Meet the eco-friendly businesses changing the world

Get to know the Australian small businesses making the world a better place, one green step at a time.

Your Work
5 min read
If you want to make the world a better place, opening a small business is a great way to start.

Here’s how these Australian small businesses used innovative green thinking to find success while saving the environment.

Koh

Sustainable cleaning products that work

Founded by two dads living in Bondi Beach, Koh’s eco-friendly cleaning products are ridding the planet of toxic chemicals one Australian home at a time.

The idea began when Koh’s co-founder, Adam Lindsay, learned about a sustainable commercial cleaning system in Japan, and wondered whether he could create a similar product suitable for use inside the home. After working with the UNSW Green Chemistry team to formulate an eco-friendly yet effective cleaning solution, Adam joined forces with his friend Justin Alexander – and their small business has gone from strength to strength since.

Koh’s products include everything from dishwashing tablets, surface cleaners and dusting pads, to essential oils, mops and a grout brush – all independently certified to environmental and allergen standards.

person cleaning floor at home with mop

Returnr

Reusable food and drink packaging

Developed by the brains behind KeepCup, Returnr is a new environmental initiative designed to reduce food packaging waste by replacing single-use takeaway containers with reusable equivalents.

The premise is simple. Participating outlets offer customers the choice of receiving their food in a Returnr bowl. After paying a small deposit of $6, the customer rinses and returns the bowl to their nearest Returnr outlet, and receives their deposit back.

By reducing the amount of single-use packaging going to landfill, Returnr is saving resources by making recycling simple. And best of all? All materials in Returnr’s product are either 100% recyclable or biodegradable.

Environmental Printing Company

Industry leaders in green printing

The Environmental Printing Company’s founder Craig Campbell has been passionate about green printing since the 1980s. What began as simple experimentation with vegetable-based inks has grown to become an industry leader in green printing. Not only has its sustainable practices carved a path for other environmental groups to follow, its ways of doing things are now understood as the new normal when it comes to ‘environmental standards’.

Today, the Environmental Printing Company continues to seek new ways to reduce its environment footprint. By using vegetable-based inks and recycled paper it has saved hundreds of thousands of trees. And by using 40% less toner and environmentally-friendly cleaning products, a whole lot of toxic waste has been eliminated from the printing process.

Flora & Fauna

Cruelty-free, vegan beauty store

After 20 years’ working in retail, Julie Mathers decided to open a business that was in line with her environmental values. The result was Flora & Fauna, an online beauty store that only offers products that are vegan, ethically-sourced and which have a low environmental impact.

Since 2014, Flora & Fauna has grown to stock over 5500 products across 240+ brands and now offers home, fashion, health and lifestyle products alongside their fabulous cruelty-free beauty range. Flora & Fauna also removed the plastic use from each order by using paper tape and biodegradable corn starch packing peanuts – taking their eco-friendly ethos to new heights.

Who Gives A Crap

Sustainable toilet paper delivered to your door

Who Gives A Crap began after its founders learned that roughly 40% of the human population don’t have access to a toilet. That equates to about 2.3 billion people across the world living with inadequate sanitation, leading to diarrhoeal diseases that tragically result in the death of around 289,000 children under five each year.

After launching a crowdfunding campaign – in which one of the founders sat on a toilet for 50 hours – Who Gives A Crap was officially launched in March 2013. Not only is the toilet paper made from environmentally-friendly materials, they donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets for communities in need.

The Sustainable Salon

Ethical, non-toxic community hair salon

Diego Padilla Vargas and Zoran Petric founded The Sustainable Salon as an alternative to what they saw as the energy-inefficient nature of typical hair salons. With years of experience in the industry, and after much consultation with health and community organisations, they decided to create a community-minded salon which would only use sustainable colours and products, 100% renewable energy providers, LED lighting and biodegradable towels.

In fact, they’re so committed to ensuring a green future for generations to come that their team even includes a dedicated sustainability coordinator. As a bonus, their clients are offered rewards for recycling.

woman getting a blowdry in a hair salon

Modibodi

Game-changing period underpants

After the birth of her second child, Modibodi’s founder Kristy decided to create a range of leak-proof underwear as a zero-waste alternative to managing periods and bladder problems.

After two years of prototyping, testing and design, the leak-proof undies were created. It has evolved into what we know today as the Modibodi collection – a reusable, sustainable range of tops, singlets, swimwear and period and sweat-proof undies created to liberate us from endless amounts of landfill. And to give all bodies more confidence and comfort.

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