Crowsnest: One Home
Homecare Trend Horizon | Two
There’s often a myth that natural products aren’t as tough on stains and dirt as the regular kind, but that’s really not the case. ‘Natural’ doesn’t have to mean ‘ineffective’.
While the focus on sustainability has been paused – people are really starting to understand that the way we treat the environment impacts directly back on humans. Going forward, household & homecare products will need to sit at the intersection of wellbeing, sustainability and digital communication to succeed and grow.
Eco-friendly or green cleaning is seeing a huge rise in interest as more of us are challenging the old traditional mainstream brands that relied on single use plastic and man-made chemicals.
Ecoegg laundry Egg
The laundry egg aims to replace your usual laundry detergent. The egg is designed to take the place of single-use plastic since it can be used repeatedly, and instead of regular laundry liquid or tabs, you use natural mineral pellets. The pellets – which last for about 70 washes can be purchased separately.
Norfolk Natural Living collection
Unfortunately the majority of our household cleaning brands use plastic and are garish in terms of their semiotic power and efficacy codes. This dish-washing collection consists of natural materials and botanical ingredients, made by hand in Norfolk, using 100% natural ingredients.
A new UK natural detergent brand that not only cares for your clothes with natural formulations but repairs them too, and even has an online tutorial with the motto of Care, Wash, Wear & Repair. ‘We believe that every new garment should be a friend for life, not a one hit wonder. With our wonderful team of skilled seamstresses, and our range of natural, plastic-free and gorgeously fragranced clothing care products, we give you the tools you need to join the revolution and embrace a more sustainable wardrobe.’
The average household contains dozens of toxic chemicals, many of which we bring in ourselves through the products we are using to keep our homes clean. The idea that we’re spraying ingredients linked to aggravating asthma, allergies and even causing cancer onto our countertops made no sense to Jayna Crittenden, a North Carolina-based mother of three who launched Squeak as a safer alternative.
French company Blue is electronic countertop machine that uses electrolysis to transform a concentrate of salt and vinegar into a bleach-like solution. As both mixtures are toxin-free, they can be used to clean almost anything – including dishes and even hands.
03Waterworks is also producing an electronic spray bottle that sends water through an electrolytic cell to convert oxygen into liquid ozone, which breaks down bacteria before returning back into water.
Much as Graze and Freddie’s Flowers pioneered letter-box friendly snacks and flowers, Smol hopes to do the same with Homecare. A DTC subscription brand set up by an ex-Unilever executive, Smol delivers ultra-concentrated laundry and dishwasher tabs in post-consumer recycled childproof and waterproof packaging, small enough to go through the letter box delivering great convenience as well as huge plastic and carbon savings.
According to US DTC brand Dropps ‘All living things are inextricably interconnected, and it is every human’s responsibility to leave the planet a better place for future generations. You can help by making small, easy changes that, in the aggregate, can have a big impact on our environment.’ Dropps are powerful, convenient and good to the planet, what more could you ask for?
The impact of our consumption on our personal health and wider environment is increasingly understood by consumers. Last year was a tipping point in terms of plastic pollution and the environment following TV programmes like Plastic Planet and campaigns led by Greta Thurnberg.
To provide an affordable, eco-friendly alternative to household cleaners in new plastic bottles, direct-to-consumer (DTC) innovators such as Blueland are offering consumers tablet-based products through the refill business model.
Recently purchased by Henkel, Truman’s Starter Kit comes with four bottles that can tackle virtually all of the home’s hard surfaces with just four non-toxic, biodegradable spray cleaners. The refill cartridges are colour coded so you can’t get them confused. Simply add water and go.
Homecare generates more than 29 billion plastic containers each year. OceanSaver, have taken a stand and created a solution. Their plant-based, non-toxic EcoDrops transform in water, creating a safe and powerful product to clean your home spotlessly, while you play your part in something vital. Small change. Big impact.
Jeremiah Brent x Grove Collaborative
A true collaboration between renowned US interior designer and Grove Collaborative, the ground breaking business bringing healthier home essentials to like minded consumers. This Limited Edition range blends beauty, function and sustainability with an all purpose cleaning concentrate featuring a natural signature fragrance and reusable spray.
Neat believe they make beautiful cleaning products that perform brilliantly and cut down on waste. They use no single use plastic and have a drastically reduced carbon footprint as they don’t ship water around the world.
Homethings state; “Whilst we can appreciate most of the world is bonkers, there’s some things that just don’t make sense. That’s why we’re waging a war against single-use plastic underneath our kitchen sinks and inside our homes. The circular economy is the future, so we might as well have fun whilst we are getting there.” A DTC tablet format cleaning sprays from founders Tim, Lo & Matt.
Procter & Gamble innovation, where detergent is spun into a cloth-like material that dissolves in water. EC30 reduces the CO2 emission impact from manufacturing, chemistry, and shipping by 50% vs traditional liquids.
Similarly creating dry sheets of laundry detergent that consumers can cut to size to suit the wash load. Wipe That was launched with one thing in mind, to provide consumers with environmentally friendly products.
Reuse, Refill and Recycle are key to the future of Household brands. Optimising and reducing packaging, ensuring that it is recycled – perhaps by take-back schemes or refills like Terracycle’s Loop – and having transparency on what the bottle contains will become standard operating procedure.
With its reuse and refill collection, you buy reusable glass or PET plastic (the most widely recycled plastic) dispensers from the brand and then stock up regularly on its 1l refills online. The refills use Bio-D, meaning it’s also hypoallergenic and natural, and once you’re done, you can pop the pouch in the post so it can be washed and reused, meaning you’re never buying single-use packaging.
Australian subscription service ZeroCo delivers soap and household cleaning products in reusable pouches made from ocean plastic. Empty sachets can be returned to the brand for sanitising and refilling.
Supermarket Refilleries: Ecover
UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s new in-store refill machines enable customers to refill laundry detergent and washing-up liquid bottles from Belgian cleaning brand Ecover – marking a first for major UK supermarkets. The recyclable bottles can be refilled 50 times.
Cleancult believe ‘The cleaning industry has a dirty little secret: it’s not so clean after all. In order to fix tomorrow’s problems, we have to fix today’s cleaning model. So that’s what we did. We built a better cleaning system, one that’s easy, sustainable, and cost-effective. One that rethinks everything, from ingredients to packaging to performance to shipping. Because a brighter tomorrow starts with a smarter today.’
What does this mean for your brand?
Are you the best you can be?
Household brands come with a lot of baggage from formulations containing toxins to heavy use of plastic. The ship is sailing with brands that do good, causing less harm to people and planet. Are you onboard? Even if you’re not yet, be honest and let consumers know about your intentions. Stating that you’re moving towards a more sustainable future by ‘2025’ is ok too. Just have a plan, a voice and an opinion. No excuses for keeping your head stuck in the sand, you will be found out and it’ll harm your bottom line.
If not, seek help!
The world of sustainability is complex and multi-faceted. New innovations in both packaging and product formats are launched all the time plus regulations are constantly evolving. Staying ahead can be challenging. We attend a huge amount of talks and are regularly invited to participate in debates on this ever growing and crucial subject. Get in touch and we’ll inform you too, not just in the dos and don’ts but also in how you can communicate your perspective to your audience.
But do it your way
Whilst sustainability is finally gaining the momentum it deserves make sure you stand out from the crowd. Many claims i.e. ‘100% recyclable’ ‘fragrance-free’ and ‘plant-based‘ are soon becoming the hygiene factors for many household brands. What else are you doing to differentiate your position and more importantly, what’s right for your brand proposition? Do you need to take more fundamental steps and join the 21st century consumer demand for increased sustainability in the household market?