BEAUTY CARE

Herbal Essences intros bottles designed for visually impaired consumers

BY Gisselle Gaitan

Herbal Essences announced that it would be producing a hair care bottle design in North America that will be easier for individuals who are visually impaired to distinguish shampoo and conditioner through the sense of touch.

“We are pleased to see an industry leader like P&G and its Herbal Essences brand incorporate accessibility into the design of the packaging. This new tactile feature enhances our independence and shows that the brand wants to truly serve all consumers,” Mark Riccobono, president of the National Federation of the Blind, said. “We hope other manufacturers will take note of this effort and work with blind people to find solutions that allow us to identify their products quickly and independently.”

The Procter & Gamble brand will feature new packaging on its products that contain tactile indentations to differentiate shampoos and conditioners in-shower when they share the same bottle shape, the company said.

“In my 15 years working at P&G, I have never worked on a project with as much personal passion as this one. I am so incredibly proud of what we are doing and the impact we will have,” Shane Mays, Herbal Essences’ packaging engineer said. “This pride and passion was contagious across the entire manufacturing team who worked together to make this possible on the fast manufacturing lines.”

Behind this new initiative from the beauty brand is Sumaira “Sam” Latif, who is P&G’s special consultant for inclusive design. She has been with the company for 18 years and is herself blind, the brand stated.

“Imagine the daily challenges, like choosing matching clothes in the morning or simply taking a shower after a long day. As a blind person, you must do these things using touch rather than sight. You don’t really know which bottle the shampoo, conditioner, or soap is…you have to get creative. I used to put an elastic band around shampoo or sellotape on conditioner to remind me,” says Latif speaking from personal experience. And as it relates to the bottle design, she says the intention was clear: “It was important that we invent a feature, universally recognizable tactile feature, which would work for people who haven’t had the opportunity to learn braille.”

The new packaging will be available on Herbal Essences’ bio:renew shampoo and conditioner bottles beginning January 2019, wherever the brand’s products are currently sold.

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