Currently, over 600 million sponges go to landfill every year in the UK, with at least 80% of those sponges being made from virgin plastic. Seep (Sustainable Everyday Essential Products) is addressing this problem through the production of sustainable household products. The products, which include sponges, bin liners, loofah cloths and tea towels, are plastic free and 100% compostable and are designed to look good as well.
The climate positive company has benefited hugely from support from Innovate UK EDGE Innovation and Growth Specialist Polly Parkin.
Since launching in October 2020, Seep has enjoyed a 2,500% increase in sales. Now the company, which is B Corp Pending, is forecasting 150% year on year growth and aims to scale to several million in sales within three years. Seep hopes to make the move onto Innovate UK EDGE’s Scaleup Programme soon.
Seep grows with the right support
Laura Harnett, Seep’s founder, says Polly’s expert advice and knowledge has really helped her grow the business quickly and leverage the right resources. “The help that we received through Innovate UK EDGE and Polly was absolutely invaluable and made a tangible difference to our growth trajectory. Polly supported me across a range of areas, from recruitment to logistics to material selection to quality control and range building. I definitely would not be where I am now without her – I’m so grateful to receive this support.”
Although there is a ready supply of green cleaning sprays, washing detergents and toilet paper products on the market, Laura says there is a lack of other green essential products, such as sponges, cloths and bin liners. It’s those essential products that she decided to focus on. Polly helped her in the early stages in several ways:
- helping Seep communicate with and resolve some quality and manufacturing issues
- helping Seep drive down costs by suggesting it gains shipping efficiencies by full container loading where possible
- introducing Laura to a sourcing agent leading to a new business partnership- this has resulted in a wider range of products and full supply chain transparency
- better quality products, reducing the number of customer returns and complaints to almost zero
Due to strong demand, three new jobs have been created since October 2020. Seep has built up its supply chain and is now moving into a high growth phase, which is why it’s aiming for the Scaleup Programme.
“The orders were coming in so fast we had to dial down and pause the marketing campaign,” says Laura. “Now that there’s a new supplier, we can scale up more quickly.”