Reimagining Hygiene in Water Crisis

Reimagining Hygiene in Water Crisis



At Haeckels, we’re always seeking inspiration, and this week it came from the Central Saint Martins final showcase. The project featured, “BactoBerries,” was developed by Debarati Das during her master’s in Biodesign.

In response to the impending global water crisis, the ‘BactoBerries’ project by Debarati Das reimagines hygiene practices by challenging conventional methods reliant on water and chemicals. While traditional hygiene focuses on removing contaminants, ‘BactoBerries’ instead promote the proliferation of beneficial bacteria on the skin. This fosters innovative engagement patterns among users, proposing a paradigm shift in how we define ‘hygiene’.

“BactoBerries” employs a ‘self-cleansing mechanism’ of the human skin by using topical prebiotic nutrients and probiotics to foster a balanced skin microbiome, enhancing natural immunity without water-intensive methods, distinct from traditional cleansing practices. 

For the packaging Debarati’s project adopts fruit-inspired design to symbolise abundance and positivity, while tackling water scarcity as a global issue. The project utlisises film-forming, biocompatibility, and encapsulating abilities present within bacterial levan from Bacillus licheniformis combined with food waste as part of a circular design process to package the skincare formulations. 

The first multi-purpose prototype, Bacto ‘Pops’, is a fruit-shaped cleanser featuring a natural scrub and a probiotic moisturising bar with micro-encapsulated Lactobacillus bulgaricus. These components are encapsulated within a biofilm made from husk and seed mucilage and bacterial levan that disintegrates upon use. Encased in a colourful shell made from food waste.

The second prototype suitable for application anywhere on the body, Bacto ‘Pods’, draws inspiration from the form of a cactus. It features an exfoliator made from eggshell waste and pods crafted from bacterial levan and rice water starch. Within these pods, there’s a lightweight emulsion cleanser with Lactobacillus plantarum, offering benefits such as reduced photoaging and improved collagen regeneration. This design integrates sustainability, innovation, and holistic health to address the global water crisis.

Inspired by this nature-based skincare line designed to be resilient against climate change, moving forward we’ll be committed to exploring new hygiene paradigms that view cleansing as an additive, rather than a subtractive, process.