As SCA and its brands prepares to take part in the Volvo Ocean Race, the company has challenged industrial design students all over the world to develop a solution to keep toilet paper dry in very wet environments. As an initiative to find new insights, the company has run a global student competition to find a solution to protect toilet paper from seawater as Team SCA takes part in the toughest sailing competition in the world. Toilet paper and soap are basic products, but in certain environments they require special solutions and extra protection.
The winning contribution, developed by five students at ENSAM University in Paris, is a waterproof dispenser with a choice of two different attachment solutions – a suction pad or a hook. The dispenser is made from a soft, lightweight and impact-resistant material that keeps the toilet paper free from humidity through the use of silica gel. The winning entry has been reviewed by the global SCA dispenser team and has been developed into a prototype that will be further evaluated.
“Thinking about the extreme environment on board – and aside from the challenge of developing an easy-to-use dispenser that is completely waterproof – we thought portability would be an important feature,” said Inés Ballano Vicente from the winning team. “That’s why we developed the two different attachment solutions.”
Åsa Kalentun, director European product management at SCA Hygiene Products, said: “Our innovations must solve real needs based on actual insights. How we get to that understanding is in fact less important. You could call our innovation process ‘vanity-free’. As long as we get the job done, the approach can vary. And why shouldn’t it? Our customers face a great variety of daily challenges and our innovation process must relate to that.”