The horror of finding a mountain of plastic, trash and debris at Everest Base Camp motivated young Gold Coast entrepreneurs to return home and tackle global pollution with a clean slate.
For Gold Coast’s identical twins Brodie and Roger Cook, tackling the enormity of global pollution meant starting small.
“We saw a problem, we were shocked and we decided to do something about it,” Brodie said.
The couple wanted to reduce the amount of plastic and waste and help ordinary people, not just ‘eco-warriors’, to make similar small changes every day.
Starting from their garage on the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia, the 26-year-olds have developed unique plant-based wash sheets that are completely biodegradable, providing a daily planet-saving change in the process.
“We didn’t set out to make washcloths, we were just focused on being environmentally conscious,” Cook said.
“We see all over the news the terrible pollution problems around the world and it’s so easy to get discouraged and wonder how this can ever be solved.
“We know we are incapable of solving the world’s pollution problems, but we do have the opportunity to make a difference and do the right thing.
“We’re starting small, with a product that is used in our daily lives and is a huge source of plastic and pollution.”
With the launch of Lucent Globe laundry sheets in March, the twins aim to help move everyday laundry away from traditional laundry detergents to plant-friendly alternatives.
The washcloths are made from coconuts and contain the enzyme protease, which helps to break down organic molecules such as blood, dirt and other stubborn stains.
The wash sheets are free of phosphate and other chemicals.
They are also fully biodegradable, meaning that they not only dissolve completely, but also biodegrade quickly to minimize environmental impact.
The laundry sheets themselves are packaged in a 100% recyclable box, eliminating the need for single-use plastics such as large plastic detergent bottles.
“We were born and raised here on the Gold Coast and we love the pristine environment. We’ve also been lucky enough to see other parts of the world, often quite remote places,” Cook said.
“We did travel to the base camp on Mount Everest. The rubbish and the amount of plastic we saw…it’s not what you wanted to see, it feels like the place is being ruined. It was a great experience, but we were also very shocked.”
Cook said the pair sold their first 1,000 boxes of washcloths in five weeks and had gained a strong following locally on the Gold Coast.
“We just wanted to do something that would help and make it easy for others too,” he said.
“Laundry sheets make it easy: you don’t have to measure and fill a cup or scoop, you just put a sheet in between your clothes.
“It has so many benefits, like helping to reduce the amount of waste and the amount of plastic, and these wash sheets do all of that.
“They are really for the common people, not just for people who are environmentally conscious. You don’t necessarily have to go out of your way to look for eco-friendly products, but this is one way you can help.”