At Auguste the Label, we like to think of ourselves as quite an eco-friendly bunch. We separate our recyclables, we avoid disposables and we send 1% of our yearly takings to those who need it more (namely, the Australian Marine Conservation Society and the Orangutan Society Trust) among other office initiatives.
It’s with great joy therefore that we shine a light (in this case, the bathroom light) on some of the businesses we love most, doing good by the world with their noble products and policies.
Cue Melbourne-based business Who Gives A Crap. These toilet paper extraordinaires and sanitation saviors dedicate their time to stocking bathrooms around the world with tree-free toilet paper, directing 50% of their profits to hygiene and sanitation projects in the process. Who knew going about your business could be so life-changing?
Read our interview with the team below and make the swap to a sweeter roll.
Let’s start with what you give a crap about most?
2.3 billion people (roughly 40% of the world’s population) don’t have access to a toilet – something most of us take for granted. Not having a toilet causes serious illness and if people get sick, it means they can’t feed their families or go to school. Toilets improve health conditions, provide dignity and the World Health Organisation tells us that every dollar invested in sanitation brings about $5.50 in increased economic prosperity and fewer premature deaths. We’re so glad we can be a part of the solution!
Who Gives A Crap has been up and making the world a better place for a few years now. How did the business idea initially come about?
One of our co-founders, Simon Griffiths came up with the idea. He’d been trying to figure out a new concept for a scalable social enterprise with a product that everyone could buy. One day he walked into the bathroom, saw a 6 pack of toilet paper and had an a-ha moment – why don’t we sell toilet paper, use the profits to build toilets and call it Who Gives A Crap? He immediately called three friends and they all said he had to do it… and Who Gives A Crap was born.
What’s your favourite toilet related fact?
More people in the world have a mobile phone than a toilet. Crazy, right?
To date, you’ve raised well over a million dollars to your charity partners. What are you goals for 2018?
We recently launched in the UK and US, so our 2018 goals are to further develop our presence in these markets as well as continuing our amazing success in Australia. Combined, the UK and US give us the potential to reach nearly 400m customers, versus just 24m in Australia. Our long term company goal is to ensure every single person in the world has access to a toilet. So the more people we can reach, the more money we can donate and the closer we can get to our goal.
What other initiatives does your office take to keep an eco- and socially-conscious space?
We’re also a fully distributed company, meaning that every team member works from home or co-working spaces rather than an ‘office’ (which we don’t have) which definitely cuts down on commuting. Many of our team members don’t have cars, have eco side projects outside of work, and our team members who do work in share spaces are based with social enterprises where eco and social consciousness is key. At our all company offsite last year we brainstormed ways we could be ‘greener’ in our everyday lives i.e. saying no to disposable coffee cups, straws and cutting back on meat.
What’s the company stance on toilet paper orientation: over or under?
Over, definitely! Sure, it’s personal preference, but come on, it’s aesthetically more pleasing. Plus, the inventor of toilet paper, Seth Williams, shows in his patent for toilet paper that it should be hung over. Case closed!
What other businesses should we care about?
There are so many other business we think are amazing, so here are just a few: