It has an enhanced grip placement for easier application, a Braille label, and a larger roll-on applicator to cover more surface area per swipe.
Degree Deodorant, makers of the world's first antiperspirant, has just made deodorant a lot more inclusive with the launch of an innovative new product. The company recently introduced "Degree Inclusive," the world’s first deodorant designed specifically for people with visual impairment and upper limb motor disabilities. The product—which is still in its prototype phase but will be hitting the market soon—has an enhanced grip placement for easier application for users with limited grip or no arms, a Braille label with instructions for users with vision impairment, and a larger roll-on applicator to cover more surface area per swipe.
"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, so the opportunity to help would be a great idea," Esi Eggleston Bracey, EVP and COO of beauty and personal care at Unilever—Degree's parent company—told Glamour. "At Degree, what we're motivated and driven by is inspiring the confidence for everyone to move. There are so many things getting in the way of people being confident, and one of them is managing odor and sweat production. And if you can do that, you feel more confident moving."
"We knew that creating a Degree deodorant in a way that is inclusive to people with upper-body mobility challenges and visual impairments would make a big difference," she added. Degree Inclusive has reportedly been in development for over a year and as per a press release, the company "partnered with an inclusive team of design experts from Wunderman Thompson, occupational therapists, engineers, consultants, and people living with disabilities across the globe to create a prototype for" the product. Currently, the prototype is being tested by 200 people with disabilities in order to perfect it before it hits shelves.
"As a brand that's committed to inspiring confidence in everyone to move more, Degree believes no one should be held back from experiencing the transformative benefits of movement," Kathryn Swallow, Global Degree Brand Vice President, said in a statement. "More than 60 million people in the US live with a disability, yet products and experiences are still not designed with this community in mind. With Degree Inclusive we hope to inspire bold action across the industry to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal playing field."
"We knew we didn't want to just on our own try to guess what the needs were of the community we were trying to serve, so we thought it was really important to cocreate alongside people with challenges and disabilities to really make sure it would fit the needs," explained Eggleston Bracey. Degree Inclusive falls under Unilever's new Positive Beauty vision and strategy, which focuses on being planet and people-positive with a series of initiatives that include banning the word “normal” on the packaging and avoiding the use of Photoshop. "Our goal is to improve the health, confidence, and well-being of more than a billion people around the world by 2030, and more importantly drive and champion for inclusivity in the whole beauty and self-care industry," Eggleston Bracey added.
"Making sure we are serving the underserved, and those with disabilities are often part of that group, is a commitment. This is just the beginning," she said. Aline Santos Farhat, EVP of Global Marketing and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Unilever, strongly believes this product will serve a great purpose. "Breaking stereotypes unleashes creativity and drives growth. Degree Inclusive challenges what a deodorant product should be," she said. "It's a breakthrough accessible design that genuinely serves the needs of people with visual impairment and upper limb motor disabilities."