Absorbing sustainable ideas

Laura Harnett, founder of Seep, discusses with us how to innovate in order to provide a sustainable option.

Innovation is key when it comes to producing sustainable products and the cleaning industry is no different. Consumer desire to obtain products that are effective, but good for the environment, is rapidly growing as the nation continues to look to change everyday habits for a better planet now and in the future.

The amount of limited-use detrimental plastic found in sponges and scourers is still extremely high. Based on our customer survey, we estimate up to 600m sponges are thrown away in the UK each year, with microplastics and non-biodegradable materials going to landfill.

At Seep, we saw a gap in the market: an opportunity for household essentials to be eco-friendly, plastic free and compostable. We wanted to offer a range of top performing products that are gentle on the planet and climate positive, whilst still looking attractive enough to be displayed with pride of place on top of the sink.

We know that consumers are searching for ways to positively impact the environment, and it’s essential in the innovation of dishwashing that the way products impact the planet is directly linked to this. Whilst the pandemic threw us all into disarray and best efforts for the environment continued as best they could, being at home was an eye- opener to how much waste we go through.

You can open any magazine or newspaper to read the efforts that big conglomerates are undertaking to improve the sustainability of their products and packaging, but it feels like there’s so much more to do and an even longer way to go.

Innovation in products and packaging is key when it comes to producing sustainable products. How many products do you know of that can be thrown into your garden composter and know that it will break down and help to produce nutrient rich soil for your garden? Not many, but there is movement here.


Over the years, it became easier to find greener alternatives – cleaning sprays, toilet paper, washing detergent – with many consumers switching their cleaning chemicals to be kinder to the environment. Yet when it came to the most unsexy categories in the cleaning aisle, it was a sea of plastic with very few, easy to find, well-branded, genuinely sustainable options.

Carrying out everyday chores in the home is a tiresome and sometimes gruesome task. Whilst many consumers have switched their cleaning chemical to be kinder to the environment, the tools that they clean with, or use, are still a huge problem, remaining laden with plastic. With Seep, consumers now have that option to bring their eco-friendly household chores full circle.

With 57% of consumers worldwide willing to change their purchasing habits to reduce environmental impact – a trend that will continue to grow – we launched Seep during the first lockdown, offering consumers a new breed of non-plastic essential household products. This includes our best-selling compostable Seep sponge, designed to look good in your home and that’s genuinely better for the planet.

Over 80% of common sponges are made from virgin plastic which can’t be recycled, proof that it’s down to companies such as Seep to bring environmentally friendly innovation to the dishwashing market.

The Seep loofah sponge is made with entirely renewable materials, such as wood pulp and natural loofah fibres. As a result, it’s highly absorbent, long-lasting and durable. The sponges also require less soap due to the natural fibres of the loofah and don't release microplastics when washed. Being 100% compostable, when it has reached its lifecycle (typically one month), the entire sponge can be placed in a kitchen composter or garden compost bin where it will naturally start to break down.

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