The story of smol and its beginnings.

Posted by smol on

It all began when 2 working parents, Paula and Nick, simply realised there was a better way to buy laundry detergent.

For decades big laundry brands had been lazy with a complete lack of innovation.

Existing formulas were just repackaged in a slightly more jazzy way but nothing genuinely new was happening. One recent trend was for brands to separate out all the components of a detergent into different parts of a capsule, add different colours to them and present them all as separate chambers. The product was exactly the same but now looked different… it was claimed this was innovation…we didn’t think it was.

When they stumbled over the word smol late one night, the revolution had a name. Turns out smol means small cute thing in street slang and was perfect for the tiny concentrated capsules being developed. A fitting name to take on big laundry. A small company working to take on the giants. 

laundry plastic

Key to solving one laundry issue was reducing the chemical content of their detergent without affecting performance. Cracking the formulation was key and when all test results came back showing smol performed as well as (or better than) the big brands, they knew smol was ready for launch.

Of course the laundry sector wasn’t an easy one to break into and it’s dominated by 3 big players, Unilever, Procter and Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser. Their major brands (Comfort, Persil, Surf, Bold, Fairy, Ariel, Daz, Lenor, Vanish, Woolite and Dettol) really rely on their relationships with supermarkets and the high street. Paula and Nick hoped their idea to sell direct to their customers would be a breath of fresh air and one that would establish a two-way relationship that revolved around trust and listening.

One huge leap forward came just two years after launch. Despite launching smol laundry capsules in recycled plastic packs, the team were working on ditching the plastic right from the start. This was a huge endeavour as UK AISE regulations require capsules be supplied to the customer in child-impeding packaging. Nothing had ever been developed in cardboard that was child-impeding for the laundry industry.

Why would the big brands bother? Virgin plastic is cheap and there was no incentive for them to innovate.

smol laundry capsules

So smol took on the task themselves. Where there is a will there’s a way and after many failed prototypes, we created a world-first that embodied their passion to be leaders in laundry and continue to shake things up.

The rest is as they say, history, with new products, new team members and new customers, the smol revolution has taken hold. In fact, we're hiring! Click here to see our open roles at smol HQ. 

the smol team - careers

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