The Virtuebrush team have created a toothbrush made with plant based materials. The Virtuebrush is a Bamboo Toothbrush with a smooth Bamboo Handle and bristles that are infused with Activated Bamboo Charcoal. The Bamboo is naturally antibacterial while the Charcoal Bristles are naturally effective at fighting plaque and help whiten teeth by absorbing tannins - compounds found in coffee, tea and wine.
Shocked by the level of plastic waste going into our environment we want to do something about it. We brush our teeth first thing in the morning and last thing at night with plastic which is an unsustainable act. Our mission is to disrupt the plastic toothbrush industry with a symbol for sustainable living - a plant based alternative that makes for a better toothbrush as well. By providing a plant based alternative made from Bamboo we believe this will remind people every day just how easy and beneficial making small planet friendly lifestyle changes can be.
We are choosing Bamboo as it will not only divert many tons of plastic waste from entering the environment. The Moso Bamboo we use will also produce 35% more Oxygen than regular trees as it grows. Moso Bamboo can grow up to three feet in a day and the velocity of this bamboo's growth is a direct result of its immense capacity to sequester large amounts of carbon. Bamboo has many environmental virtues and in fact the Chinese people for millennia have recognised Bamboo as the “Plant of Virtue”.
Based on volume of Bamboo used in our products we will be able to measure clearly how much Carbon has been Sequestered from the Atmosphere and how much Oxygen has been added to the Atmosphere as a result of our unit sales. We will also clearly be able to measure how much plastic has been diverted from entering the environment i.e. into Landfill and Oceans. We have been speaking with an INGO with operations in several developing countries. There is potential to source a proportion of our Bamboo from small villages in developing nations, giving them not only a new source of income but an opportunity to grow Bamboo and realise all the benefits Bamboo has to offer as a crop with a thousand uses – a crop that can also help us to fight global warming globally and that can fight desertification and provide flood defense locally.
I am a person who has been interested in sustainability for a long time who was frustrated with the level of plastic in my life. I think a lot of people are feeling that frustration these days. They see there is a serious environmental problem with plastic and have very few good alternatives to choose from to help them escape from it. The toothbrush is a good example as it is something you use everyday for your whole life. You replace it 5 or 6 times a year and yet every toothbrush you ever used is probably in a landfill somewhere or floating on top of the world's oceans. So I decided a plant based toothbrush would be a good product to bring to the UK and Irish market - as I couldn't find one in shops myself. After a lot of research I found that Bamboo would be the best material to use because of its amazing material qualities and environmental virtues. I was thankfully also able to source a great supplier in Asia who has their own Moso Bamboo plantation with a very high reputation for producing bespoke Bamboo products. We now have certification to import into the EU and are ready to take orders.
Virgin Media VOOM 2016
The VOOM 2016 competition gave us the motivation to jump into marketing the Virtuebrush as there was a clear fit with where we want to go with our business and the IMPACT category of the competition. This is for businesses that put social and environmental impact, as well as profit, at the heart of their business. The response was fantastic. We did very well in the voting and also received orders during our successful Crowdfunding campaign from people in Ireland, England, France, Spain, Germany and as far away as San Francisco, Canada and Australia. We are looking forward to delivering the Virtuebrush to our new customers and having our launch party (date to be confirmed). All in all VOOM encouraged us to get out there and start speaking with customers, partners and the media (e.g. appearance on TV3, Silicon Republic) which has proven already to be a very good thing. We were delighted to be chosen as Semi-Finalists for the IMPACT Category of this prestigious business competition. Over 2,500 businesses entered the award from accross the UK and Ireland. It was a great achievement and honour to make it to the top 10.