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Did you know that living in a city is one of the most sustainable lifestyle choices you can make? In a conversation with Tim Ferris, we heard Stewart Brand mention that a someone trying to reduce their environmental impact by becoming 'self sufficient’ and living off the grid - is achieving the exact opposite. On a per capita basis, they will require a lot more resource than someone living in the city benefiting from efficiency of scale. Which makes perfect sense when you think about it. 
It’s illustrative of the fact that the most sustainable option isn’t always obvious. There are hundreds of examples of this; keep cups are only better if you use them 15 times or more, being vegan is not as sustainable as being a vegetarian
Sustainability is a heavy topic. It's something we aspire to achieve and grapple with - because we know we'll never 100% arrive.
Take for example the scent we use in our product. It is a natural scent. Natural scents come at a higher energy cost than synthetic scents. Some are worse than others. Rose oil for example… if you think about every actual rose involved to get a little vile of rose oil, you can imagine the energy expended - to grow the rose, pick the rose, squeeze the rose.  
In our case, the more sustainable option would have been to add synthetic scents to our product rather than the eucalyptus, citrus, cedar wood, tonka bean and lavender oils we selected. We went with natural scents because it was important to us to be all-natural. But is it more sustainable? We grapple.
Another topic where we get stuck. The old ‘I just use soap nuts’. 
The most sustainable thing you can do in the category of washing detergents and powders, is to not use anything. Don’t wash. Don’t wear clothes. The next most sustainable thing you can do, is put nothing in your machine. And then comes adding soap nuts. They contain a surfactant that has similar foaming properties to soap, but they have been proven to be only as effective as anything small hard and round, because they help create friction. They do not contain the same surfactants or enzymes that we class as ‘active’ cleaning agents.  
Still, can we argue that we’re more sustainable than soap nuts (which some people are very comfortable with)? Nah.
Our mission, is to make less harmful products, a better choice for everyone.
In our mission, we’ve acknowledged that the ease of purchase, performance and desirability, is part-and-parcel with the broader purpose. There is no use creating the MOST sustainable product in the world, and making it a little more expensive, or difficult to access, or compromising in quality.
To really help, we believe we have to start with exisiting behaviours - and offer people a better alternatives across all facets of the product experience including sustainability. 
About 50% of Australians are liquid people - it’s usually a preference that can be chased back generations. We like it, because it doesn’t clump, it most definitely doesn’t not contain micro plastics,  and it’s often better for the earth at the other end of the wash cycle. 
But it does, or did, have ‘excess’ written all over it. It’s generally unnecessarily diluted (you’ll go through it faster and buy more), it’s almost always encased in plastic, and the ingredients can be unsafe for grey water. 
We focussed on solving these problems to create a more sustainable option for our liquid friends.  
  • Our liquid is 8 x concentrated, we cut out all unnecessary fillers. This means one starter pack will last you between three and six times longer than most supermarket alternatives. 
  • All our ingredients are organic or plant-based, and we don’t add any nasty phosphates or parabens. This makes our detergent 100% biodegradable, and safe for septic tanks. 
  • All our suppliers are certified responsible suppliers so we have confidence in our entire supply chain. 
  •  We use aluminium packaging, because aluminium is both durable, and degradable. We encourage our customers to purchase one dispenser bottle, and then repurchase refill packs as they require, to further minimise waste. 
  • Our packaging design and system, combined with our ultra-powerful concentrate has allowed us to reduce plastic packaging found in liquid detergent’s by up to 90%. 
  • - We ask that our online subscribers send back their refill packs once they have emptied them into their dispenser bottle, so we can reuse them. In this way, we're able to create a zero waste cycle. 
  • Finally, we give 50% of our profits to The Ocean Cleanup. If you don't know who they are but you care about the ocean, look them up and fall in love with their work. 
The result, is an extremely concentrated, high performing, organic and plant based liquid detergent that cuts plastic waste from the washing cycle, by 90% if you don’t partake in our ‘Refill, Return’ program, and 100% if you do. 
While we’ve made enormous leaps forward, we’re not perfect - no one is. We’ve got a product so we’re having an impact, that’s a fact not lost on us - but it’s not going to stop us from trying. 

Photo: Pip Compton 
https://www.instagram.com/pipcompton/

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3 comments

  • Love what you are doing with the return of packaging etc. Looking forward to trying your product. The vile/vial leapt out from the page for me too!

    Ruth Jones on

  • Iam mad about living without plastic, I actually give presentations on “eliminate waste in your home” giving people basic practicable ways of doing this, I have 1tomorrow at 21Glenbrook place Willowgrove at 1.30. All welcome and free tel:0429657247

    Hannah ALquiet on

  • Love your work. Just a teeny correction – it’s ‘vial’ not vile of rose oil.

    Catherine on


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