After the success of its signature box, which makes it easy to go zero waste in the bathroom, Zilch has launched a new curated box of products for the kitchen.
Zilch wants to help everyone make a big impact with small changes to their daily routine and the bathroom was the natural place to start, says founder Rachel Sebastian.
“We create so much waste in our bathroom routines,” she explains.
“Everything in that box is something I personally really struggled to find zero waste alternatives for, so it felt really important to make those swaps as simple as possible for everyone. Once that box got live, I started working on the kitchen daily routines.
“The kitchen was important to me because the waste wasn’t as obvious as the bathroom boxes. It was more about the microplastics that come out of those plastic kitchen scrubbing brushes and sponges, which all end up in the sea.”
Sebastian launched her online store last year in the middle of the pandemic, however, she came up with the idea for Zilch a year earlier.
“I heard about the great pacific garbage patch and honestly it just blew my mind. I then spiralled down an internet rabbit hole and before I knew it I was hearing about microplastics in everything, and once my eyes were open to it, it’s all I could see.
“In New Zealand we’re raised to be ‘tidy kiwis’ and it’s something I still really keep to heart. It just felt like there was so much we could change, and I wanted to start somewhere and see what difference I could make in our house. It took a few months, but honestly our waste is so much lower now, and we’re looking for ways to reduce it even more every day.”
All the wheels were in motion by the time Covid hit and while Sebastian questioned whether it was still a good idea to launch, it just felt too early to be hitting the brakes.
“My pre-pandemic goal was to launch for Plastic free July and I really wanted to stick to that. It’s one of the most significant events on the eco-calendar and I thought it’d get a few people to dip their toes in a plastic-free world.
“I started with the bathroom box as these felt like the essentials for everyone, especially in the climate Zilch was launching in, and the response was so encouraging. We got featured in Broadsheet a week later and the sales (and the late nights packing the boxes up!) started pouring in.”
Ten per cent of Zilch’s profits go to the Seabin Project, an initiative that aligns perfectly with the store’s values and mission.
“We thought we could make even more impact in our quest to rid the world of plastic by using 10 per cent of our profits to combat the plastic pollution already in our beautiful oceans. The Seabin Project collects plastic waste, microplastics, oil, fuel and detergents from the ocean, capturing over 3,000kg a day.”
Sebastian has a few more boxes focusing on other daily routines in the pipeline, however, the selecting process can take months―the bathroom box took six months and the kitchen box took a year.
In the meantime she will be focusing on getting the word out and help people take small steps towards a zero waste lifestyle.
“I want to help as many people have an easy starting point here and really help them enjoy their zero waste journey. We’ll be at the Conscious Space event on 13-14 March in Sydney, so drop in and say hi if you're local.”