Plastic is out!

Loofy's

12. Responsible Consumption and Production 14. Life Below Water

Overview

Loofy’s is set to reduce the quantity of plastic waste we produce. Loofy does this by providing high-quality natural bath and shower products for daily use. The products are alternative, nature-friendly, and plastic-free, and so is their packaging. The company wants to make contributing to reducing plastic waste easily accessible to all, by offering the products through the online shop, supermarkets, vacation houses, and, before long, as a monthly subscription. Through its business model, involving carefully selected partners and suppliers, Loofy’s is successfully combining economic, environmental, and social value creation.

Authors

Valerija Golubic Woudstra

Valerija Golubic Woudstra

Clara Amend

Clara Amend

School

University of Groningen

University of Groningen

Professors

Thomas Long

Thomas Long

Margo Enthoven

Margo Enthoven

Innovation

The major innovation in Loofy’s business is alternative and innovative ways of packaging products that we are used to finding packed in plastic. This includes natural and recyclable materials such as cardboard, paper, left-over textile, glass and tin packaging. The packaging is designed in such a way, as to preserve the hygiene of the products, while at the same time minimising (or, in the case of Loofy’s products, completely removing) the plastic waste that is usually the side-effect of using such products.

Furthermore, the hand-made products, such as shampoos and tooth powder, are unique and made according to recipes developed by Dorien. Those products which are manufactured by outsourced companies are completely bio-degradable.

Another innovation that Loofy’s is presently working on is the introduction of monthly subscription to “cleanliness”. A consumer will soon be able to subscribe to a set of products, which are delivered monthly, needed for daily hygiene for that period. This works to the benefit of both Loofy's and the consumers. Needed products are conveniently delivered to the consumer's home, while Loofy’s can better plan its production, as well as secure a steady cashflow. Also, the company is simultaneously creating a base of faithful customers.

Plastic is out!

Inspiration

Two and half a years ago, Dorien went to Asia to do her study, where she was shocked by the amount of plastic waste present in the nature and in the sea. That started her thinking about the problem of plastic waste, as well as that of microplastic as a side-effect: “I figured out that I have to do something about it.” She came up with an idea how to make a change: “I thought, if I was to make a change, I would have to do it in daily life – in things that we do every day. That is why I picked out bath and shower products, to make an impact, and I really want to do that because every person can do that. It is basic to just use the products and you have then already started with reducing the plastic waste.”

Dorien decided that she wants to tackle the problem of plastic waste by starting a company offering products which will reduce the plastic waste that we produce every day. She concluded that a big difference can be made by offering plastic-free products that we use daily, and that we basically cannot live without.

Overall impact

Loofy’s and Dorien think big. Dorien wants to make her products widely accessible to maximise her impact. In one full swing, Loofy’s could have an impact on the international scale. Besides the online shop, where individual consumers can purchase Loofy’s products (or a subscription to a monthly supply of them), there are several business negotiations in the final phase for a wider scope distribution of Loofy’s products, including supermarket chains.

Several pilot projects are about to start through which the products will be visible and easily accessible to a wider range of consumers. There is an agreement with an international supermarket chain to offer Loofy’s products on its shelves, and there are ongoing negotiations with other supermarket chains present in the Netherlands. A national initiative of three nature preservation organisations in the Netherlands, offering vacations in nature, wants to supply its vacation houses with Loofy’s products in their bathrooms, as well as to sell those products through its website.

As Dorien says: “I want to make my products easily accessible to everyone. I want to ensure that everybody can afford them and use them.”

Natural, plastic-free products are coupled with the conscious selection of suppliers for packaging and the products that Loofy’s does not produce itself, reflecting the core values of the enterprise, as well as with the efforts to educate and raise awareness of consumers. In this way, Loofy’s realises its impact on all three levels of sustainability, namely the economic, environmental, and social.

Business benefit

Presently, Loofy’s is a financially sustainable business even though it has not yet reached its full scale. However, taking into account the development plans and activities of the company, it is to be expected that soon the business as well as its impact will grow.

Social and environmental benefit

The major benefit that Loofy’s generates is the one for the environment. By using Loofy’s products, the consumer does not create any plastic waste, and the waste that is produced is either highly recyclable or bio-degradable. Loofy’s products are regularly used everyday products, usually packaged in plastic – thus by using them, the amount of plastic waste can be significantly reduced.

In the social sphere, Loofy’s also makes an impact through conscious selection of partners and suppliers participating in the product creation. For example, Loofy’s soaps are offered packaged in the leftovers of curtains cut to measure. This is done in cooperation with a social enterprise initiated by a national foundation helping women victims of violence. The enterprise stimulates reintegration into society and economic independence of women beneficiaries of the foundation. So, by creating this partnership, Loofy’s creates social benefits, while at the same time leftovers of curtains are used in a sustainable way.

Finally, Loofy’s suppliers are carefully selected, based on a set of criteria. Dorien says: “There are really a lot of things I check before I go into business with another partner, to check that they fit my business. Otherwise that would not work.”

Interview

Dorien Beijk, founder and director

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Loofy's

Loofy's

Leeuwarden, Friesland, NL

Business Website: http://loofys.nl/

Year Founded: 2017

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Loofy’s is a young company established by Dorien Beijk from Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, with a mission to stimulate conscious and sustainable behaviour in consumers. The business evolves around four key concepts: sustainability – contributing to the environment and society; plastic-free – providing consumers with sustainable, plastic-free hygienic products (both in the sense of packaging and the ingredients); user-friendly – putting the customer and user-friendliness of the products at the prominent place in the way business is made; and knowledge sharing – because together we can reach more, and that is why knowledge is something to be shared with the community.

With the aim to influence as many people as possible, Loofy’s offers high-quality products that consumers use daily – bath and shower products, such as shampoos in soap form, toothbrushes, tooth powder, toothpicks, sponges and others. What makes them different from those one can buy in a conventional drug store, is that none of them are wrapped in plastic, but in an alternative plastic-free package. Also, most of them are hand-made, and they are all made of natural ingredients or materials (for example, Loofy’s toothbrushes are 100% biodegradable). All the products are certified with a CE marking, indicating conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards.

Loofy’s does not limit itself only to the supply of the products, but is actively involved in education and awareness raising of consumers. This is done through articles on its website that deal with the issues concerning sustainability and conscious consumption. As Dorien says: “It (i.e. the change in consumers’ behaviour) starts with the awareness.”