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Specialty soap grows with eco-oriented clamshell

Pangea Organics, Boulder, CO, selected a molded fiber clamshell for its repackaged line of Ecocentric Bodycare organic bar soaps for environmental reasons. It also received a big sales boost as a bonus.

One size of clamshell measuring 2½”x4”x1¼” from UFP Technologies, Inc. ( is used for all 12 soap varieties, according to Pangea founder and chief executive officer Joshua Scott Onsyko. Besides increased marketing, Onsyko attributes half of the products' sales growth to the clamshell packaging efforts that replaced a chipboard folding carton in fall 2005.

The custom clamshell features what Scott calls a “smell hole” for consumers to sniff the unwrapped soap. A sleeve of 16-pt paper offset-printed with soy inks in two colors from James Cotter Associates ( carries graphics.

Introduced in fall 2005, packaging was redefined after Onsyko consulted with design specialists IDEO ( to better match Pangea's environmental philosophy.

“We had a change in branding as well as toward environmentally friendly packaging,” says Scott. “The clamshell is made 100 percent from post-consumer newspaper and it is simply steam-molded into shape. Plus it uses no glue.”

The soap sells for $5.99 at Whole Foods and Wild Oats stores as well as at spas and other specialty outlets nationwide and in 16 countries.

—Rick Lingle

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