Hitchin couple hoping to change the world after launch of new environmentally friendly toothbrush
PUBLISHED: 14:00 16 February 2019
Hitchin couple Tom Eaton and Rebecca Dudbridge have travelled all over the world. It was on their travels they were struck by the extent of the world's plastic problem - which has inspired their new business venture.
From a spare room in their home, they run @BambuuBrush, an environmentally-friendly toothbrush business that they hope will change the world.
“Our target is to sell one million by 2020,” said former Hitchin Boys’ School student Tom, 26.
“It sounds outrageous, but we feel that with the amount of people that use toothbrushes that is a small target if we market it correctly.
“One million is our big target for the year. We are quietly confident that we will hit it.”
Such high sales numbers may sound like an ambitious amount in the first year of any businesses, but it was put into perspective when Rebecca, 28, revealed how many toothbrushes are bought worldwide each year.
“Everyone has a toothbrush,” she said.
“Over 3.6 billion get bought every year and they take more than 500 years to decompose.
“People don’t know it’s that many – neither did we until we looked into it.”
The pair are hoping that their new toothbrush will change all that, with @BambuuBrush’s motto being ‘one simple change, multiplied by millions, will change the world’.
Explaining more about the brush, 10,000 of which are piled high in boxes in their spare room-turned-headquarters, Tom said: “They are really good quality and when we received them we were so happy with them.
“They are 100 per cent bamboo and biodegradable.
“You have to snap the handle off as the only biodegradable bristles are pig or badger hair which is not really as good. So when you dispose of it you snap the head off.
“You have to look after it more because it is natural. When you use it you have to dry it after.
“If you look after it, it will last as long as a plastic toothbrush.”
Despite only going on sale on January 31, @BambuuBrush has already been shipped to 32 countries – with social media being used to push the product across the globe.
Inspiration for the product came from both the shocking facts behind toothbrush sales and how they are disposed of, but also from Tom and Rebecca’s personal experience.
“I’ve been travelling for more than five years and Rebecca has been travelling for eight years. We both travel all the time,” said Tom.
“The plastic problem in Asia is bad, but the difference from when I first went travelling and now is crazy. You can see a massive difference.
“Even then, we went to Nice in France over the summer and there you are swimming around in plastic. That’s what really made it hit home.”
By their own admission, the pair have limited business experience – with Tom telling the story of his wristband-selling venture at university and while in Australia, admitting “it lost me a lot of money”.
They are determined not to let this stop them, though.
As well as donating $0.25 of every sale to charity, they are also looking to make a difference in parts of the world most affected.
“We want to set up a recycling centre in somewhere like Bali,” Tom explained.
“As fantastic as buying our toothbrush is and as good as the waste management system is here, in South East Asia it’s minimal.
“We are going in a few weeks time to get something organised for the end of this year or start of next year.”
When asked what their message is to anyone thinking about buying a @BambuuBrush toothbrush, Rebecca said: “The fact a plastic one will still be on this planet in 500 years is big.
“It will end up in our ocean – more than likely killing marine life – or end up in landfill.”
Tom added: “It would be just reeling off all the facts to them.
“It’s the knowledge behind it. People just don’t know.
“There’s more stuff coming out about plastics, but people aren’t aware of it.
“We need to give people the knowledge so they can make their own decisions.
“If we can just somehow create this movement where people change their toothbrush, just think about how much plastic won’t be going into landfill.”
To find out more visit www.bambuubrush.com, or search @BambuuBrush to follow them on Instagram.