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Design for Growth gives Wendy Goes Green a natural advantage

Laundry drying

Eco cleaning innovator Wendy Goes Green adapts its marketing strategy and finds new routes to market with Innovate UK EDGE's Design for Growth scheme.

Whilst the pandemic has compelled us to clean our homes more regularly and thoroughly, researchers are increasingly concerned about the impact that cleaning products can have on our health and the environment. 

Scientists at the University of Bergen, Norway, found that regular use of cleaning sprays has an impact on lung health comparable with smoking a pack of cigarettes every day

Another study in the US found that detergent pods create more than 8,000 tonnes of polyvinyl alcohol pollution annually – a substance that “has demonstrated negative effects on the environment and to the food chain by acting as vectors of harmful contaminants.” 

One Gloucestershire-based company is now looking to address these problems with a pioneering range of cleaning products that draw maximum performance from a small number of natural ingredients.

“Our R&D has focused on perfecting the balance between three natural ingredients, achieving the best possible wash without harming the environment,” says Wendy Thomson, Founder of Wendy Goes Green.

 “The top selling washing detergent brands have over 40 ingredients – with only ten typically labelled as a cleaning agent. We aim to achieve optimum results without the harmful side effects from these surplus ingredients.”

Pandemic disrupts plans

At the onset of the pandemic, Wendy Goes Green was preparing to launch its product line in shops across Bristol and Gloucestershire, but lockdown forced the company to adapt its growth strategy. 

“The pandemic took two years out of my business plan, but the support from Innovate UK EDGE has been a godsend during this time – it’s really felt like someone else believes in me and has the tools to help me succeed.” 

Design for Growth

Wendy joined the Innovate UK EDGE Design for Growth scheme and began work with Design Thinking Specialist, Fiona Myles. 

Design for Growth was made available to Innovate UK EDGE clients to develop a structured approach to exploring new challenges and markets, balancing the desirability, feasibility and viability of new opportunities. 

"The support really helped me to drill down into the essence of my products and my customer base. It led to some significant branding shifts and patent applications that I think will help the company grow.”

Innovate UK EDGE Business Planning Specialist, Heather Wright, supplemented this work with coaching on how to target retailers and grow the brand. 

"The support from Heather was really valuable – she helped me to focus on the uniqueness of my brand and how I can make a difference to my customers. 

“It’s also helped me to overcome some of the challenges that Covid has presented, focusing on new routes to market and new ways of reaching customer segments.”

For Wendy, the bespoke support from her dedicated Innovation and Growth Specialist, James Lloyd, has also introduced additional structure and accountability to her one-person business. 

“The regular check-ins help to ensure that I’m implementing the agreed strategies, that the business is progressing and that any concerns are addressed.”

Innovate UK EDGE will continue to support this Gloucestershire-based business as it redefines our relationship with cleaning and the products we use in our homes. 

The pandemic took two years out of my business plan, but the support from Innovate UK EDGE has been a godsend during this time – it’s really felt like someone else believes in me and has the tools to help me succeed.”

Wendy Thomson, Founder of Wendy Goes Green