In 2019, it all started with their main product, a Shampop, a shampoo tablet that contains only natural ingredients. It is an excellent invention for softer and healthier hair and a breakthrough in avoiding excessive plastic particles in our environment. The innovation helps to achieve five of the Sustainable Development Goals: it contributes to cleaner water and sanitation; life below water; responsible consumption and production; climate change; and good health and well-being.
Shampop is a small business project established by five ambitious students enrolled at Hasselt University. In September 2019, they started brainstorming about a possible invention or innovation. Since consumers worldwide recognize the importance of sustainability, and because the team wanted to contribute to a better and cleaner world, their brainstorm sessions led to a sustainable shampoo tablet called a Shampop. It can be seen as a radical innovation because nobody in Europe has done it before. It consists of 100% natural ingredients that are better for people’s health, hair, and the environment.
Using a Shampoo tablet instead of regular shampoo contributes to cleaner water and sanitation and better life below water. Having 100% of natural ingredients means the tablets do not pollute clean water during hair washing. Also, the Shampop tablets are not sold in plastic bottles, which prevent plastics from ending up in rivers and oceans, which improves life below water.
Furthermore, the Shampop improves good health and well-being, encourages responsible consumption and production, and promotes climate action. It is important that shampoo contain healthy ingredients. Other shampoos consist of chemicals, which harm either skin or health. But the Shampop offers an excellent alternative to usual shampoo at competitive prices, making it easier to choose the sustainable Shampop tablet. And since Shampop aims to eliminate plastic in this world, especially plastics used in hotels, it helps combat climate change and clean up the planet.
The Shampop-team got their inspiration for this innovation from their concerns about the overload of single-use plastic in the hotel industry. All the little bottles in the hotel rooms are very polluting and produce a lot of waste. By inventing the Shampop, they wanted to reduce pollution while keeping hair washing as straightforward as existing shampoos.
Their main goal is to eliminate plastics in bathrooms and to make all cosmetics plastic-free. "If you enter a bathroom, there is an incredible amount of plastic and a lot of chemicals. You have absolutely no clue about the impact of these products," said Floris Lisabeth, a company founder. "There are so many things you do not see because you are used to them. And as a company, it is our main goal to remove plastic out of the bathroom and to solve the intrinsic problems of our daily life,” she added.
Shampop based their idea on the original shampoo bar, which has caused a lot of frustration for its users. It is very unhygienic, as every person in the house uses the same bar. Also, after using the bar, it stays wet and keeps on dissolving. Consequently, the shampoo bar shrinks while not using it. Therefore, the Shampop-team came up with a single-use tablet, the Shampop.
Sustainability is a prevalent trend, so the key to becoming a successful company is following that trend. By creating a 100% natural and sustainable Shampop tablet, Shampop related its innovation directly to sustainability and followed the trend. “Our main goal was and still is to be sustainable. We wanted to find an alternative that was completely ecological with natural sources," Lisabeth explained. “People choose consciously today. That's a trend, and we respond to it.”
Many companies are interested in a single-use sustainable shampoo tablet and look forward to collaborating with Shampop. At this early stage, the potential impact on the environment is the most apparent benefit. The Shampop is a natural product that does not contain parabens or silicones, and it helps to achieve a plastic-free bathroom. In that way, it helps reduce waste and clean up the planet.
In the short term, the company strives to impact the hotel, pharmacological, and cosmetic industries. However, they would like to change people's mindset in the long term. People do not see the inherent problems in day-to-day life. Therefore the Shampop-team wants them to opt for the sustainable alternative, even if it is a euro more expensive.
Currently, Shampop has many potentials to impact the environment, society, and other businesses substantially, but its impact is not quite there yet. However, Lisabeth noted that “Every person you can convince and every day that you use a Shampop tablet, you are making an impact.”
This new company has developed a partnership with the Shampop tablet producer and Hasselt University, which supported the establishment of the company through advertising and promotion. Due to their limited partnerships, they plan to build long-term relationships with hotels, bed and breakfasts, and online and offline shops.
Because it was a student project, they had the chance to participate in several contests which they won and received prize money and laureates. They reinvested this money into their company because their main goal was to grow quickly and significantly impact nature and the environment. They got attention from many big firms interested in the innovation of Shampop because sustainability is a hot topic in today’s world.
Since attention for the product increased, they started to invent something new. Now, they are in the early-stage development of a Shampop conditioner tablet. By doing so, they would have two unique products on the market, and they are one step closer to a plastic-free bathroom. The Shampop tablet's profit made it possible to make another sustainable product. “Sustainability and profitability can go hand in hand because you are the customer, and you make choices at the end of the day. And if that choice is a sustainable product because you follow a trend or you find it important, then sustainability and profitability go perfectly together," Lisabeth added.
Shampop establishes multiple benefits for the environment. The packaging is done in glass jars, so there is no plastic waste, and the composition of a Shampop does not contain chemicals that would pollute water. It is also suitable for the individual because a Shampop does not contain chemicals that could harm skin, and it is even available for people who need special shampoos.
With their innovation, the company wants to ban plastic out of every bathroom. Reducing waste is the main objective of Shampop, positively impacting the climate. At an environmental level and a social level, the product ensures healthier hair and skin for individuals. These two aspects make clear that sustainability is a central aspect of their flourishing company. Shampop creates added value for its customers. People are more and more committed to sustainability. Consequently, finding sustainable Shampop in a hotel would be more valuable for them. Furthermore, customers believe that it is healthier for your hair. It is also a good product at a competitive price.
In addition to innovation, the founders emphasize that persistence pays off. During the company's establishment, the founders have encountered many obstacles, but by learning from their mistakes, they created Shampop. In that way, the founders of Shampop want to inspire and motivate other students. They would like to show that just one student or a group of students can achieve something if they have a great idea where they believe in. “You have to be obsessed with your own idea and believe in its success. It must give you the energy that makes you want to go on with the innovation," Lisabeth noted.
As the company was founded less than a year ago, Shampop is still exploring the world and setting future goals. They are very ambitious, and one of their short-term objectives is to make the packaging of the Shampop 100% biodegradable. They are currently using glass jars to sell their product, which is already recyclable and less polluting than plastic bottles. In the future, Shampop can have a significant impact on the shampoo market because of its radical innovation.
They have a different composition in comparison to the big companies. If they grow rapidly in the following years, Shampop may destabilize the market. As a result, big established companies would also have to change their product, which would impact the whole shampoo industry.
Furthermore, they would like to create a Shampop-community in the long term. As Shampop aims to make the planet a better place to live, they would like to donate an important part of their revenues to charity. Each month, one person of the Shampop-community would contribute to a charity of their choice.
Roos Vandebergh, Founder
Jeff Paredis, Founder
Floris Lisabeth, Founder
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Business Website: https://shampop451742968.wordpress.com/
Year Founded: 2019
Number of Employees: 2 to 10
The Shampop is a shampoo tablet that contains only natural ingredients. It is an excellent invention for softer and healthier hair and a breakthrough in avoiding excessive plastic particles in our environment.
The founders of Shampop are five students who started a small business project (SBP), a mandatory part of their education. After Shampop won several contests in Belgium and Europe, they decided to continue running their business. The Shampop-team is now negotiating with partners and discussing things within their team to improve their product, expand its reach, extend its range of products, and engage in new business opportunities.