Launching a brand new enterprise throughout lockdown, with a brand new child within the household, could be a step too far for even the decided of entrepreneurs, however it didn’t deter new mother and father Man and Abi Fennell.
With their new enterprise Pura, they’re on a mission to offer eco-friendly child care and launched their first product, 100% plastic-free, 100% compostable, and biodegradable child wipes because the pandemic pressured them into lockdown. Produced from sustainable plant fibers, the wipes include no allergens, fragrance, or chlorine, with solely 99% water and natural aloe vera added.
They got here up with the thought for Pura a number of years in the past, after they had first began desirous about beginning a household and started taking discover of the merchandise that their buddies with newborns had been utilizing, as Man Fennell explains.
“Abi and I had been actually shocked by what number of plastic-based wipes we noticed in buddies’ properties,” he says. “I did my very own analysis and found that 90% of the wipes at present bought within the U.Ok. include plastic, which means they will final greater than 100 years in landfills, but the overwhelming majority of oldsters are unaware that the wipes they’re utilizing are constituted of plastic.”
Fennell and his spouse determined to tackle the massive names within the wipes market and set about creating their very own vary of merchandise. Their willpower to drive change was heightened with the arrival of their daughter, Ezra, in March this yr.
On the time, each founders had been operating different companies, together with wholesale FMCG firm Model Ambassadors Worldwide, and clothes retail enterprise Abi Fisher Clothes.
“Beginning a brand new enterprise throughout lockdown wasn’t splendid, nonetheless, we’d spent three years researching and creating our first merchandise and we didn’t need to delay it any longer,” says Fennell.
Within the first week after the Father’s Day June 21 launch the web site acquired greater than 85,000 hits, with over 22,000 orders positioned. Inside a month buyer orders had doubled, and by August, wipes subscriptions had been up by 55% in contrast with July.
Pura’s merchandise can be found each on mail order and subscription promoting direct-to-consumer, nonetheless, one of many challenges for eco merchandise is usually value; sometimes, they are often anyplace between 25% and 60% dearer than mainstream manufacturers.
“Our wipes value lower than three pence per wipe on subscription, providing a worth level that’s on par, or cheaper than, conventional plastic wipes,” says Fennell. “With free subsequent day supply on all orders, this mannequin has been vital to the success of the enterprise thus far and has additionally supplied a well timed answer for fogeys who stayed at house and prevented the supermarkets throughout lockdown.”
To date the Fennells have invested £6 million of their very own cash, secured from their earlier companies. And for all its challenges, lockdown gave the founders’ advertising plans an additional enhance. He says: “Lockdown meant that we saved on a few of our advertising prices, as numerous firms had pulled their TV promoting to save lots of prices, so we received a deal we couldn’t refuse.”
The Fennells at the moment are working full time on Pura and have already got a group of 21 individuals working with them to roll out the model’s bold progress plans. Not content material with merely selling their very own merchandise, they’re now on a mission to ban plastic-based wipes within the U.Ok. Their launch YouTube video, that includes infants calling on individuals to ditch plastic wipes, has thus far been seen greater than 7 million occasions.
On the again of shopper demand, there are plans to develop with an prolonged eco-friendly product vary into Europe and past. “We’ve simply launched our vary of nappies – diapers – that are created with 100% inexperienced electrical energy and 0 manufacturing waste and made with licensed pure plant fibers. They include no nasty chemical compounds, perfumes, and are accredited by Allergy U.Ok.”
Pura has additionally partnered with recycling agency NappiCycle to offer a curbside nappy assortment and recycling service for 22 native authorities in Wales and is beginning discussions with native authorities in England about piloting the scheme to increase this proper throughout the entire of the UK.
Within the final yr alone NappiCycle diverted greater than 8,000 tons – the equal of 40 million nappies – from landfill in Wales. A powerful 100% of the dirty nappies processed by NappiCycle are recycled into helpful merchandise like discover boards for faculties and workplaces, paneling, and insulation for reasonably priced housing.
Plastics and plastic packaging have been on the heart of the continuing international environmental problem, though the primary focus in recent times has been on ocean plastics and plastic bottles. Whereas many main organizations have made big strides in eliminating plastics from their merchandise and processes, customers are sometimes unaware of their extent in on a regular basis objects like wipes.
Fennell, says: “We imagine that being eco-friendly is not a luxurious however a necessity and our ambition is to create merchandise that assist households care for his or her infants now whereas leaving the best legacy for the long run.”