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         9 July 2022          Danny R.

When your own products are just silly

Thankyou (the soap company) got their start in around 2008 by selling single-use bottled water.

They launched a huge campaign that caught the attention of Woolies and 7-Eleven, and have grown to become a multi-million dollar organisation that donates it's profits to life changing water projects in developing countries. They've since added other products like soap and baby stuff.

I've been to a few of their in-person presentations - the bottled water is something they jumped into with very noble intentions, but also a sprinkle of naivety.

It's become a thing they can now fully admit was a bad idea - at least a bad one to continue with. While it helped them build an amazing organisation, knowing the impact of single use plastic means that it's (in their words) just a silly product.

Over the years they tried to find ways to make it "greener" by using different packaging, or bottles with recycled plastic but in the end, again in their words, it all amounted to basically greenwashing. On paper it would look "better", but it was still a single use product that really didn't need to exist.

So in 2020, with no viable solution for making it a cleaner product, they discontinued it.

That one product alone made them many millions of dollars which impacted the lives of a lot of people.

To just switch it off purely based on values takes courage. It shows what taking responsibility for your negative impact looks like, and means they need to fill the gap that the water product will leave (which they're now doing with things like their new food products).

Do you feel "stuck" offering a lucrative product line or service that just seems wrong? There are likely alternatives - brainstorm it with someone. If you're stuck just hit reply, I'd love to help.

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