We recently shared a blog post about the importance of making sustainable choices when it comes to our spring-cleaning products and accessories.
Like everything we buy, it’s important to consider how each product is made, and disposed of. Each plastic cleaning brush, scourer, sponge, cloth and pair of gloves we buy has to go somewhere, and oftentimes can end up polluting our environment.
We’re encouraged to see several new brands using sustainable and natural materials to create eco-friendly cleaning accessories, and one of our favourites is Seep!
We sat down with Seep’s founder Laura to ask her all about her sustainability journey, the inspiration behind Seep and what the future holds for the brand.
What started your sustainability journey? Was it a gradual process or a particular *eureka* moment?
I grew up next to the sea in South Wales, plus I have always loved the outdoors. When I was growing up, I was taught to never ever waste things and so it’s always been a big part of my life. Plus, now I have two children, I want to bring them up to do the right thing for other people and the planet.
I describe myself as ‘eco conscious’ rather than an eco warrior, I think lots of little sustainable changes goes a long way.
What was your motivation for launching Seep?
I am always on the lookout for ways I can reduce my environmental impact. But whenever I came to the dreaded cleaning aisle when I was doing my supermarket shopping, I was swamped in plastic. I could see green cleaning options when it came to cleaning sprays, laundry and toilet paper but when it came to cleaning tools and accessories like bin liners, sponges and cloths there were no plastic free options. I thought surely at some point someone would do something to fix this but no alternatives ever seemed to come along. So, in lockdown I decided I had to do something and that’s when Seep was born.
For those who don’t know, what does the name Seep stand for?
Sustainable Everyday Essential Products. I loved the name Seep too because it reflects our product ethos which is that all of our products should be compostable and as circular as possible.
What was the first product in your range? Where does the inspiration for your products come from?
Our best-selling, loofah scourer sponges😊 They look so nice on your sink and they actually work! Plus if you compost, they compost down so well after just a couple of months. It’s also such a great alternative to the green-topped plastic scourer sponges that are so universally hated!
I wanted Seep to be fresh and appealing, I didn’t want to go down the classic ‘eco’ route which is brown and green and may put some people off. I love bright colours and so that’s why our packaging is navy, turquoise and orange – I even have a jumper in these colours, I love them so much!
Which products are the most popular? Do you have a favourite?
One of our most popular products is our eco cleaning starter kit. It’s great for people who want to switch up their kitchen cleaning tools in one go and has a pack of our best-selling loofah scourer sponges, a cloth, some compostable washing up gloves, a bamboo washing up brush and some copper scourers. The loofah scourer is probably my favourite, just because it was Seep’s first product and it is just so good (I know I am biased).
How are you working towards becoming a Climate Positive company and why do you think this is so important?
We work with an amazing Charity, On A Mission, who are a forest regeneration organisation and help us to go beyond being carbon neutral. We do this by offsetting more than our actual carbon footprint which is calculated per product that we sell. This means for each kg of carbon Seep emits we invest in forest regeneration projects that remove 3.5 times the amount of carbon. We are so proud of this, and really love working with this charity since they pick the best reforestation projects around the world that support biodiversity and livelihoods as well as carbon capture.
Can you tell us more about the loofah plant that you make your cloths from? Why did you choose this material?
Loofah is made from a cucumber shaped plant grown commercially in tropical climates. We use this because after running a survey at Seep we found that on average people in the UK change their sponge at least once per month so it roughly works out to around 600 million sponges being thrown away each year – most of them being made from virgin plastic. So, using materials like loofah means we can finally stop buying nasty, plastic filled ones we all know and use 100% plastic free and compostable sponges instead.
What is your top tip for someone who is looking to start reducing their waste?
Buy less! Think really hard before you buy something – can you fix something, jazz it up, swap with a friend or neighbour.
How do you reduce waste in your business?
We avoid single use plastic throughout our supply chain and the packaging for all of our products is recyclable and plastic-free. We think really hard before we print anything too.
How have you seen people’s attitudes to sustainable products change over the last 5 years?
I think for a long time, society made it feel like caring about the environment was only for a certain type of eco warrior person. Over the past few years and especially during lockdown there has been a real switch where people had time to reflect and read and understand more about the planet we live on. It’s now far more mainstream. According to a recent Deloitte report, 85% of people have been actively making more sustainable lifestyle choices. A strong link has definitely been made between a healthy planet and healthy humans.
What are your plans for 2022?
We have so much in store for 2022. We want to launch our range in a few more stockists so that more customers can access our lovely products in their local communities. We will hopefully become a full B Corp early this year too. Finally, we also want to launch a few more products but those plans are under wraps at the moment, watch this space!
Can you tell us about why you want to become a B Corp?
B-Corp is at the heart of everything we do at Seep, since starting the business I have always incorporated people and the planet in all of the plans and decisions we’ve ever made. It is the highest standard of verified accountability and transparency from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials. It is something we are really working hard at to achieve (very soon we hope!)