We’re taking a collective breath here at smol HQ after a very busy summer. Record-breaking temperatures and a lack of rain sure helped us laundry line-dryers… but it was bad news for gardeners and the environment. The reality of global warming begins to bite here in the UK and that just makes us all the more determined to spread the smol word and grow the revolution. Let’s catch you up with some smol talk…
Our annual away day was blessed by sunshine on the beautiful Kent coastline. Of course, we made sure to enjoy our glorious surroundings but we were there on a mission and were keen to get to it.
At first glance the beach looked clean but with guidance from Strandliners
, we discovered it was anything but. This volunteer grassroots group wage war on plastic pollution but they also survey all litter collected and record all their findings. By learning what the plastic polluting our environment actually is and where it’s coming from, we can start putting steps in place to stop it.
In just under an hour we collected 1872 items of rubbish, weighing in at just under 22kg. The most common item? Cigarette butts (641); These plastic pariahs take up to 10 years to break down, all the while leaching nicotine and heavy metals out into the environment. They inhibit plant growth and poison marine animals, before turning into microplastic pollution. One study found just 1 cigarette butt in a litre of water will kill half the fish (Novotny 2011 BMJ).
Of course there was also a huge amount of plastic food packaging and plastic water bottles plus a large quantity of discarded and broken plastic fishing nets. But the more unusual items containing plastic included firework cartridges, shotgun cases, nylon underwear and an entire tent!
Huge thanks to Strandliners for their invaluable help and education. The day strengthened our resolve to highlight the plastic pollution problem facing our planet and to find creative ways to turn wasteful into useful. And on that note, watch this space because something’s coming very soon to do just that…
We’re on a mission to challenge the big laundry brands to #bemoresmol, and stop polluting our planet with their single-use plastic. That’s why we launched The Big Laundry Plastic Amnesty, with our first ever event in Brighton!
We’ve been busy this past month collecting up as much empty laundry plastic, partnering with some brilliant businesses and locals to help get as many donations as we can. Why? To turn all that wasteful single-use plastic into something useful.
If you’re in the Brighton area (or know someone who is) and want to get involved, here’s how you can join team smol in the fight against single-use plastics…
👉 Swap your plastic for a FREE pack of smol. Join us SATURDAY 15 OCTOBER at Brighton’s Jubilee Square
from 11am-4pm to swap your empty laundry plastic for a pack of smol’s plastic-free laundry capsules on us!*
👉 Find our plastic drop-off boxes around the city. You can also use our handy drop-off boxes all month long at 5 locations across Brighton, Hove and Shoreham. Just bring along your empty laundry plastic and we’ll collect it to add to our donation pile. Click here to find out where.
Our smol hacks series is here to help you save money, energy, water and time. These super easy hacks will ensure your cleaning still gives great results all the while helping the planet and your purse.
Watch our new #washwell video
- it's full of handy tips! Like try to only run your washing machine once it’s full. We call it taking a load off and it’s going to help cut your bills and slash your carbon footprint. We know that 49% of people run their washing machines when they are not actually full at least once every week* and half loads of laundry use more than half the energy and water of a full load.
If every UK home dropped just one 40˚C load of laundry each month, we could collectively save around 120,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in a year. That’s the same as heating 43,000 households for a year. We’d also save millions and millions of litres of water, enough to fill 7000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
*The BrandBean 2020 VIDEO
It’s Dom’s turn to answer our smol talk questions and for starters we’re keen to clear up what exactly a UX Designer does… UX stands for User Experience and as a UX Designer, it’s Dom’s job to make sure our smol website is really straightforward and pleasant for our customers to use.
What's your favourite smol product and why?
Do I have to pick just one?! I would say that the multi purpose spray is my personal fave. I like it because you can make up an entire bottle of spray from a tiny tablet, and because I can re-use the same spray bottle every time. It’s ideal for cleaning my kitchen (which is where I spend a lot of my time).
What's the best bit about your job and working for smol?
The best bit about my job is that the work I do can (hopefully) make peoples’ experience when using the smol website easy and enjoyable. I love working for smol because the people I work with are great, and because our customers give really valuable and genuine feedback about the products and website.
What's a handy eco-friendly tip you can share for household cleaning?
I’m always very heavy handed when I squeeze lemon over food - any juice that lands on the kitchen counter or table can be used to wipe it down.
It's the weekend... where will we find you and what are you doing?
If it’s the summer I’ll probably be at a music festival or beer garden. In the winter I’ll most likely be following the weekend’s football. My team - Derby County - haven’t had much to cheer about lately, but I’m hoping they’ll turn things around this season.
According to the 2022 UK Poverty Report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, children have had the highest poverty rates throughout the past 25 years of any group in our society and in 2019/20, a staggering 31% of children were living in poverty.
Facing these challenges, households struggle to put food on the table, heat their home, pay rent and of course they cannot buy the essentials that many take for granted. In fact those ‘essentials’ are the first thing to go as people stop buying toiletries, long before they need to visit a food bank.
But there are 3 smol ways we can help.
👉 Donate a wash. Over 13,000 of you lovely people now support this; helping us send an incredible 60,000 washes to The Hygiene Bank in our latest donation alone. Activating this on your account sees 30p added to your order each time your smol pack processes and that allows us to send 2 FREE WASHES to those in need.
👉 Rinse, Return & Lend a Hand
. For every 4 empty bottles returned to us for reuse, we’ll donate a standard pack of 24 laundry capsules to The Hygiene Bank. Find out more here.
👉 Finally there’s our Suds in Schools scheme which launched one year ago with the aim of raising £50,000 to install mini-launderettes into schools across the UK. These machines give families in need free access to laundry facilities and detergent to ensure no child in their care has to suffer from the consequences of not having clean clothes/uniforms.
Learn more about Hygiene Poverty, The Hygiene Bank and ways you can help on our story here.
Plus, stay tuned on our socials next week from 3rd October for an extra way you can support this brilliant charity.
“Love mine. Very durable and good quality. Still using the first ones…”
Our brightly coloured, super-absorbent kitchen cloths made from plants have proved a perennial favourite amongst our customers. Most kitchen cloths are made from non-renewable sources like polyester (plastic) which won't break down when thrown away.
We use cellulose that comes from wood pulp, made from FSC approved forests, mixed with waste cotton fibres - which are all renewable materials. And what’s more they look fabulous in your kitchen!
Reuse them over and over - just squeeze out the excess water to dry between uses. You can even pop them in the dishwasher or washing machine at 30-40°C for a deeper clean. When they are past their best, simply add them in with your compost or rubbish. They will harmlessly biodegrade.
to your account to order a pack of 6 now for just £10 now with free delivery!
Remember to check out our smol socials, it’s the easiest way to keep up to speed with all things smol and we LOVE hearing from you there. You can also drop us a line with any questions at any time on firstname.lastname@example.org and if you’ve got some good ideas for our next smol talk topics then we’re all ears…