Today we’re taking a deep-dive into Cert., a surface cleaner with a clear conscience. They champion an end to single-use plastic bottles & holding precious water hostage.
If a product is going to cut down on single use plastic then I’m all ears and if this piques your interest then do keep on reading. Today’s interview is super interesting.
Cert. is the first consumer launch from Hydrachem, the leading suppliers of hospital standard cleaning and disinfecting products for the NHS. Cert. offer a dissolvable tablet which provides hospital-grade cleaning products for your home.
The brand was born out of a response to a growing clamour for sustainable, ‘planet responsible’ household cleaning that strikes the right balance of being tough on bacteria & viruses YET gentle on the wider planet.
I’m always keeping my ear to the ground for new and exciting eco-friendly home-care brands hitting and hopefully disrupting a market historically dominated by the major multi-nationals. I’d heard of Splosh and have used Ocean Saver but Cert. is a new one to me. I’m very excited to be able to share the Cert. story with you today.
In today’s interview Michael Lawrence takes us Behind the Biz with Cert. and gets specific about the brand’s mission.
Tell Us A Little Bit About Your Career Background
Michael forged his sales career in a blue-chip food & drink landscape in food arenas as diverse as milkshakes, cheese and inclusion-filled, North American Ice Cream. Ben & Jerry’s was a seminal moment for Michael as he was inspired by the business’s twin-track vision to make the best possible product they could whilst giving back to the wider community with sincere corporate social responsibility.
On 1st inspection joining the home cleaning fray might seem like an unlikely career move and yet here was a young, fledgling business looking to innovate a set-in-its-ways product category whilst initiating sincere sustainable practises.
Give Us A Snapshot of the Homecare Category In Which Cert. Is Seeking To Contest?
Until COVID-19 took hold of the nation some 18 months ago it would be fair to suggest that Homecare cleaning was perhaps one of the most unsurprising and predictable product aisles within the supermarket, a sprawling fiefdom long since carved up by a small number of globally admired, multi-national backed operators.
When the pandemic first struck, The Homecare Cleaning category sales grew a staggering 35% in the blink of an eye (an extra 49 million packs of surface cleaner products were purchased in 2020) as hygiene was thrust into the spotlight like never before and homecare became a synonym for self-care.
Subsequent data suggested that two over-arching trends took place over this time-frame:
- Families moved from own-label to trusted brands
- Brands with a more plant-based, eco-ethical mindset frequently found themselves substituted for high strength, old-school propositions that prioritised killing bacteria and viruses.
Today panic-driven cleaning might have eased as the pandemic has slowly been brought under control however the seed of an idea for game-changing category innovation was sown.
What Led To The Launch of Cert.?
In its most simplistic terms homecare cleaning has traditionally been dominated by two schools of thought. On one side of the fence sat the over-engineered, old-school detergents and on the other an array of intriguingly fragrant smelling, plant-based cleaners, who for all their undeniable good, intentions still forged spawned vast ranges of cleaning products that prioritised using planet-unfriendly single-use plastic bottles, whilst hoarding vast lakes of precious water in unwieldy, aisle-clogging ranges.
A 3rd Pathway: Cert was bought from an unflinching belief that a third pathway could be navigated, a positive, common-sense track that would see it established as a ‘planet responsible’ surface cleaner that struck just the right balance of being tough on bacteria & viruses yet clear of its sustainable responsibilities.
Why Do You Love Cert. The Brand?
Cert might operate in a very unsexy category but its ambitions are clear and well-intentioned. No-one for one moment is suggesting that we’ve cracked the enigma code of planet-friendly/sustainable homecare cleaning (we’re a chlorine-based product at the end of the day) but we’ve certainly played our part shaking up a dormant sector.
Total Transparency: our product leaves a light waft of chlorine when used because we refuse to dabble in any misleading / often synthetic scents which only add to air pollution PLUS people whilst ‘ that light hospital whiff surprisingly reassuring.
We Want To Give Back: 10% of our bottom line profits will go back into deserving global water purification/disinfection projects.
We Don’t Stand Still: Like all businesses we’ve made mistakes along the way, like initially deciding to sell our cleaning tablets in plastic tubes. As a business prioritising reducing our plastic footprint this decision on reflection made no sense whatsoever, which is why from Spring 2022 our tablets will be sold in largely recyclable blister packs.
Some Striking UNICEF Stats Which Underpin Our Determination To Save Water
If current trends persist, billions of children and families will be left without critical, life-saving WASH services, stating that even by 2030:
- Only 81% of the world’s population will have access to safe drinking water at home, leaving 1.6 billion without;
- Only 67 % will have safe sanitation services, leaving 2.8 billion without;
- And only 78% will have basic hand-washing facilities, leaving 1.9 billion without.
Give Us A Layman’s Overview of Cert.
Cert is a, hospital-grade anti-viral pre-dosed tablet with a near neutral Ph (6), a 2-in-1 disinfectant & detergent which when dissolved with tap water complies with strict UK Health Security Agency guidelines regarding the use of a combined detergent and disinfectant at a dilution of 1,000 parts per million available chlorine (Vs traditional detergents that are 6x this strength).
- It’s a versatile, one-stop cleaner that negates the need for large, sprawling ranges.
- It’s uses close-at-hand tap water which means precious water isn’t trapped in bottles, warehouses or slow-moving freighters, which in turn means that our transport carbon footprint is dramatically reduced.
- Five days after the Cert tablet has been activated by the addition of tap water its chlorine strength has dissipated to such a level that it can be poured down the toilet, providing one further cleansing function before heading harmlessly down the drain.
- Each blister pack of 32 tablets saves 32 bottles heading to the ocean or landfill.
What Are The Benefits Of A High Profile Backer
Cert is lucky to have Hydrachem in its corner, a little-known British manufacturing success story yet an established voice in the fields of water purification and disinfection, providing market-leading cleaning solutions to internationally admired, non-profit organisations, the NHS and acclaimed healthcare institutions the world over.
Cert came about because of a long overdue need to take water saving learnings into Homecare cleaning.
Please Share A Business High & Low With Us
High: Our trials show that our appeal extends far beyond homes into small businesses (hairdressers, nail shops, cafes, funeral parlours….) who prioritise keeping their customers safe.
Low: This is a little understood commodity dominated product category where initiating real change is slow and laborious. Fortunately we are not alone there are many new players to a marketplace (neat, Splosh, Ocean Saver….) looking to bring meaningful change to product sector that has stayed dormant for too long.
What Advice Would You Share With Aspiring Entrepreneurs?
Only get involved in projects in which you truly believe, never judge a book by its cover and never lose sight of the fact that any business whatever its size and area of expertise has the scope to include a sincere strand of corporate social responsibility.
Thank you to Michael for taking the time to share the story and mission behind Cert. I’m always on the look out for ways to make my day-to-day life more eco-friendly and Cert seems to tick all the boxes. I can’t wait to give the Cert. surface cleaner a try.