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KUSK is a concept that re-thinks cosmetic packaging using food waste from local chocolate industry.

The story of KUSK begins with the circular material COCOA, developed by Material Designer Paula Nerlich with the aim to support the elimination of food waste by using it as resource to create circular biomaterials.

The resource used are cocoa bean shells, a main by-product of cocoa that is separated from the bean during the roasting process. In the global chocolate industry, for every metric ton of dry cocoa bean produced, there are 10 tons of cocoa bean shells leftover as surplus.

The material COCOA is made with 50% of surplus material from local industrial chocolate production and is mixed with further ingredients which are vegan, compostable and non harmful to the environment.


With COCOA and the concept of KUSK we draw upon the extensive resources we have and return to practices of care around materials and products.

A demand for products that will allow consumers to live more environmentally conscious to reduce their personal impact, whilst being able to sustain a high quality life style, is rising.

In search for this change, consumers are embracing radical new solutions, either introduced to them by their trusted brands or coming from a growing global movement that embraces methods for cosmetics and self care products that are based on recipes. Globally, the exploration of DIY natural cosmetics is booming and embracing stores that offer re-fill of natural ingredients.

This creates a massive playground for impactful new ways of delivering products and involving the consumer in a highly transparent way on the journey towards self-care products within a sustainable system.

Within this sustainable system, the most desired way is to refuse the unnecessary, reduce what is needs and re-use wherever we can.

KUSK is a set of reusable containers made from the circular material COCOA 1.0.

The containers come in 3 sizes and are complemented with a tray. The containers have lids, are washable and fit into each other, when empty, for easy carrying to take them to a re-fill shop.

KUSK is designed for self-assembly cosmetics with the tray acting as a canvas, similar to a painter’s palette, on which the cosmetics can be freshly prepared for facial application.


KUSK is an invitation to open-up opportunities for more sustainable and collaborative partnership between circular materials and products!

KUSK was nominated for the Green Concept Award 2021 which is an annual international competition for innovative, sustainable products & services since 2013.

KUSK was exhibited at the Dutch Design Week (It is the largest annual design event in Northern Europe).



For the design team, KUSK is a first step to evolve the concept of packaging through new circular narratives that engage the user in new self-care and planet-care rituals as well as and through sensory experiences support the users well-being.

COCOA Material from Paula Nerlich
COCOA Material 2 from Paula Nerlich
Cocoa husk from KUSK project
KUSK concept with a hand
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KUSK concepts from Punctuate Design
KUSK concepts from Punctuate Design 2
KUSK concepts from Punctuate Design 3
KUSK concepts from Punctuate Design 4
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KUSK concept at the Dutch Design Week
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