It’s no secret that our planet is in trouble. Global warming and growing pollution means the movement towards becoming more eco-friendly and sustainable is one we need to take seriously. I’m the first to admit that I get lazy and aren’t as committed to leaving less of a negative footprint on this earth as I should be. So when I come across people who are, I get excited and inspired. It makes me want to do better.
I recently came across the Dirt Company. A laundry detergent that uses no nasty chemicals, uses 90% less plastic than those found in supermarkets & is the dream child of a WOMAN.
I spent 5 minutes with Dirt founder, Frankie to chat about her amazing initiative & its benefits to our planet…
1. So you’re the founder of Dirt! Can you tell us how the idea for this venture came about?
I’d just moved in with my best friend who has quite sensitive skin, so for the first time in my life I was really thinking about what I was purchasing for our laundry.
She tended to find powder more irritating as it’s not pre-dissolved, which was fine by me because I’d gone off powder after reading about the fillers in it. But even with half the supermarket aisle ruled out, I had trouble working out the best option for us. I wanted something that worked, that didn’t irritate, that was affordable and always available. Most importantly, a product that considered the environmental impact from a packaging and product point of view.
I never found anything that ticked all the boxes. I asked my friend (who knew a thing or two about chemicals), where my dream product was. Turned out it was possible to create a product like the one I’d have thrown money at, but for various reasons ranging from our preconceived ideas about what detergent should do, through to the bottom line, no one had done it. I spent about a year pondering this, trying to convince myself that I – a renowned grub – should most definitely not let laundry detergent bother me. But it did. I was sure there must be more people out there who wanted what I wanted. After all, as a society we are becoming more conscious about the importance of the little choices we make, whether it be organic foods or going plastic free where possible. Yet still, when it came to our cleaning products, we were still exposing ourselves to harsh chemicals and creating excess plastic waste to eliminate bacteria from our environment – even the bacteria that’s good for us.
I started to explore what this solution might look like, at first just in my head and two years later – launched Dirt together with three others.
2. How does Dirt differ from other laundry detergents on the market? How is it more eco-friendly than what we buy at the supermarket?
We’ve made some huge leaps forward compared to other liquid detergents, in terms of sustainability.
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 it 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 care about the ocean, look them up and fall in love with their work.
3. Where does your passion for living a more sustainable life come from?
It’s dramatic, but I guess I just don’t want to wake up one morning on a lifeless planet and say to my grandchildren “sorry, we couldn’t be bothered”. I saw a gap in the market for people like me who care, but also know what they want. I want to make it super easy for them to make a better choice.
4. Is Dirt your full time job? If not, how do you manage a full time job and a side hustle?
I was working 5 days a fortnight until a week ago! It’s scary but I’ve taken the plunge. It wasn’t easy to juggle working and driving the business forward. I couldn’t best service the business doing a juggling act, which is why I’ve just gone full time.
5. What’s your number 1 tip for women wanting to run a start-up?
Go for it! It’s scary, exhilarating and probably fastest learning curve you’ll ever experience. But it’s a great time to be in business as a woman. There are plenty of support networks available, and so many strong, amazing and empowered women in the start-up world who are willing to reach out and lend a hand. It’s hard not to enjoy the ride.
Head to the Dirt website HERE to make your purchase!
And don’t forget to follow Dirt on INSTAGRAM