This Startup Pockets Capital to Build an Eco-Friendly Toilet Tissue Factory
There is something unique about the success story of building a business by Simon Griffiths.The time that Simon Griffiths spent 50 hours sitting on the toilet was not wasted. He managed to raise funds to build his own social startup.
Griffiths is one of the three founders of Who Gives A Crap. The Australian company aims to improve sanitation in developing countries by selling environmentally-friendly hygiene products such as toilet paper made from 100 per cent recycled materials.
The company will donate 50 percent of the profits to build toilets for those in need. This idea came when Griffiths was in the bathroom and using toilet paper. According to him, selling toilet paper to make a toilet is the right answer.
Launching from CNBC, Friday (10/8/2021), Griffiths said, “There are still two billion people who don’t have access to a toilet. That’s why we donate half of the profits to help provide access to clean toilets and water.”
Do a Sitting on the Toilet Campaign
After two years of developing environmentally friendly products, Griffiths and two of his colleagues want to raise USD 50 thousand (IDR 710 million) through crowdfunding to pay for the mass production of toilet paper.
They are holding a campaign. Griffiths sat on the toilet and vowed not to leave until his team secured a targeted fund. “I sit down for what I believe in and I won’t get up until I get toilet paper,” Griffiths said.
Ultimately, the campaign was successful in raising targeted funds after Griffiths sat for 50 hours on the toilet. The founders raised the funds needed for the first mass order, and shipped their first product in March 2013.
Since then, the company has expanded to the United States and England. The company is also building warehouses in Europe and will launch products in Canada.
The products sold are increasingly diverse. Examples are tissue made of bamboo and paper towels that can be used repeatedly.
In addition to crowdfunding, Who Gives A Crap managed to get investment from joint venture companies, such as Verlinvest, Jamjar Investments, The Craftory, and Grok Ventures. Earlier this month, the company managed to raise USD 30 million (IDR 426.2 billion) in funding.
Sustainable Business Implementation
Who Gives A Crap specifically provides toilets for people who have never seen one. In addition, the company also wants to improve waste disposal so that fewer people are exposed to water-borne diseases.
Furthermore, the company has donated more than USD 7.8 million (IDR 110 billion) for sanitation projects.
The three founders of Who Gives A Crap believe in implementing sustainable business. They also aim to remove more carbon emissions from the atmosphere than they produce.
To achieve this goal, the company moved its factories from Australia to China. Shipping from China is eight to ten times more carbon efficient.
The company’s mainstay product is recycled toilet paper made from used paper obtained from offices, schools, or notebooks. Each roll of tissue is wrapped in colored printed paper and the entire product is not plastic anymore.
Founded in 2012, the company was inspired after Griffiths and its co-founders, JehanRatnatunga and Danny Alexander, worked with humanitarian organizations around the world. They recognize the problem two billion people still face: not having access to a toilet.
So for every product sold, such as toilet paper made from 100% recycled materials, the company donates 50% of its profits to build toilets for those in need.
During the pandemic, the demands of toilet paper is increasing. Danny Alexander, one Who Gives a Crap’s founders, said, at the beginning of the pandemic the demand for the company’s products increased by around 1,100 percent.
Who Gives a Crap is a social enterprise that donates 50 percent of its profits to charities that focus on providing access to clean sanitation.