Start Up Of The Week: Homethings
“Homethings was born when we realised that your average cleaning product is 90% water packaged in single use plastic. To us, that was bonkers and with Homethings we have found a solution that makes sense.”
As part of our efforts to support plant-based start-ups as much as we possibly can during this tough time, we are going to be shouting out a business each week and promoting them on our blog, social media, and business newsletter!
The start-up of the week is the non-toxic household cleaning brand Homethings, who are on a mission to eliminate single-use plastic from the home.
Answered by: Loïs Mills, Brand + Community Manager
Tell us about the concept behind Homethings?
The concept for Homethings is simple. We are redesigning household products to massively reduce their carbon footprint and get rid of single use plastics. Our first products are cleaning sprays where we have formulated non-toxic, effervescent tabs alongside refillable glass bottles, allowing consumers too refill again and again, at home, using tap water.
Where did the inspiration come from to create a solution for single-use plastics in your home?
The idea for Homethings was born when we realised that your average cleaning product is 90% water packaged in single use plastic. To us, that was bonkers and with Homethings we have found a solution that makes sense. One of our tabs weighs just 4.5g and makes 500ml of cleaning solution. A single-use 500ml bottle of cleaning product typically weighs around 540g. So over 100 of our Homethings tabs is the equivalent of 1 standard bottle of household cleaners!
How did you go about testing and creating the formula?
We worked with experts in green chemistry and formulation to develop and test our formulas. It's no mean feat, as using 'green' formulation methods often creates significant challenges in the development process, but we got there eventually and are super proud of the cleaning power of our non-toxic tabs.
“We are huge advocates for the need to transition to a circular economy, not just because of plastic pollution, but also because of the climate crisis… We're going to see lots of innovation over the next 5 years with consumers being offered better choices by brands that really care.”
How has your product launch plan changed due to Covid-19?
Our original launch was planned for March 27th but we decided to postpone because it didn't feel right adding to the noise with a crisis unfolding. Since then, we've learned so much more about how we operate as a small team of three and have had to find new ways of working and solving problems. The world is still very much dealing with the impact of Covid-19 and as a business it is vital that we strike the right balance between being sensitive and being able to strategise for change. We're ready for it now more than ever.
Where do you see the single-use movement going over the next 5 years?
We are huge advocates for the need to transition to a circular economy, not just because of plastic pollution, but also because of the climate crisis. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is doing important work shining a light on this and we believe that we are now starting to see a consumer led revolution (or Refillution). We're going to see lots of innovation over the next 5 years with consumers being offered better choices by brands that really care.
Are there any chemicals we should be aware of when buying high street products that are perhaps neither ethical or environmentally conscious?
The most shocking one is water. It's bonkers that water is being shipped around the globe unnecessarily (and in single use plastics) when we have taps at home. We're also steering clear of nasties including chlorine, ammonia, VOCs , Parabens and Phthalates. The Environmental Working Group is a great resource for the beady-eyed consumer to check out toxicity of ingredients on product labels.
“If we can pioneer a new model of consumption, one without wasteful single use plastics and huge carbon inefficiencies, then that sounds exciting to us. “
It's interesting that you have created a podcast RE(ACTION) before the release of your product, can you give me an understanding behind this strategy?
Launching the podcast was a way of us learning, debating and engaging with really big and important questions around sustainability that we were grappling with as a new brand. These issues can often be nuanced and more complex than they might appear and it's really important to have those conversations and understand different perspectives. It's been an amazing way for us to meet like minded individuals and feel like we are building a community along the way!
How would you like Homethings to progress in the next 5 years?
We want to be the go-to brand for all your household cleaning needs by proving that it is possible to do things differently and to make products that make sense. If we can pioneer a new model of consumption, one without wasteful single use plastics and huge carbon inefficiencies, then that sounds exciting to us.
When will your Kickstarter be launching?
Homethings is launching on Kickstarter on Monday 4th May!