Every good business starts with a problem that needs solving.
As far as high-stakes problems go, the fate of planet earth is numero uno. It’s a lofty ambition but businesses are rising to the challenge of creating sustainable products that can reduce our impact on the environment in the long term.
Small businesses are at the forefront of the green business boom, disrupting traditional practices with eco-friendly solutions from what’s in the product to how it’s packaged.
It’s true – from little things, big things do grow.
As we mark Earth Day 2021 on 22 April, we have partnered with Amazon Launchpad to shine a light on extraordinary businesses that are making an impact by making less impact. Each of these businesses has found a customer base on Amazon Launchpad, an exclusive program for startups and emerging businesses. Your business could be next, with the latest round of Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants closing on 10 May (scroll for more below).
From the only Australian made compostable cling wrap to subscription-based natural baby wipes, these five sustainable Australian businesses have successfully turned industry-disrupting ideas into climate-conscious brands of the future.
1. Great Wrap
Jordy and Julia Kay came up with the idea of creating a compostable cling wrap after seeing just how much waste was being caused by their respective industries (Julia was an architect, Jordy was a winemaker). After two years of developing their product, the Kays launched Great Wrap, the world’s first certified compostable pallet wrap in March 2020.
This very clever plant-based biopolymer wrap breaks down in a compost pile in under 180 days and leaves behind no toxins. In landfill, it’ll take a couple of years but that’s a piece of cake compared to 500+ years it takes with plastic.
Attracting a global audience with sales on Amazon Launchpad, Great Wrap is now in a position to set up a manufacturing facility in Australia where they hope to produce a marine-degradable biopolymer. It’s a vision well worth clinging to.
2. Seed Organics
The seeds for Seed Organics’ success were sown back in 2019. Launched by founders Nate and Jules Dureau in collaboration with an Australian biochemist, this all-natural cleaning product range started selling to commercial customers looking for non-toxic, high-performance alternatives. We’re talking germ-friendly places like day care centres, medical centres and food production facilities.
Then COVID happened and cleanliness became top of mind for all of us. For Seed Organics, their powerful non-toxic, alcohol-free washes and sprays earned them international recognition as the most effective, environmentally safe and pH neutral formulations of their kind, killing 99.99999 per cent of bacteria, viruses and pathogens (as approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration).
In late 2020, Seed was approached by Amazon Launchpad to develop their ecommerce presence. It’s a move that’s helped expand and diversify their audience as they expand into international markets.
“Sustainability is not just about the development, production and packaging of products,” Nate tells Kochie’s Business Builders. “It is about how sustainable the actual usage of the products is – many toxic-based cleaning and household products are not designed to be used with the same frequency that they are being applied in a post-COVID world, which could lead to adverse health outcomes in the future.”
3. Niki’s Natural Wipes
Niki’s Natural Wipes are the world’s only all-natural baby wipes infused with soothing organic coconut oil and antibacterial Manuka Honey essence for babies with sensitive skin.
Suthan and Durka Naganayagam founded their business after their baby son Niki was hospitalised with a urinary tract infection and had ongoing nappy rash issues. With backgrounds in healthcare, science and technology, Suthan and Durka did their research and formulated a 100 per cent natural combination of organic ingredients that helped Niki’s nappy rash disappear.
Made of ethically sourced wood pulp cloth, Niki’s Natural Wipes are completely biodegradable and decompose at a much faster rate than most baby wipes. It’s a product that’s resonated with parents around the world looking for harmful chemical and toxin-free wipes that’s good for baby skin and the planet too.
4. WAW Handplanes
What happens when you love the ocean but you don’t love the plastics used in your favourite ocean activity? You do what carpenter Rikki Gilbey did and launch WAW Handplanes, a bodysurfing brand that’s riding a new wave of sustainability.
The Sydney brand sells two types of eco-friendly handplanes: The first is the WAW BadFish, made from recycled ocean plastics collected from the Great Barrier Reef. The second is the WAW Timber handplane. WAW plants a native tree for every timber handplane sold, with more than 4000 trees planted so far.
Rikki’s mission to take his quality handplanes to the world has been accelerated since he won an Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grant in 2020.
“Our online orders and eCommerce revenue is up well over 100 per cent on last year, and a large part of that can be attributed to joining Amazon,” Rikki says. “Not only through direct sales but also the awareness the Launchpad has created around our brand and products.”
5. Ethicool Books
Children’s book authors Tiegan Margetts and Stu French saw a gap in the market for beautiful picture books that tell meaningful stories to kids about changing the world.
Enter Ethicool Books, a children’s book publisher and retailer based in Melbourne. With titles aimed at children aged zero to six, Ethicool Books cover topics like environmental responsibility, equality and mental health in charming ways that motivate kids to make our planet more equitable and sustainable.
Launched at the beginning of 2020, Ethicool Books became especially relevant for families stuck at home during the pandemic looking for different story time choices. Their books are now in the hands of tens of thousands of children across more than 50 countries.
Ethicool Books is also part of the 1% for the Planet movement, meaning that they devote one per cent of their annual revenue to sustainability not-for-profits.
What about you?
Are you the next sustainable business success story? You can apply for Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants now for your chance to win one of five grants worth more than $200,000 each.
The winning businesses will receive $20,000 in cash plus marketing support and advertising packages, mentorship from Amazon experts, and industry networking opportunities.
Ten finalists will be asked to do a virtual pitch to a judging panel including Chadd Ciccarelli, head of Launchpad at Amazon Australia; Carolyn Creswell, founder of the country’s leading muesli brand Carman’s; and Kylie Frazer, managing partner of tech investment group Eleanor Ventures; and last year’s grant recipients Rosa-Clare Willis and Andrew Ford from Crock’d.
Five grant recipients will be announced in June 2021.
Apply now at www.Amazon.com.au/Launchpad. Applications close 11.59pm AEST, Monday 10 May 2021.
This content is brought to you by Kochie’s Business Builders supported by Amazon Launchpad.