met weekly and communicated our ideas often through sketches and scribbles.

After the initial round of ideation, we then crafted a primary research ‘cultural probe.’ We tabled at a farmer’s market with a game designed to test people’s knowledge of soap ingredients & certifications and their willingness to do slightly more difficult tasks in order to earn rewards. This game shaped how we designed the app, branded & certified the soap, and the partnership we recommended for Dawn® (to deepen with International Bird Rescue).

We presented our ideas to peers and our professor along the journey, constantly zeroing in on a delightful and practical way to shift Dawn® into a leadership position as a sustainability integrated company. Our team was proud of the finished products, so we sent the process book to Dawn® in hopes that they will soon implement some of the ideas.