Sustainable brands are transforming the skincare market. Innovation and ingredient provenance, not to mention their environmental and ethical impact, are making them increasingly attractive as a consumer choice.
Leading the way is Barry-based social enterprise Goodwash Company. This firm says its products look good "in the finest washrooms from Port Talbot to New York" and it's also committed to improving the lives of people and animals through its work as well.
Co-founder Mandy Powell shares Goodwash Company's story and offers some words of advice to others wanting to embark on a similar journey.
Tell us about Goodwash Company.
We're still a young company, but we're proud of the difference we've already made.
A bit about the stuff we make first of all – our products include soap, sanitiser and a range of lotions for use by retail and commercial clients. These are cruelty-free, vegan, natural and leave you feeling and smelling great.
Our stated aim as a business is to "change the world, one wash at a time" and we mean it. All of our profits go into local causes. Since 2017, when we started the company, we've helped reduce waste in the hospitality industry, donated thousands to charities, helped volunteers and provided support to dozens of adults with learning difficulties.
I'm a former Wales hockey and touch rugby player and Kelly Davies, who founded the business with me, is a Welsh football international. The brand is not just luxury and sustainable – it is very much Welsh.
We started the business with the intent to help change society for the better. We've been able to do that in these extraordinary times – for example, throughout the COVID-19 crisis we've donated thousands of emergency wash products to every NHS trust in Wales.
We want to make the world a better place. We're a luxury brand, but we're driven by an ambition to do good through our success and manufacture products using natural ingredients which are sustainable and cruelty-free.
What are your proudest moments in business so far?
We've won awards including a Wales Startup Awards – and were finalists at the Cardiff Life Awards in 2020. It always feels great to earn that kind of recognition.
But we're most proud of making a difference. When we started the company, that's what we wanted to do. We are ambitious for Goodwash Company to make environmental and social changes for the better, and that's what we've done so far. But it doesn't stop here! We want to continue that good work and ensure our legacy is about, for example, giving our employees a living wage and giving back to our community through the charity work we do. These are the things we are genuinely proud of.
If you were starting again, what would you do differently?
I think we'd have been more ambitious about raising investment. That would have given us a bit more of a head start when we were getting things off the ground. And then we could have moved into our own premises sooner as a serious social enterprise.
How has support from Business Wales AGP helped your business?
Business Wales AGP has given us massive support as we have grown the company. We've benefited from assistance with marketing as well as strategic planning. This has helped us develop a clear plan of where we want to go and how we want to expand. Online sales support has also been a positive factor in our growth.
What advice and guidance would you give other businesses starting out?
● Go for your dream.
● Be confident enough to move quickly.
● Have no fear!