37. Seep

Scrubbing the kitchen and cleaning the dishes has just become more eco-friendly thanks to Seep’s sustainable and stylish cleaning products.

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Sustainability Award Winner

In recognition of a sustainability leader that prioritises the health of the planet as part of its company mission.

Startups 100: Sustainability Award

Founder: Laura Harnett

Year founded: 2020
Website: theseepcompany.com

Whether it’s the sponge you use to clean the dishes, or that ragged old brush to scrub off stubborn grease, today's traditional UK cleaning accessories look like they’re straight from the 1960s. 

While other cleaning products, like surface sprays, have all seen eco-alternatives in recent decades, the materials we use with them have been ignored. All are made from virgin fossil-fuel derived materials like plastic and polyester that end up in landfills. In fact, over one billion cleaning tools are thrown away globally every single year. 

After years of working for large corporations with questionable sustainability credentials, Seep founder Laura Harnett was strolling through the supermarket when she spotted this sustainability black spot in the cleaning aisle. 

Seeing no environmental alternatives to what was on offer, she embarked on a mission to make cleaning products that work well without dirtying the planet. 

“I was never in the eco warrior camp, but I believe in helping people make easy eco swaps to products that really work,” she explains. 

The company’s range of 13 products includes its eco sponge (made from wood pulp cellulose and loofah) and the eco rubber gloves (made from ethically-sourced cotton lining). Both products are 100% compostable, putting a rubber-globe stamp on Seep’s industry-leading innovation.

I was never in the eco warrior camp, but I believe in helping people make easy eco swaps to products that really work

Seep’s inventions have proved so popular that the company has since launched in Whole Foods Market, Oxfam, Bower Collective, Big Green Smile, and Milk & More. 

As part of its innovation creative process, Seep also runs The Seep Suite wherein their community comes together to develop tools that people want by their sinks and that actually work. This approach has translated into impressive statistics, as 94% of customers say Seep’s creations work as well or better than traditional cleaning accessories. 

Seep’s commitment to sustainable transparency is admirable. Each year, it releases a report that cements its green mission statement with statistics-led impact credentials. 

In 2022, Seep saved over 19,000 tonnes of waste from going to landfill. It has also partnered with ON A MISSION, a non-profit organisation dedicated to sustainable reforestation efforts worldwide, to help fund its work to plant 626,700 trees in total. 

As the first certified B Corporation of cleaning accessories, Seep has earned the trust of multiple investors. Notable mentions Mark Roberts (ex P&G marketing) and Nigel Parrot, who has also founded numerous top-selling consumer startups.

To attest to its squeaky clean business journey, Seep recently announced it received £750,000 in a Seed funding round

In the near future, Seep is aiming to become an established grocery brand in the UK and beyond. Its dedication to green goods is already driving change in the category, serving to normalise the use of sustainable cleaning accessories for today’s consumers

It’s certainly cleaned up in this year’s index, having been selected by guest judge Chris Forbes as the winner of our sustainability award. Congratulations Seep!

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