9 March 2021|Business Growth, Latest Posts, Launching a business, Meet the Successful Founder
I founded Clean Living in 2018. At the time, I was looking for a new opportunity with a strong cause and ethical purpose. Blue Planet II had recently aired, bringing the harm of plastic waste and C02 emissions to the forefront of my mind. I knew I wanted to do something that would help to address these overwhelming environmental issues in some way.
A friend introduced me to a bio scientist who really understood the opportunity to develop a fantastic range of natural and biological cleaning products. Unlike most domestic cleaning products that rely on harsh, toxic chemicals, our formulas harness the power of science to clean deeply, while being harmless to humans, animals and ecosystems too. We decided to set up a company that would help others to clean with conscience© – Clean Living was born! Right from the start, I wanted the company to have a strong sense of environmental responsibility, a passion for educating people and effective products that clean brilliantly.
Clean Living’s range of eco-friendly, refillable domestic cleaning products use a 100% natural plant-based formula supercharged with live, healthy bacteria. They create enzymes that completely eat away dirt and grime to clean effectively without the need for harmful chemicals. There can sometimes be a bit of scepticism about whether natural cleaning products are effective, but ours harness nature’s way of cleaning and really work! As well as our unique formulas, our packaging is a key part of our product. We were the first brand to introduce refillable aluminium bottles to the eco-cleaning space, and the refillable aspect of the brand means that we empower consumers to drastically reduce their household plastic waste. With every refill ordered, we know we’re keeping plastic out of landfill and our precious oceans.
My entrepreneurial streak has always been alive. I’ve never been one for just doing a job and going home at the end of the day. I come from a strong retail sales background, having worked with brands like The Body Shop and Holland & Barrett. I launched Clean Living knowing people are becoming more conscious about what they put in and on their bodies. But so little consideration is given to toxins that are introduced to our homes as we clean. I knew it was the right moment for these products.
Our range has been incredibly well received. In January this year, we topped the list of Best Refillable Cleaning Products in The Independent, gaining the Indy/Best Buy stamp of approval! There are plenty of new brands popping up in the refillable eco-cleaning space, so it’s brilliant to have been judged the best by an impartial review panel.
In its first year, Clean Living was recognised as the ‘Best UK Emerging Non-Toxic Cleaning Brand’ in the LUX awards and we also have the ‘Made in Britain’ accreditation as 97% of our supply chain is sourced from British businesses. We continue to attract positive reviews across the media, appearing on television and in national publications such as The Guardian, Good Housekeeping, Red and Pebble magazine, as well as receiving consistently excellent reviews from customers and high-profile eco influencers. 97% of our customers say that they would recommend our products to their friends and family.
Since coming to market 17 months ago, the products have proven popular with consumers, a success accelerated this year due to the pandemic and the heightened focus on cleanliness to protect homes and families. We saw sales grow between 50% and 150% during the early months of the pandemic. I was conscious to coordinate the message for all stakeholders. This allowed our materials to be used in the investor deck when we ran a very successful seed funding round, to give us the funding to execute our marketing launch. All of this underpins my conviction that it was the right product, at the right time!
Having set up the supply, production and fulfilment channels, I’ve also attracted the right skill and experience alongside me on the board. I believe that businesses grow twice as fast with the correct engaged advisors. This was invaluable in securing the seed investment, which will enable Clean Living to progress through a four-year business plan. We have a growing network of Brand Ambassadors, are engaging with influencers and have plans for a B2B channel. With a model similar to The Body Shop at Home and Tropic Skincare, we are recruiting people who want to be part of a movement to protect the planet, while earning commission for sharing our products with others. It’s a brilliant opportunity for people to earn additional income, with a flexible home-based business. The Direct Selling sector grew by nearly 46% last year and is the largest channel of part time income in the UK. So, it’s no surprise that we are getting a wave of interest in our opportunity.
I’m hosting regular free webinars at the moment, introducing people to our opportunity and explaining biological cleaning. People are really receptive to it – everyone wants to do something positive about the climate crisis, and Clean Living gives them a way to make a difference that fits in with their lifestyles.
I’m thrilled that the business is growing and collecting accolades and awards. But for me, the most important thing is that we are part of a movement towards a kinder way of living for ourselves, our homes and our planet. Being able to provide an opportunity for people to earn extra income at a time like this is incredible too – it makes it easy to get up in the morning when your business is driven by purpose!
My advice to anyone who thinks they have an idea is don’t sit on it. Research your market, get plenty of feedback from potential consumers and industry experts then attract talented people who share your values to cover any areas where you’re not so strong. Get that right and the rest will come together!
About the Author:
Helen Bee, an entrepreneur with a strong sales background, founded eco-friendly cleaning company Clean Living in 2018. The brand’s range of refillable biological cleaning products offer a way to clean with conscience©, without harming yourself or the planet.
Facebook: Clean Living Products
LinkedIn: Helen Bee