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Sustainable Everyday Alternatives for a Better Earth

MABLE Brush LLC

12. Responsible Consumption and Production 14. Life Below Water 15. Life on Land

Overview

MABLE helps solve three of the UN SDGs: responsible consumption & production, protecting life on land, and conserving life below water. Every year billions of plastic toothbrushes, plastic cotton swabs, and floss containers end up in landfills and oceans, polluting our environment and harming wildlife. MABLE aims to provide consumers sustainable alternatives to everyday plastic items, that are ethically m ade and of top quality. MABLE’s mission is to create and deliver beautiful products made from natural and sustainable materials to prevent plastic waste from harming the environment.

Authors

Anaha Babu

Anaha Babu

Nicholas Alois

Nicholas Alois

Rachel Kaykov

Rachel Kaykov

School

St. John's University

St. John's University

Professor

Charles Wankel

Charles Wankel

Innovation

MABLE’s main goal is to reduce the amount of plastic used in bathrooms. MABLE’s bamboo toothbrush and other personal bathroom products are designed to be sustainable and packaged holistically to reduce plastic waste. This product was designed at a time when there were few other eco-friendly toothbrushes made of bamboo on the market. MABLE products help to achieve the UN’s goal of ensuring sustainable consumption and production. MABLE products are ethically produced in facilities that are audited by 3rd party services ensuring they align with the company's ethical, quality and sustainability standards. The bamboo used is certified by the USDA as 100% biobased and can be composted. Furthermore, in its goal to be sustainable, MABLE holistically packages the toothbrushes using materials that are either fully compostable or reusable, to prevent extra plastic waste from going to landfills.

In order to continue its goal of reducing bathroom plastic, MABLE went on to develop other sustainable products, such as dental floss, cotton swabs, and travel bags. These all reduce bathroom plastic usage by eliminating the need to have plastic containers to store their products or utilizing bathroom products that are composed of plastic. For example, having dental floss in a refillable container reduces the number of plastic floss containers that are disposed of. Utilizing a bamboo toothbrush that is self-standing allows a person to eliminate the need for a plastic toothbrush holder. The offering of cotton swabs made from bamboo and cotton reduces the number of consumers that utilize cotton swabs made of plastic.

Eliminating the use of plastics will be a long journey, which is why MABLE focuses on “progress over perfection.”

Sustainable Everyday Alternatives for a Better Earth

Inspiration

MABLE was founded by three individuals who shared a passion for sustainability. The three founders —Alexey, Emma, and Gilmar— were all friends who wanted to make a change in the world. Alexey designed the first product, a stylish and eco-friendly toothbrush with a 100% biodegradable bamboo handle. Bamboo toothbrushes were a new concept that was not common in 2017 when the company was founded, and the product first launched. Emma and Gilmar saw a vision for the product, so they teamed up to create MABLE. The inspiration behind the product was the idea of making sustainable household objects. The specific idea of bamboo toothbrushes emerged through the idea of eliminating plastic waste in order to do some good in the world. All of the founders had different backgrounds, which helped them build the company and work better as a team. Emma’s interest in the product was sparked by the “fusion of design and sustainability.” The design specially used bamboo, because it is a grass that is super sustainable due to how quickly it grows. Bamboo regenerates within three to five years while other woods or grass take about twenty years to grow. Additionally, bamboo contains antifungal properties, which are great to have in a product such as a toothbrush.

One of the main inspirations for this innovation is the factor of making a change in the world. The three co-founders were excited to create a small but significant difference on the planet with their product.

Overall impact

The impact of MABLE’s innovation can be seen in a variety of ways. One example is the reduction of plastic waste in the environment. Replacing plastic with sustainable materials helps to lower pollution and cause less harm to wildlife on land and underwater. Bamboo is a great alternative because its abundant and can easily be replenished in two weeks’ time.

Another example is their Buy Give Teach program. Under this initiative, MABLE gives a bamboo toothbrush to a child in school for every toothbrush that they sell. This helps them achieve their goal of eliminating plastic in the short and long term in a variety of ways. First, they are placing more compostable and plastic-free toothbrushes in the community which will reduce waste. Additionally, they are exposing their product to more people, that could be future customers. This leads to increasing their sales as family and friends see the toothbrushes that are given to kids, thus resulting in more people being a part of the movement towards sustainability. Another part of this program is that the MABLE team goes into schools to explain the importance of using sustainable products and reducing waste. These kids will know why it is important to use sustainable products, and they will seek alternative products to help achieve the goals of reducing plastic and reducing waste. With them being involved and educated at a young age, they will be able to live using smarter products for a long period of time, thus increasing their positive impact on the environment. Combining all of the efforts of the Buy Give Teach initiative, MABLE is able to gather more people and grow their movement, resulting in the world becoming a better place.

Business benefit

MABLE has grown tremendously since its inception in 2017. The brand first launched with its main product, the toothbrush, and now offers multiple sustainable products that are made with natural, biodegradable materials. MABLE products are very cost-efficient to the consumer considering it is ethically made and of top quality. As a small business MABLE was initially sold through Instagram. Over time they were able to create partnerships with wholesalers and utilize large retail channels that helped fuel growth. These partnerships were a big leap forward and helped increase revenue, create product awareness, and generate brand exposure. There is a vast market for the product, the MABLE toothbrush is sold in North America, Latin America, and Europe. MABLE is a global company with employees are around the world, the company has provided many individuals with jobs and a way to make a living.

A new company, called HAY! Straws emerged in 2018 as a result of MABLE’s continued success. The new company was founded by the same three founders, while on a manufacturing visit, they discovered straws made from straw. At this time the anti-plastic straw movement was very popular, as a result, there was a high demanding market for alternatives. HAY! Straws are made from wheat plants, and they are natural, biodegradable, and don’t get soggy! They tested the all-natural straw product at local restaurants, and it was a huge success. HAY! Straws have grown exponentially, and revenue has doubled, especially since the market is new and very demanding.

Social and environmental benefit

Mable’s innovation of the bamboo toothbrush benefits both society and the environment. MABLE was created to give consumers alternative sustainable objects to everyday plastic objects. Unlike plastic waste, bamboo toothbrushes are biodegradable and can be composted. Likewise, the packaging is also compostable and eco-friendly. Not only are they beneficial to the environment, but they are also as well ethically made and have great quality. It is beneficial for consumers who are looking for sustainable alternatives to live more consciously. According to MABLE, “Every year billions of plastic toothbrushes, plastic cotton swabs, and floss containers end up in landfills, polluting our environment and harming wildlife.” By using natural, compostable, and sustainable alternatives rather than bioplastics we are creating less waste and reducing the amount of plastic waste that is currently in our world. In doing so we are lowering our carbon footprint and improving the entire supply chain by reducing energy use, protecting valuable ecosystems, and reducing pollution.

Eliminating the use of plastics will be a long journey that is why MABLE focuses on “progress over perfection.” MABLE wants everyone to make small changes to help the environment. Using the MABLE toothbrush and other sustainable products is an easy and cost-effective method to reduce plastic use and make our world better. MABLE focuses on creating a worldwide community of individuals who want to make the world a better palace. By living a conscious life using sustainable products we can help future generations have a better and healthier earth.


Interview

Emma Grose, Co-Founder

Photo of interviewee

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MABLE Brush LLC

MABLE Brush LLC

San Francisco, US

Business Website: https://www.brushmable.com/

Year Founded: 2010

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

MABLE’s mission is to deliver beautiful products made from natural and sustainable materials to prevent plastic waste from harming the environment, providing consumers with everyday alternatives that do not compromise quality or effectiveness.

The founders—Alexey, Emma, and Gilmar—teamed up to create MABLE. The first product launched was a super-stylish and eco-friendly toothbrush with a 100% biodegradable bamboo handle. Now, MABLE offers toothbrush travel cases, cotton swabs, and refillable dental floss containers and their refills. MABLE products are ethically produced in facilities that are audited by third party services ensuring they align with the company's ethical, quality and sustainability standards. MABLE also strives to source materials that are either fully compostable or reusable for products, to prevent plastic waste from going to landfills.