lifestyle

From shampoo to loo roll: how this London-based company launched a sustainable product range



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upermarket products are increasingly being labelled as “green”, but sustainability claims are not always clear or truthful. This kind of “greenwashing” was something Aaron Addicoat (pictured above, left) discovered while perusing the loo roll aisle of the supermarket a few years ago.

The co-founder of sustainable home essentials company Green n White found that many of the eco-friendly claims on the packaging did not stack up. In fact, many brands use fewer recycled materials today than they did a decade ago, largely due to the popularity of softer, more luxurious four-ply brands, which use virgin wood pulp rather than recycled, and which they take from ecologically vital boreal forests.

No misleading claims

Charging a small monthly membership fee, Green n White sells its products at cost

/ Green n White

To help consumers navigate what he calls the “ethical minefield” of looking for sustainable products in supermarket aisles, Addicoat founded Green n White last year with his former work colleague Daniel Randolph (main image, right).

The company sells a selection of environmentally sound home and personal care essentials online. Its product range includes soaps, shampoos, household cleaning products and kitchen supplies, ranging from dishwasher tablets to food waste bags.

“So many supposedly eco-friendly products we saw on the market were just plain greenwashing, and many of them would break the bank,” says Randolph. In contrast, Green n White charges a £3 monthly membership fee and then provides its products at cost, continually researching new ways to make them more affordable and sustainable.

Build sustainability into your business

Google has created a new free, simple and actionable training programme to help small businesses understand how they can become more sustainable, and how this could help their overall business performance.

Developed in partnership with the UK Government’s Together for Our Planet campaign, the programme covers:

  • Why sustainability is good for business
  • How to start your journey
  • Where to use sustainability measures to engage employees and customers

Greener business practices

The Green n White range comes in recycled plastic bottles instead of glass

/ Green n White

To boost their sustainability, the company sources most of its products locally, and from the UK, which means lower carbon emissions and lower transportation costs.

Instead of animal products, it uses plant-based alternatives such as coconut oil and shea butter, which have a lower environmental footprint because they require fewer resources to produce.

Green n White goods come in recycled plastic bottles instead of glass. This is because glass, while recyclable, has a higher emissions footprint, requiring far more energy and natural resources to manufacture and transport.

Green n White offsets its emissions by planting a tree for every new member who signs up. Its partnership with non-profit organisation Eden Reforestation Projects aims to tackle the cultural and environmental impacts of deforestation.

Spreading the word

The company plans to sell its products to hotels and restaurants as well as consumers

/ Green n White

“Our whole approach is about making sustainable living mainstream,” Randolph says. “Our biggest focus and challenge now is getting our name out further afield.”

Expanding the conversation about its green credentials, Green n White has turned to social media’s “green influencers” to spread the message, and you’ll find its products at trade shows such as the Green Live event for ethical companies and sustainable consumers at Westfield London. “Influencers can tap into the consumer psyche, and they tend to be trusted,” Randolph says.

From its modest beginnings, Green n White is looking to expand its sustainable, eco-driven business and production model by selling not just to consumers but also to businesses – such as hotels and restaurants – without losing sight of its core beliefs. “We want to align the bottom line with our environmental goals,” says Randolph. “It should be a win-win for profit and planet.”

To discover how your business could become more sustainable like Green n White, sign up for Google’s free training programme here.



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