We talk to Tommie Eaton and Rebecca Dudbridge, founders of @BambuuBrush, about how they went from travelling the world to selling a million toothbrushes within nine months of launching their business.
Last updated: 21 Sep 2020 4 min read
It is estimated that over 8 million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans each year. After years spent travelling and witnessing the impact of plastic pollution first-hand, Tommie and Rebecca were inspired to try and make a difference – starting by encouraging people to ditch their plastic toothbrushes and opt for a more sustainable, bamboo-based alternative. We catch up with the team behind @BambuuBrush to find out what it takes to launch an award-winning, sustainability focused brand from your childhood bedroom.
“After a combined total of 14 years living and working around the world and seeing the negative impact plastic pollution has on the planet and people, especially those in the developing world, we wanted to use the followings we had built on social media while travelling to create a platform that would educate and inspire people.
A range of eco-friendly products from @BambuuBrush.
“We all have the power to change the world one step at a time, and for us that’s what @BambuuBrush is about – starting with one simple ask, like choosing a more sustainable toothbrush, and watching that snowball into bigger change. We’ve estimated that by selling nearly 1.5m of our bamboo toothbrushes to date, we’ve helped stop 30,000kg of plastic toothbrushes entering commercial circulation. That’s no small thing.”
“No day is the same. A perfect day would be getting up and filling out all our orders from the website, before delivering one of our plastic pollution workshops to schools or workplaces.
“Then, we’d usually deliver a community clean-up as well. We focus on our local area for these, but we’ve travelled to London, Bath and other areas to work with schools and councils to help clean up their public spaces.
“We would like a system where local people who bring plastic to our facilities get credit, whether that be for their children’s education, their grocery shop, or just for fuel to light fires”Tommie Eaton and Rebecca Dudbridge, founders, @BambuuBrush
“On any given day we put a lot of focus into our social media; we always make the effort to post at least once or twice a day, giving facts on plastic pollution and the environment, and how we can all make helpful changes in our daily lives.”
“The majority of the work we do and the companies we work with are in the travel industry, including a contract with Virgin Atlantic, which stocks our toothbrushes on its planes. Obviously, when Covid-19 hit, the industry essentially went kaput overnight. We realised that we couldn’t just rely on one product, and one industry – and so we used the time during lockdown to develop a whole new range of purposeful, eco-friendly products. We did our research to discover what the top 10 ocean polluters were – from food containers, to plastic straws – and developed eco-friendly alternatives in an effort to help reduce the quantities of low-grade, single-use plastics entering our oceans.”
“Long term, we want to set up simple recycling centres in the developing world. Alongside this, we want to set up localised initiatives or incentives to combat both plastic pollution and poverty.
“We would like to create a system where local people who bring plastic to our facilities get some sort of credit, whether that be for their children’s education, their grocery shop, or just for fuel to light fires. The plan is that the profit from sales of our current products will go towards the set-up of this.”
“Too many people try and wait until things are perfect. We have never had any external funding, we started this from our bedroom in Tommie’s parents’ house – but we didn’t let that stop us. Without sounding too cliché, just go for it. Make mistakes, learn quickly, keep adapting to every different situation and just go for it.”
For more tips on launching a business from Tommie and Rebecca, watch the video below.