I’m definitely not alone when I say we are constantly thinking about ways we can reduce our plastic use. I think a lot of us are – these days most people in Australia know that single-use plastics are terrible for the environment. We are far from living a plastic-free lifestyle, but we try to reduce the amount of plastic coming into our home, and to make sure the plastic we do use is put into recycling. It’s not the best solution to a big, global problem – but I think even small things can make a difference.
A little while ago I thought a bit about some of the posts I really want to start sharing on House Nerd, and I really want to start sharing more small (and big) businesses that are trying to make an impact in a green or sustainable way.
Resparkle is an Australian cleaning products business that was started by founder Pearl Chan, and they caught my attention not just with their pretty bottles but with what they’re trying to do. These days we all know plastics are bad for our planet – but eight years ago, when Pearl first started her business idea, most people weren’t as informed about just how harmful plastics are – or even about chemicals found in traditional cleaning products.
Pearl realised she got headaches from using chemical-based cleaners, and decided to make sustainable and natural cleaning products. She also wanted to make products that could be re-used, and that reduced our plastic consumption.
Pearl says she was filled with nerves at her first-ever market stall eight years ago, selling organic cleaning concentrates in refillable pods. “At that time, the problem with plastic waste wasn’t on everyone’s agenda and sustainability wasn’t a buzzword, so I knew it would be a process of educating everyone,” she says. “I remember texting my husband who was away for work saying, “What if everyone thinks selling concentrates in a refill pod is a dumb idea? What if no one wants to buy my invention?” Of course, being the kind of husband he is, he assured me everyone would think it was brilliant.”
It wasn’t long before her products sold out, and her business grew.
Pearl says the business had gotten to a point where they realised they were proud to have saved more than 500,000 plastic bottles from landfill, but they were still producing plastic and plastic waste – the refillable pods weren’t the perfect solution.
“Fast-forward to now and I feel as though our brand has finally arrived,” she says. “We’ve matured. We’re in a unique moment in history with the introduction of our new line of powder-based home care packed in 100% plastic-free refill sachets.”
Because the compostable sachets are made from natural ingredients including corn, potato, tapioca starches, belluslose, soy protein and lactic acid, they can be composted.
Pearl realised that most cleaning products were typically made up of only 10-15 percent active ingredients – and 85-90 percent water. She decided to sell waterless cleaning products by producing highly concentrated, natural powdered cleaners in compostable sachets that could be emptied into glass bottles and filled with warm water, to dissolve the cleaning product.