Spring Clean

Very apt for this time of year, eco clean­ing brand Home­things is shak­ing things up with an inge­nious clean­ing tab that acti­vates with tap water. Co-founder Tim Keav­eney reveals the sto­ry behind this plan­et-sav­ing prod­uct.  

As told to Miran­da Wilkin­son

Home­things Team

“My co-founder and I launched our busi­ness in Sep­tem­ber 2020, dur­ing the sec­ond lock­down. But our eco-clean­ing brand, called Home­things, had been in the works for a while. The light­bulb moment came when we dis­cov­ered that tra­di­tion­al clean­ing prod­ucts are 90% water, and just 10% the active ingre­di­ents that actu­al­ly clean. 

It seemed bonkers to me. Espe­cial­ly when I thought about the sheer num­ber of sin­gle-use plas­tic bot­tles we accu­mu­lat­ed between us in the shared house I lived in at the time. We seemed to have a dif­fer­ent prod­uct for every task and for every cor­ner of the house. All of them came in sin­gle-use plas­tic, plen­ty of them half-used, and lots claim­ing to do exact­ly the same thing as one anoth­er.

Real­is­ing there had to be a more sus­tain­able solu­tion, I shared my frus­tra­tions with my friend, Matthew, and we began draw­ing up plans. By the time the first Lock­down hit, we’d already com­plet­ed a pre­sales cam­paign through Kick­starter that was five times over­fund­ed. That meant that the pres­sure was now on to deliv­er the eco-clean­ing dream we’d promised, and fast — glob­al pan­dem­ic or not.

The per­fect clean­ing prod­ucts need­ed to be refill­able and sus­tain­able, as well as being a pow­er­ful, non-tox­ic clean­er. We also want­ed our brand to be fun. A well-designed prod­uct expe­ri­ence can be sus­tain­able and make peo­ple smile.

After work­ing with expert chemists on hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent for­mu­las, we final­ly per­fect­ed the recipe for our tiny, 5g tabs. Since they’re acti­vat­ed at home using tap water, our sleek glass bot­tles can be refilled and reused over and over again.

By the time we got round to launch­ing, we were fac­ing yet anoth­er Lock­down. Luck­i­ly, we’d always planned to start by sell­ing our prod­ucts online and had begun carv­ing out a lit­tle cor­ner of the inter­net to call our own by this point. Our pod­cast, blog and Insta­gram were up and run­ning, and they were mak­ing waves. 

In those long months of iso­la­tion, we poured all our ener­gy into nur­tur­ing our online com­mu­ni­ty. Fol­low­ing and col­lab­o­rat­ing with oth­er peo­ple who have the same val­ues as us, has allowed us to stay inspired and con­nect­ed at a time when restric­tions mean that peo­ple have nev­er been more apart. We’ve gained close sup­port­ers and friends, but we haven’t shied away from call­ing out green­wash­ing by big­ger brands either!

The pan­dem­ic seems to have been the wake-up call lots of peo­ple need­ed to realise just how much trou­ble the plan­et is in. But now we need the biggest com­pa­nies to tru­ly con­tribute to build­ing back bet­ter and more sus­tain­able prac­tices, rather than just pay­ing it lip ser­vice. In our eyes, green­wash­ing is no less harm­ful than the plas­tic-clut­tered cup­boards we first set out to address.

One day we might be uncov­er­ing the dark truth of fast-fash­ion with sus­tain­abil­i­ty influ­encers on our pod­cast; the next we might be explain­ing the prob­lem with ‘Cleansta­gram’ on our blog. If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from lock­down, it’s that you should always speak up for what you believe in. You’re bound to draw in like-mind­ed peo­ple and ruf­fle a few feath­ers along the way; don’t let it stop you.”
- Tim Keav­eney, CEO of Home­things

See more here:
Home­things Web­site
Insta­gram
Pod­cast