Retail in Asia

Featured

Is sustainability the new sexy? EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with founder of Single Use Ain’t Sexy

Don’t judge a brand by its name, Single Use Ain’t Sexy (SUAS) isn’t just another gimmicky brand that comes with no substance. On the contrary, the 2-year-old brand has been coined by The Age/Sydney Morning Herald as “the brand turbo-charging Australia’s sustainability movement”. With 2 Good Design Australia Awards and 1 Pause Fest Award among the list of achievements for this up-and-coming brand, Single Use Ain’t Sexy is set to “clean up the world by eradicating single-use plastic bottles”.

More and more brands are turning to sustainability as part of their communication, but what does that mean for Single Use Ain’t Sexy? As opposed to traditional plastic hand soap bottles, SUAS redesigns glass bottles that could be reused for a lifetime. On top of that, they also replace ordinary hand soap with tablets, and by taking water out of the equation, they have been helping Australians reduce their carbon footprint by up to 80%.

SEE ALSO: The Beauty Edit: Chapter III – Post-COVID Travel Retail beauty trends revealed in TFWA Beauty

As one of the keynote speakers at the eTail Connect Australia Event that will take place on 6th – 7th September, Retail in Asia had the pleasure to catch up with Josh Howard, CEO & Founder of Single Use Ain’t Sexy, together we discussed the sustainable mechanism behind their products, the sustainability scene in Australia, and what could the audience expect from his panel.

Source: Single Use Ain’t Sexy

RiA : Can you give a short introduction of yourself?

Howard : I am the Founder & CEO of Aussie sustainable hand soap tablet brand Single Use Ain’t Sexy. I founded the business about two and a half years ago and I’m passionate about how we are transitioning the world to more sustainable consumption via our dissolvable hand soap tablets & reusable bottles.

Before starting this business, I worked in advertising in New York and I’m also a former lawyer.

RiA : What will you identify to be the hardest part of being a startup?

Howard : Things always going wrong that are often hard to anticipate and require serious brain power to fix. Plus the exhaustion and unrelenting nature of having to get up every day and do it all over again! But all good entrepreneurs know that you have to just keep persevering through the inevitable difficulties and figure out fixes and solutions to the seemingly endless list of things that go wrong.

RiA : As opposed to regular hand soap refill, why is Single Use Ain’t Sexy going with tablet refills? How exactly does that reduce carbon footprint for consumers?

Howard : We are helping our customers save the planet in 2 ways. Firstly, by not shipping water they are minimising their carbon footprint in the supply chain. Instead, they just add water at home from their tap in their bathroom or kitchen. Secondly, each time they drop another tablet into our beautiful reusable custom glass bottle, they are saving another single-use plastic soap bottle from landfill. It’s simple, sustainable and sexy – the three core elements of why our hand soap has struck a chord with consumers.

RiA : As an Australian startup, do you think the sustainability scene in Australia is relatively more mature than the rest of the world? Which will be the next market to tap into?

Howard : The thing I’ve loved seeing over the last few years is how many Aussies are genuinely committed to living more sustainably. It’s a really exciting time to be in this market and help our people transition to a greener way of life. Australians have always loved the outdoors and nature, so I think we have a very natural appreciated of how important it is to look after the planet. I also think the US, UK & Canada will be great markets for us to enter at some point in the future, so we are also looking forward to that.

RiA : What sets you apart from other sustainable homeware brands?

Howard : Everything! Our name, our tagline (‘Don’t Be A Tosser’), our greyscale colour palette, our cheeky sense of humour, our design-led products (we’ve won 2 Good Design Awards), our amazing community and our fun personality. I always say that people shouldn’t have to compromise on style, just to be more eco-friendly. We should all be allowed to look good and do good at the same time – so that’s exactly what we’re empowering people to do and how we are separating ourselves from the pack.

RiA : Where do you see Single Use Ain’t Sexy in 5 years?

Howard : We have ambitious plans for the business and in 5 years we see ourselves well on the way to becoming the global leader in the ‘just add water’ category of personal care and home cleaning products. Being recognised as a leader in our field has also been really humbling (we’ve been featured in publications such as Broadsheet, The AFR, The Herald Sun, Time Out, E News!, Channel 7, The Design Files and The Guardian) so we hope that as we continue to grow, more and more people hear about the work we’re doing to save single-use plastic bottles from landfill and want to jump on board the movement too!

RiA : What do you expect to get out of eTail Australia Connect 2022? And can you give us a sneak peek on what you will be sharing with the audience on the panel?

Howard : In a post-covid world, any excuse to get together with people in our industry and talk shop is something I don’t want to miss. I’ll be sharing all the ups and downs of running a business with attendees and having a fantastic time meeting up with everyone to learn about what they are doing too.

RiA : Why is eTail Australia Connect 2022 an event not to be missed?

Howard : It’s a great excuse for likeminded individuals in our industry and community to come together, share ideas and innovate. I look forward to seeing you there!

Register for the eTail Connect Australia Event HERE