Degree launches first deodorant created by and for people with disabilities

Degree just unveiled an inclusive deodorant for people with visual impairments and upper limb motor disabilities. This is the first time any deodorant brand has produced a product specifically for and by people with disabilities.

“We saw that across the beauty and personal care industries there just really isn’t any deodorant product that’s really suitable for people with upper body disabilities or visual impairments,” Esi Eggleston Bracey, the chief operating officer of beauty and personal care at Unilever, Degree’s parent company, told Glamour. 

“One in four Americans have a physical disability, yet many products aren’t designed with them in mind,” Degree posted on Instagram.

The packaging eliminates mobility issues — such as twisting off a cap, turning a stick or pushing down on a spray can, all of which can be challenging for people with disabilities. The product name is also listed in braille and includes a hook for easy one-handed use. There are magnetic closures on the cap to make opening and closing the bottle more accessible, as well as a large roll-on that requires fewer swipes for application.

The deodorant is also refillable, making it more eco-friendly than most similar products.

Christina Mallon, the head of inclusive design at Wunderman Thompson, a consulting agency, helped launch the deodorant.

“As a disabled designer myself, I know how important it is to include the community from the beginning of the project,” Mallon told Byrdie. “We worked with consultants with disabilities to understand their pain points with current deodorant designs on the market. Then, our team from SOUR Studios took this feedback and created multiple inclusive deodorant prototypes via a 3D printer.”

Degree also collaborated with people with disabilities, as well as organizations like The Chicago Lighthouse, Open Style Lab and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

A step like this is crucial, as even the minor changes implemented into product design can make the experience for people with disabilities even more user-friendly. Hopefully, Degree’s prototype will influence other companies to follow suit.

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