From creams to cleaning agents, most of our household products contain more than 80% water. What if that water is left out and added later? Easy, since we all have water at home. It would save 80% of unnecessary transport, and reduce CO2 emissions. This is what Mirjam de Bruijn envisioned in her graduate project, Twenty.

Twenty demonstrates that being more sustainable doesn’t have to be difficult. Everyday products like cleaning detergent, dish soap and shampoo are concentrated into granules, bars and liquid capsules. This shows how different products could end up differently, but still apply the concept of zero water. Once at home, it’s just a matter of turning on the tap, giving it all a good mix, and you’ll have the same product as you were used to.

During the past 40 years the industry has made us believe in the content of liquid products. Most people that remember the switch from soap blocks to liquid soaps, remember thinking that they suddenly had to pay a lot for water. A lot of money was spent on the marketing of liquid soap, and soon its luxury and ease of use shadowed this prior concern. What if we could have the best of both worlds? 

“Talking to the people in the soap industry I found out that it could really be a matter of skipping the step of adding water during the production process. Apparently water isn’t necessary to create your household products, but just added to give you comfort and to make you believe that you buy a lot.”

Dutch water suppliers have even declared that tap water is not only much better for the environment but also much healthier water than distilled water, since distilled water doesn’t have any defense system. Therefore it’s completely safe to add water from the tap instead of distilled water, and your products will still last for a long time. Besides that, it’s the same water that you shower with, so why wouldn’t you use it in your shampoo?

Where is Twenty now?

De Bruijn has gained significant attention for Twenty, including her talk at Design Inbaba’s 2019 stage, and though her significant awards, was given the opportunity to form her own team for further research and product development. Despite the fact her proposals to large-scale manufacturers were not met with favour, she continues to persist with the idea.

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