The world’s first “adaptive deodorant” is being prepared to hit the market. The product, designed by Degree Deodorant, a Unilever company, is specifically for people living with visual impairment and upper limb motor disabilities.
The company says that despite being a personal care product that’s used by millions on a daily basis, there’s never been a deodorant suitable for people with upper limb disabilities, who find it challenging to twist a deodorant cap, turn a stick, or push down on an aerosol can. Additionally, they say, the fear of sweating (without deodorant) sometimes prevents people with disabilities from moving as much as they’d like to, which can hamper their enjoyment of an activity.
Here’s a post from the company, announcing Degree Inclusive antiperspirant deodorant:
1 in 4 Americans have a physical disability, yet many products aren't designed with them in mind. Introducing Degree Inclusive—the world's 1st adaptive deodorant for people w/ visual impairment & upper limb motor disabilities. Sign up for prototype updates https://t.co/QHxjZr85tf pic.twitter.com/dafcYv2tvK
— Degree (@Degree) April 26, 2021
A team of design experts from Wunderman Thompson, including people living with disabilities, occupational therapists, engineers and consultants from all over the world, collaborated with Degree on the product. The ultimate goal? To make deodorant application easier and more accessible for those with limited mobility or visual impairment.
Details include a hooked handle for one-handed use, magnetic closures to make it easier to remove and replace the cap, enhanced grip placement, a braille label, and a larger roll-on applicator.
“As a disabled person, I’ve experienced first-hand the challenges of living in a world of conventional design, where most products and services are not designed with the disabled community in mind,” Christina Mallon, Degree deodorant partner and head of inclusive design at Wunderman Thompson, told Good Morning America. “Being unable to access a basic utility like deodorant — something most people take for granted — has a huge impact on your ability to move, and therefore your quality of life in general.”
For prototype updates, Degree invites people to sign up via their website:
There are no limits when we pursue what moves us. That's why we're building Degree Inclusive, the world's first adaptive deodorant, with a diverse disability community. Sign up for prototype updates here: https://t.co/6Sw1XEsrFT pic.twitter.com/hYrmPDWfVJ
— Degree (@Degree) April 28, 2021
“Degree Inclusive challenges what a deodorant product should be,” Aline Santos Farhat, executive vice president of global marketing and chief diversity and inclusion officer at Unilever, told Refinery 29. “It’s a breakthrough, accessible design that genuinely serves the needs of people with disabilities.”
Degree currently has the deodorant product in a beta test, designed to get feedback from real people about whether Degree Inclusive is doing what it’s designed for. The test is being done in partnership with organizations such as The Chicago Lighthouse, Open Style Lab, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association to include 200 people with disabilities. Degree Inclusive is eventually intended for a future commercial launch, but a date hasn’t been set yet.