Zero Co has one simple mission and it is the ultimate in mindfulness: untrash the planet! Here at Minty, we deeply admire founder Mike Smith’s audacious plan to rid the world of single-use plastic and clean up our beautiful oceans. We were delighted to dig a little deeper and find out more about this amazing company who are making (ahem) waves all over the internet and across the country. Next stop – the world!
How did Zero Co come to life and what was the inspiration?
‘Zero Co is the brainchild of Mike Smith. Mike was on an epic adventure travelling around the far flung corners of the world with his girlfriend (now wife!) Alyssa, and they found that even the most remote and beautiful landscapes on our planet were covered in plastic. In 2019, Mike shared his idea for Zero Co with the world and ran Australia’s most funded 2019 Kickstarter. With over 7000 Aussies backing his idea, Zero Co launched a line of plastic-busting products in November 2020 – and the rest is history!’
What are the philosophies and values that guide Zero Co?
‘We have a handful of brand values that we live by everyday at Zero Co HQ. One of these values is being radically transparent: we’re living in a post-truth, green-washed world, so radical transparency is the silver bullet of our times. We’ve got nothing to hide, so we try to win the hearts and minds of our community by always putting it all on the table, warts and all. Another value we live by is less talk, more rock. The world has enough people who talk about what they’re “gonna do”. At Zero Co, we’re doers. Our passion is infectious. We want to rally others to act, everyday.’
How does Zero Co work?
‘We make single-use plastic free home-cleaning and personal-care products (think body wash, laundry liquid etc), that are palm oil free, vegan, grey water safe and made from plant-based formulas here in Australia. We deliver our products carbon negative, with refill pouches that customers empty into our Forever Bottles – made from ocean, beach and landfill waste collected from clean ups which we fund around Australia! Once the pouches are emptied, customers send them back to us in a replied-paid satchel so we can clean, refill and reuse them over and over. It’s like the milkman re-imagined!’
We hear you’ve coined a new term! What’s OBL?
‘That’s right! Our Forever Bottles are made from our very own specially manufactured material called OBL, which stands for ‘Ocean, Beach & Landfill’ plastic waste. Did you know that in Australia only 13% of plastic you chuck in the recycling bin actually gets recycled? The rest? Landfill. Given this shocking stat, we’re trying to reduce the amount of plastic headed to landfill by combining curbside recycling with ocean and beach plastic we’ve collected at our clean-ups . This means that when you buy a Zero Co Forever Bottle, you’re stopping the production of new plastic whilst also cleaning up the plastic waste that’s junking up our planet.’
Tell us about your Starter Box. What’s included?
‘Our Starter Box is the perfect way to test-drive all 10 of Zero Co’s single-use plastic free products! Included is a 2-3 month supply of do-goodies for the average 4 person home, including Handwash, Bodywash, Laundry Liquid, Multi-Purpose Spray, Dishwashing Liquid, Dishwasher Tablets, Stain Remover, Shower Cleaner, Toilet Cleaner, Air Freshener. Your package is delivered direct to your door, minus all the single use plastic, with 6x reusable dispensers made from OBL, alongside 6x refill pouches made from landfill-bound waste. Zero Co products are Australian made and owned, price competitive with the big name supermarket brands and are proven as good, if not better than top shelf competitors. Good for your skin, your family and the planet!’
What other products are available at Zero Co?
‘We’re about to launch the world’s first single-use plastic free shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and deodorant. Aussies chuck out 232,877 empty bottles of these products every day! Together, we can stop this mountain of plastic going to landfill. So we’ve been working with the ex-Global Head of Product at Aesop to develop our new body-care range with an industry leading ingredients list that is free from SLS, silicones, parabens and EDTA. We’re stoked to say that we’ve just kicked off production and pre-orders for the Body Box are now available (ready for delivery Jan/Feb 22).’
What is the most rewarding thing about running Zero Co?
‘Easy! Creating a people-powered solution to the global plastic problem and helping Aussie households win the war on waste at their place.’
Zero Co has been steadily growing over the last year – what’s next?
‘Most recently, our customers had the opportunity to become Zero Co shareholders and invest in our mission to help us enter the global market and expand our product range. We raised $5M in under 7 hours and smashed the Aussie record for the largest and fastest crowdfund in history. Pretty crazy. On the back of this amazing support, we’re now ready to take our crazy idea around the world!’
Read more on our Mindfulness Hub