Unilever’s contest is part of the transformation of its business model to increase profits while becoming more eco-friendly.
Unilever now asks customers, stakeholders, entrepreneurs, inventors—anyone, really–to submit ideas for a next-generation sustainable shower. Launched this week in Europe, this competition culls ideas for showers that will save water and energy, yet will still offer that refreshing morning, or evening, experience. Submitted ideas will then be crowdsourced so people can vote on the best concepts. The top prize wins €5,000, and four runners-up will split another €5,000. Unilever will work with the creative firm eYeka to find a new shower that will “wow” the multinational “with an original and revolutionary design for the next generation of showers.”
Participants in the contest just have to follow a few guidelines. The shower had better recycle water. Such a contraption must fit in a space where a conventional shower is generally located in a bathroom. It has to be affordable, pleasurable and also “deliver a better sensorial experience.”
Sharing one’s ideas for a futuristic sustainable shower is relatively easy. All a contest participant has to do is allow eYeka to access his or her personal information via enrolling in the contest via one of the major social media channels (there is always a catch!). Attention to function, design and sustainability is paramount. In sum, the experience really should not be different from one is taken in a standard shower, and hopefully, perform even better.
Unilever’s contest, which ends on September 8, is just another example of how organizations are trying to rethink how consumers use water in a world that has less and less of it. The Gates Foundation, for example, has sponsored a contest searching for the next-generation toilet. As the emerging middle class grows worldwide, so has the demand for the Victorian-era invention. In the case of showers, even though they use less water than baths and plenty of water efficient shower heads are on the market, water consumption due to the desire for cleanliness will only increase worldwide. The call to simply take shorter showers is noble, but is not enough in a world becoming more and more thirsty for water.
Further information on Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan
Originally published on Triple Pundit, republished with kind permission.