Inspiration: Smol

Big performance yet small in size and price, Smol stays eco-friendly and cruelty-free on their effective cleaning products.

Name of the Company: Smol

What they do:

Home care brand selling kitchen, clothing and general cleaning products. Their environmental efforts have a focus on sustainable packaging, and a straightforward order-direct purchasing sees products delivered to customers’ doors. 

What they do well: 

  • Non-biodegradable packaging has been completely eliminated from 50 percent of their product range! All remaining products are contained in post-consumer recycled plastic, meaning Smol does not create a demand for the production of any new plastic.
  • A container refill/reuse scheme aims to keep non-biodegradable product containers in use for as long as possible.
  • Products such as the dishwash tablets designed to require minimum packaging — combined with the refile/reuse scheme, Smol keeps all packaging production and consumption to the bare minimum.
  • A customer-unique delivery schedule means customers receive a new product batch just as the current one runs out; discouraging unnecessary product consumption and manufacturing.
  • Reduced Packaging – Their packaging all fits neatly through the letterbox, meaning no excess waste from packaging “void fill” or taking up extra room on vans.

What they could improve: 

Smol says ‘goodbye to single-use plastic’ with their recycled-plastic bottle refill scheme, which from a product material perspective is true. But with nothing binding customers to return their bottles, nor a personal incentive, there’s no guarantee of the scheme’s effectiveness.

Although an excellent scheme that donates to the Hygiene Bank, some sort of customer benefit, such as redeemable points or a slight price reduction may help ensure customers always return their empties!

What does their environmental policy say? 

Smol’s Sustainability page details their green spectrum. What they promote most is sustainable packaging, of which their Kraft paper is Forest Stewardship Council certified, but efforts go beyond this. 

Resource management is also on their agenda. The main ingredient of most cleaning products is water. With this in mind, Smol cleaning sprays are actually tablets which dissolve in water, reducing the companies use of water. 

Finally, they claim to have saved over 1,000 tonnes of chemicals by formulating products with less need for them. 

What can you learn from them? 

  • By selling your products directly to consumers you retain control of carbon emissions. You have no influence over the practices of third-party emissions and there’s no guarantee that they’re doing anything to improve their environmental impact. 
  • A business model with built-in convenience: customer-direct sales, as well as delivery, can help to encourage brand loyalty. This is important for sustainable companies striving for their products to become society’s go-to’s, and move people away from the current unsustainable popular brands.

What is the cost?

Where it’s possible to see individual unit prices, it’s clear that Smol competes strongly against the popular unsustainable brands. When it comes to their surface sprays, the refill/reuse scheme is a clear benefit.

Smol Product Price Comparison
SmolPopular less sustainable alternativePack/bottle price
Smol | alternative
Unit price
Smol | alternative
Laundry capsules
(24 per pack)
Fairy non bio
(36 per container)
£4.50 | £7.00£0.18 | £0.19
Dishwasher tablets
(30 per pack)
Finish lemon
(68 per bag)
£4.60 | £11.00£0.15 | £0.16
Fabric conditioner
(128 doses)
Comfort blue 3L
(85 doses)
£10.00 | £4.00£0.07 | £0.04
Surface sprays
(3 x bottle for life3 x tablets)
Dettol
(750ml)
£10.00 | £1.50N/A

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