“Doing what the industry should’ve done a while ago. Making plastic-free bathrooms possible.”
We’d love to hear the Brother Earth origin story, could you share the motivation behind starting the brand?
Nick and Henry met up again after 15 years in consulting and wanted to contribute to solving the issues of plastic waste. We figured consumer behaviour drives the lions share of the plastic waste so we would start there. After that mens personal care was the obvious place to start with its brands stuck in the 90’s and heavy on plastic, embedded carbon and cliches
Where did your product development journey start?
We had the rare treat of a totally blank sheet of paper – so we selected the products used by our target market on a daily basis and considered what was the minimum resource, social and environmental input we could deliver a great Customer experience with.
Our initial research confirmed what we thought. Priority number one has to be products that work brilliantly. The circular design element is more important to us than the user.
Circular Design can be a big challenge for a new business because so many elements are new. How are you building circularity into your business model?
The challenge for us was and is – we need mass adoption to move the dial – so a purist sustainability answer that loses consumers wasn’t an option. What would our customers be willing to try?
Frow the RRR point of view – there were some obvious big wins to get 80% of the circular benefits (eg moving from liquid to solid format and larger product size reducing last mile shipping – 97% less plastic and 94% less water)
We also slashed the total lifecycle emissions for the shampoo and bodywash by 4/5ths. We still have loads of ideas we want to try though…its definitely what makes it fun.
Support Brother Earth, catch their first product release via their Kickstarter Here:
We love that you are attempting to make huge change in your industry, disruption can be so transformative. What do you think are the biggest opportunities for the brand?
There really is no limit – if we can accelerate the pathetic efforts made by some of the headline brands – then we have changed the market. That would be amazing
But there is also something about changing the perception of and engagement from men in sustainability…we are lagging behind
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced growing the brand and business?
Its early days but our target audience isn’t necessarily active in either the sustainability space or personal care product review space. They tend to be out there doing stuff. So finding ways to reach them and demonstrate that they can make a sustainable choice that’s convenient, effective and has a positive impact on the outdoor spaces they enjoy.
From a daily habits perspective, do you have any advice on living a more circular or sustainable lifestyle?
There is way too much advice out there, much of it nonsense. But getting out of the car and onto the bike is the change that’s made me happier in every city/town I have ever lived.
What is the big dream for Brother Earth, where would you like to see the business/industry in 5 years?
- Brother Earth Core Personal Care reaches 0% plastic waste, 100% non-virgin materials and is made within 50 miles of every major city in the world.
- A community of users that is helping us develop our products.
- High profile outdoor folk advocating what we do.
Can you recommend any other great brands or businesses doing impressive work using circular design?
Other than Circular&Co.!?
Alpkits done some pretty amazing things with tents, Toast Ale is inspired, and Hampstead Tea for genuinely ethical and delicious tea!
How can people support your work/buy your products?
Kickstarter is the only place to buy our products just now: