How many times do you change your toothbrush? Be honest… once, twice, three times a year? The majority of people don’t change their toothbrush enough even though most of us know it should be at least every three months.
An estimated 30 million toothbrushes are used and disposed every year in Australia―that’s about 1,000 tonnes of landfill as plastic handles aren’t biodegradable.
Toothcrush aims to change all this with the introduction of a toothbrush that’s good for your mouth and the planet. It is made from sustainably sourced bamboo, a biodegradable and renewable material grown in a Forest Stewardship Council certified sustainable bamboo plantation.
The eco-friendly bamboo handled toothbrush is available only through a subscription service―you sign up online, specify your order and whether you want a new brush monthly or bi-monthly and you’re done, it’s that simple.
Gaining more than 5,000 subscribers in New Zealand since being introduced just a few months ago, Toothcrush has now launched in Australia and is brightening smiles and bathrooms across the country.
When was Toothcrush launched and what inspired the concept?
We launched Toothcrush in December 2016 in New Zealand and September 2017 in Australia. The idea for Toothcrush was the result of family conversations around the dinner table. My husband James and I were discussing the state of our children’s toothbrushes—somehow we always forgot to add them to the shopping list.
That was the light bulb moment. We realised there was a gap in the market to remove the hassle of buying with an online subscription, and once we did some research into the importance of changing your toothbrush frequently for dental health reasons, it was a no brainer.
What challenges did you face trying to get your business up and running?
Launching a business for the first time is a steep learning curve as well as a huge adventure.
Whether it’s designing a new computer program to manage colour allocations for toothbrushes, designing 100 per cent compostable packaging (that can also survive the postal delivery service) or learning the most effective advertising medium for our business, there’s always something new to learn.
What makes Toothcrush different and unique?
Toothcrush is an alternative to your typical toothbrush. We are on a mission to banish environmentally and economically depressing toothbrushes.
We want to make it simple to keep your toothbrush and mouth fresh, without contributing to excess plastic waste. That’s why we created a beautifully designed, sustainable bamboo handled toothbrush delivered straight to your letterbox.
We only sell soft bristle toothbrushes (which are recommended by dentists worldwide) rather than contributing to the myth that hard or medium bristles are okay for your gums.
I think people generally consider toothbrushes to be one of the most mundane objects they use each day, but we are also creating a little bit of fun and style with cute, different coloured bristles.
What has the response been like so far?
The response so far has been overwhelming, which is why we wanted to bring Toothcrush to Australia—we couldn’t let New Zealand have all the fun! We’ll have close to 6,000 Toothcrush brushes delivered to New Zealanders in November and we’re seeing strong growth in Australia already.
You created a toothbrush in support of marriage equality, would you do custom brushes for corporates or charities?
The rainbow toothbrush has been really popular and we fully support the equality campaign. We love the idea of people being able to express themselves with their toothbrush. We’ve created a business that is doing well and, if the cause is right, we would love to lend it support.
What are your future plans for business growth?
At the moment we are focused on delivering the best service to our new Australian customers and scaling in a new market. We have big plans for the future, and aim to continue growing, so you’ll be the first to know when we have anything new to announce. Stay tuned!