Just add water: eco-friendly products take on a new form

From Blueland’s cleaning tablets to OWA’s powdered shampoo, dehydrated products are having a moment.

Sarah Drumm
Forgo.se - Powder-to-liquid personal care products
Brand roundup

Pick up any bottle of shampoo, and you’ll notice the top ingredient is something you’ve already got coming out of your taps at home: water. According to chemicals company Univar Solutions, a typical bottle of shower gel or shampoo contains 95% water – or “aqua” as it’s known in the cosmetics industry. If you want to lather up and rinse off, even more water needs to be added. And it’s not just our bathroom cabinets that are guzzling water. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, cleaning products are also 90% water.

The problem? Cosmetic, household and other products that contain large volumes of water need strong packaging that won’t disintegrate (normally made from plastic) and are bulky to transport. In other words, they’re not very environmentally friendly. Now brands are experimenting what happens when you remove the water altogether – creating innovative alternatives which they say have significantly lower carbon footprints. Just don’t forget to rehydrate.

12 just-add-water products

by Humankind

Great personal care products don't have to come at Earth's expense? by Humankind is a personal care brand dedicated to reducing single-use plastic waste.


Prima is a best-in-class, purpose-driven holistic wellness brand elevating hemp-based CBD and functionally innovative botanicals.


Personal care made sustainable with less? Forgo is a Swedish brand that makes powder-to-liquid solutions.


A powerful cleaning solution in the size of a nickel? Blueland makes cleaning products in tablet-form, designed to eliminate single-use plastic.


No-fuss instant smoothies? kencko's makes compostable packets of single-serve instant smoothies.


Toothpaste, reinvented? Bite makes plastic-free toothpaste in tablet form, delivered in refillable glass containers.

OWA Haircare

Water activated haircare? OWA Haircare is a haircare line and develops products that are free of water.


The fastest way to rehydrate? Hydrant makes electrolyte mixes that provide rapid hydration in a convenient packet and a variety of flavors.


Refillable cleaning products? London-based homecare brand, Spruce is making refillable, non-toxic and single-use plastic-free home cleaning products.

Amara Organic Foods

Homemade baby food without the fuss? Organic baby food blends without the need for refrigeration. Just add breast milk, formula, or water.

Sudden Coffee

Delicious instant coffee? Sudden Coffee is an instant coffee subscription.


Cleaning tabs in reusable glass bottles? Homethings makes refillable glass bottles with three effervescent eco cleaning tablets, made in the U.K.

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