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CIF: Brand Innovation

To extend the reach and positive environmental impact of its new Eco Refills, Cif wanted to create a ‘bottle for life’ for sale and delivery direct to consumers through e-commerce channels.

The key challenge for the project was to change people’s perceptions of the inherent value of a spray cleaner bottle. Over decades, single-use and disposal behaviour has become deeply ingrained. The role for design, therefore, was to create a unique packaging structure and user experience that would reward continuous use.

Designing for e-commerce requires a different mindset as the usual category rules for the retail shelf are removed. This freed us up to explore how far we could move the semantic of the product away from the category norms of functionality and ergonomics to the broader context of its use; the home environment and a product design you would be proud to leave out.

The opportunity was clear: to create a bottle that not only felt good in the hand but looked good in the home.

With only six months from brief to launch, we had to be agile. Working in a series of accelerated design sprints, we developed a successful solution in a fraction of the time that traditional project approaches take.

Made from rPET (recycled PET), the design rejects the conventional codes of the category (masculine, ugly, over-engineered grip etc.) for a more beautiful and elegant form. The decorative fluting provides subtle grip in use, and by adding structural strength, allows the bottle to be made from less material.

The result is an arresting challenge to conventional thinking – and a bottle that’s hard to throw away.

The CIF Beautiful Bottle won bronze at the 2020 Pentawards in both the Sustainable Design and Household Maintenance Design categories.

Reflections of cif packaging structure


Blue Cif bottle spray in use

Cif bottle structure by kitchen tap

Creating a user experience to reward continuous use.