When people talk about their favorite brands, toilet paper doesn’t usually come to mind. That could change as more people discover Who Gives A Crap. Not only is the environmentally friendly company using recycled paper to avoid cutting down any new trees to produce its products, but it is also aggressively trying to help solve sanitation issues around the world by donating 50% (you read that right, 50%!) of their profits.
So, Who Gives a Crap?
The answer to the question, “who gives a crap?”, starts with three guys who love toilet humor and humanitarian aid: Simon, Jehan and Danny. They really do give a crap. In 2012 they launched the company with an IndieGoGo campaign. Check out their campaign video below. It not only gives you most of the details of the company but also introduces you to their irreverent shared sense of humor.
It’s Actually Environmentally Friendly
So why is this TP so great? To begin with, as noted in the video, it is made from recycled paper, specifically books and office paper. So they’re off to a great start by not cutting down any new trees. In addition, the toilet paper doesn’t use any inks, dyes or scents and the paper is biodegradable.
They do individually wrap each roll in paper. And as you can see, this confused some eco-friendly customers. So Who Gives A Crap answered the question right on the packaging, and did it in a fun way. How great is that? (other brands take note, THIS is how you engage with your customers!)
Pushing the (Recycled) Envelope of Social Impact Business Models
The primary reason though that this brand is truly incredible is that they’re using their profits to support a good cause… 50% of their profits! That’s amazing. 1% for the planet is great, but 50% for sanitation projects that can save lives is truly inspiring.
It’s this type of bold thinking and inspirational business model that serve as a model for other businesses. At the time of this writing, Who Gives A Crap has been around for 6 years and donated over $1.3 million US dollars to charity using this model. If they can continue to demonstrate this is a highly successful business model, they can change industries.
As conscious consumerism continues to grow, many companies are trying to figure out how to add to their business in small ways to address consumer demand. Some businesses do thinks like adding an eco-friendly product line to a portfolio of 95% non-eco-friendly products. Others put more messaging behind moderate corporate social responsibility efforts. Who Gives A Crap shows that’s not how to do it.
At this point, a small environmental or social initiative effort isn’t going to impress anyone. Building your business around a social cause and donating 50% of profits, that’s impressive. And it’s the kind of mission-driven strategy that will win lifetime fans that drive business and social impact success.
The sanitation projects Who Gives A Crap is contributing to are directly addressing the challenge of 40% of the world’s population not having access to toilets. Living in a developed country, that’s a staggering percentage and one that’s difficult to comprehend. Lack of toilets lead to diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. The company works with WaterAid Australia, Sanergy, Shining Hope For Communities and Lwala Community Alliance to address the challenge.
Having Fun with Toilet Humor
The final reason to love this company is that the brand is just so fun and easy to use. On the “easy” front, the subscription service provides a recommendation of how frequently you should get items delivered based on how many people you have in your household. It’s pretty great to have well-timed delivery and never get caught without tp!
They’re also just fun and funny. They do an amazing job putting puns, jokes and clever comments on all of the packaging. Many brands are not successful at trying to pair fun and funny messaging alongside support of a serious cause, but Who Gives A Crap does it perfectly. They’re entertaining, yet still demonstrate a sense of reverence for their cause.
The outcome of this is exactly what any social impact brand wants to create: a brand that customers actually feel good about when they use it. Every time you receive a delivery or break out a new roll, you get a fun message to put a smile on your face and a reminder of the good that this company is doing.