There’s no doubt that Melbourne has become a bit of a hub for entrepreneurship and startups. These days, most people you know have some sort of side hustle going on outside their 9 til 5. But the ones I want to bring to your attention right now are the ones driving positive change for our planet.
Did you know that by 2050 it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish?
More than ever before, there’s a need for us to reconsider our plastic and carbon footprint. Whether you realise it or not, but you’re most likely doing so already. Bringing your own reusable bags to the supermarket is becoming a norm since major retailers banned them in 2018. Or grabbing a cocktail in a Melbourne rooftop bar with a reusable straw instead of the single-use plastic straw is becoming normalised.
There is a shift in our consumption as we are becoming increasingly motivated to be more environmentally conscious. For many of us, price no longer drives our purchasing decision. Knowing where it was made, or how it was made tends to be the common questions asked by many modern-day, ‘conscious’ consumers.
There are a variety of simple changes we can make to reduce our impact on the environment. Let’s face it – if we don’t change our habits now then what sort of world will we leave for future generations?
From sustainable skincare to reusable straws – below are just a couple of our favourite Melbourne based startups fighting for positive change to save our planet.
GoKindly: Ethical Pillows
#GoKindly is a social enterprise that sells bed + bath goods that support women experiencing homelessness. Their signature product is a bedroom pillow.
#GoKindly gives people the chance to buy a pillow that has an extraordinary impact. When they sell 4 Pillows they fund 1 Nights Accommodation for a woman experiencing homelessness. They do this by donating 50% of their profits to partner charities WISHIN and Women’s Housing Ltd.
Their products have no single-use plastic and are ethically sourced.
Learn more about #GoKindly.
Reusable Straws: theotherstraw
theotherstraw is a social enterprise addressing plastic pollution by replacing single-use plastic straws with reusable, ethically-sourced bamboo straws. Their straws are all-natural, no nasties and made from organic, sustainably grown bamboo. They can be reused hundreds of times and are fully compostable at their lifespan.
They ethically source their bamboo straws from northern Vietnam where they work with local ethnic minority groups. All of their products are fully plastic-free and they only use post-consumer recycled materials in all their packaging.
Their bamboo straws come in handy travel kits with a natural coconut fibre cleaning brush, so you can just have them with you wherever you are. Their reusable bamboo straws also come in different sizes, so they will have a straw for every sipper.
theotherstraw donates 50% of their profits to ocean cleanup organisations to further reduce the impact single-use plastics have on the world that we live in. They also take wholesale orders.
You can learn more about them here
Be Well – Hawthorn
Be Well is a new evidence based health & fitness centre designed for people over the age of 40 in Hawthorn. Using cutting edge science in the field of life extension, this centre specialises in preventing age related diseases that are common with the onset of retirement.
Developed by Jan Owen & David James in consultation with some of the world’s leading experts on extending the human lifespan.
Laundry Detergent: DIRT
Melbourne based laundry detergent company is making big moves. Their main reason for establishing their company was to reduce the amount of plastic in the wash cycle.
Dirt is revolutionising the way we wash our clothes. Whilst doing this they are seriously reducing the impact that your weekly wash has on the environment. They have replaced all the traditional plastic packaging with a sleekly designed aluminium bottle. All the ingredients used in their washing formula is full of natural and plant-based goodies and 100% biodegradable. This is not all. They managed to actually get the cost of washing a load down by 6c a load cheaper than traditional washing detergent. You can sign up to their subscription plan based on your weekly washing loads or buy it as a once off here
They have set up a nifty refill program that refills your used pack to further minimise the waste involved.
And if that is not enough they actually also provide 50% of their profits to The Ocean Clean Up
Toilet Paper: Who Gives A Crap
Who Gives A Crap is a Melbourne based high-growth startup that is fully revolutionising the way that people are wiping their bums. All of their toilet paper (and other products) are made with environmentally friendly materials and all their products are made without trees.
On top of that, they donate 50% of their profits to build toilets for people who really need it and up to date, they have donated over $1.8 million to charities to work on sanitation projects worldwide.
You can probably imagine that it is not great to be walking around the supermarket carrying around rolls of toilet paper on a weekly basis. Who Gives A Crap have solved this problem with their subscription plans. You can just sign up and your toilet paper will get delivered to your door just like that.
Also, all their toilet paper comes wrapped in recycled paper, not plastic, and if you are lucky you will find some good toilet paper puns on them. They can be quite funny.
Learn more about Who Gives A Crap here.
Skincare: Raise The Bar
Have you ever stopped to think about what happens to all those coffee grounds leftover from your morning latte? This was the trigger of inspiration for the founder Bronte Hogarth of Raise The Bar.
An estimated 75,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds are dumped in Australia annually, – causing a huge environmental impact as organic waste releases greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
Raise The Bar is on a mission to help stop used coffee grounds from going to waste in Australia. They collect used coffee grounds from cafes and turn them into natural skincare products with zero plastic packaging.
Learn more about them here.
Humanism Global is a social enterprise that aims to eliminate poverty, one job at a time. They currently work with marginalised women in Pondicherry (South India), who face social and cultural barriers. This prevents them from having access to dignified education & employment and translates into a lack of sustainable income.
Today, the women create event merchandise including artisanal lanyards and customised 100% GOTS-Certified organic cotton tote bags. Their products are customisable and can incorporate branding and design requests, which are screen-printed by hand. Each product is handmade by the women, and comes with an ‘Impact Card’, which tells the story of the human that made your products.
Every order, contributes towards the women’s financial independence through providing them with access to safe and sustainable employment, and creates an equitable world that leaves no human behind.