Ecover – The smart and sustainable way to keep it clean
We didn’t really need another reason to love Ecover, makers of eco-friendly cleaning products, and yet their #FertilisetheFuture campaign gives us just that. Acknowledging that they’ve had a bit of a boon in sales, given our current obsession with cleanliness, Ecover decided to pay those extra profits forward by investing over half a million pounds in sustainable start-ups and eco-pioneers.
The application period closed in September, but fans of Ecover can vote for their favourite projects in November, with winners announced in January. There were more than 750 applicants for the fund, all of whom proposed nature-based solutions to support conservation, restoration, and sustainability projects, something Ecover knows rather a lot about.
Ecover’s innovative history
This European company, founded in Belgium in 1979, has been practicing its eco-friendly ethos for more than four decades. Their original idea was to produce phosphate-free cleaning products, having seen the damage done to waterways and aquatic life caused by phosphate-heavy conventional cleaning chemicals. The company started in a tiny shed and went mainstream in 1989 with the launch of their first box of washing powder.
Fast forward to 1992 and the company built their very own clean manufacturing facility in Malle, Belgium, using eco-bricks made from recycled coal waste and sustainable wood, and with a living, green roof for insulation. Demonstrating the importance of durability of design in sustainable practice, the company is still housed in that factory in Malle nearly 30 years later!
It’s not just their factory that led the way, though. Ecover have consistently showed the competition that natural, eco-friendly cleaning products are tough on stains, kind to nature, and popular with customers. They even emblazoned billboards with their cleaning formula and dared their competitors to copy it!
Then, in 2009, the company created a new eco-surfactant – basically a natural way to help lift dirt from hard surfaces. This kind of chemical is usually based on petroleum, which is clearly not sustainable or planet-friendly. Ecover’s surfactant is made using sugar fermentation, which was a game changer for the natural cleaning industry.
Another game changer was when Ecover launched their palm oil-free fabric softener in 2017. Using a softener derived from French rapeseed oil instead, the company entirely removed palm oil from the formula and cut their use of (responsibly sourced) palm oil by around 200 tonnes that year.
Reducing plastic waste with Ecover
Showing that it’s not just what’s in the bottle that matters, Ecover debuted their 100% recyclable plastic bottles made from sugarcane back in 2011. Today, their bottles are made of 100% post-consumer recycled plastic in their zero-waste certified factory. And even their new limited edition Too Good to Waste washing up liquid gets in on the recycling action as it is made using 25% waste ingredients left over from beer brewing! (The ethanol and water part, not the hops or malt – don’t worry.)
The best way to support Ecover’s impressive efforts to reduce waste and support happy, healthy people and planet is to bring your bottles to the store for an Ecover refill. Reduce, reuse, recycle! Check in-store for refills of washing up liquid, laundry liquid, fabric softener, and all purpose cleaner alongside spray cleaners for the bathroom, windows, and wherever you need serious natural cleaning power.
Ecover also offer dishwasher tablets, toilet cleaners, and stain removers. So, whatever your cleaning crisis, they’ve got you covered. And, while you’re waiting for your bottles to fill, take a look at the Ecover website and vote for your favourite eco-entrepreneur at #FertilisetheFuture.