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‘Who Gives A Crap’ Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper: Funny Name, Serious Business

Who Gives A Crap: Funny Name, Serious Business
Written by Jennifer Nini

In 2012, when Simon Griffiths, Danny Alexander and Jehan Ratnatunga learned that 40% of the world (roughly 2.5 billion people) don’t have access to a toilet – they set out on a mission to solve this global problem.

Their solution? A toilet paper business with an unforgettable name: Who Gives A Crap.

Who Gives A Crap Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper- Funny Name, Serious Business

Images supplied.

It’s not just about the toilet paper though. It’s the positive economic impact of implementing toilet infrastructure and sanitation that Who Gives A Crap really cares about.

A 2012 study conducted by the World Health Organisation calculated that for every $1 invested in sanitation, there was an economic return of $5.50 in lower health costs, more productivity and fewer premature deaths. So although this profit for purpose enterprise sells toilet paper to the developed world, it donates 50 percent of its profits to charity partners such as WaterAid and Sanergy, non-profit organisations that help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world.

Who Gives A Crap launched in July 2012 with a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Co-founder Simon – an engineer and economist turned social entrepreneur – sat on a toilet in a warehouse and refused to get off the toilet seat until the business had raised enough preorders to start production. His determination and patience paid off.

Just 50 hours later, the team had raised over $50,000. Their first product delivery was in March 2013. Who Gives a Crap have been wiping away at the poverty problem ever since.

Who Gives A Crap really does give a crap.

More people in the world have a mobile phone than a toilet. It’s a shocking statistic, but it’s the truth. With one in three people not having access to a toilet, the impacts of poor sanitation can lead to illnesses that prevent people from going to school or work. But what’s worse is that almost 900 children under the age of five die everyday due to lack of toilet infrastructure and diseases associated with poor sanitation.

Who Gives A Crap tackles heavy subject matter indeed. Rather than burden consumers with these problems though, they keep the marketing light and fun. In his 2013 Tedx talk in Brisbane, co-founder Simon Griffiths humorously admits “we wanted to be the Ben and Jerry’s or the Movember of the toilet paper space.” Good thinking. Making people feel bad or feel guilty is not a great way to influence them. Bringing humour to a serious subject – toilet humour – is a more powerful method of persuasion.

The brand doesn’t stop with helping people though. It’s toilet paper is helping the planet too, because,

  • there are no inks, dyes, chlorine or fragrances in the product,
  • the product is made from recycled paper, and
  • no forests were grown or cut down to make the product.

By producing toilet paper in this way, the brand has saved 47,968 trees from being cut down, conserved 101,170,933 litres of water (that’s the equivalent of more than 40 Olympic sized swimming pools) and prevented 8,060 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

'Who Gives A Crap' Eco Toilet Paper- Funny Name, Serious Business

The products are sold almost entirely online and the business also offers a convenient subscription service so that customers don’t run out of toilet paper. The business currently ships directly to customers in 39 countries around the world and in most cases, you get free shipping (orders over $30!) and door step delivery.

Who Gives A Crap Toilet Paper- Funny Name, Serious Business

My only gripe with the product.

Forest-free recycled paper that contain no inks, dyes, chlorine or scents gets a huge thumbs up, but seriously, what is up with the excessive packaging around individual toilet paper rolls? This gets two thumbs down. It’s more ‘eco’ if there’s minimal packaging so I’d love to see an option on their site offering a box with package-free toilet paper.

Plus the cost of packaging often increases the overall price of the product. Reduce costs of packaging and you reduce the overall price so it’s cheaper for the end consumer… am I right?

Do you give a crap?

Who Gives A Crap has set a huge goal: to ensure that all people have access to a toilet by 2050. They’ll use their profits to try and make this happen, but they need your support because the more paper they sell, the more they can donate and the more people they can help.

If you’re keen to help them achieve their mission, make the switch and buy their ‘eco-friendly’ toilet paper. As extra incentive, the good folks at Who Gives A Crap have also given us a discount code so you receive $10 off your first order. Just use the code ECOWARRIORPRINCESS at checkout to claim the discounted price. Click here to shop their sustainably-produced toilet paper.

Disclosure: While EWP doesn’t get paid any affiliate commissions for promoting Who Gives A Crap, we were happy with the box of toilet paper we received as a gift, and the good karma their team promised to send our way! 

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About the author

Jennifer Nini

Jennifer Nini is a writer, activist and the founding editor of Eco Warrior Princess. In 2010, after studying Fashion Business, she launched Eco Warrior Princess to explore her interests in fashion, politics, social justice and sustainability. Jennifer is also the founder of The Social Copywriter, a digital agency harnessing the power of copywriting and content marketing to help mindful businesses reach more people. When she's not perfecting a sentence or coaching business clients, you will find her at her certified organic farm reconnecting with nature.

2 Comments

  • WGAC is the best! I use the paper to line my cockatiel’s cage, for lists and to feed to my worms when food scraps are running low. I think it’s a requirement under some obscure consumer law that they are wrapped individually or in plastic (gross) so the extra paper can at least be used for something else.

    • Thanks Sarah! Yes you’re right. Actually this is what their brand rep had to say:

      I’d like to answer your question because it’s a good one which you’re on the right track with the hygiene side of things. I had the same question as well when I started.

      Hopefully, this will help answer your question because it’s a good one which you’re on the right track with the hygiene side of things. I had the same question as well when I started.

      Hopefully, this will help answer your questionhttps://support.whogivesacrap.org/hc/en-us/articles/216081617-Why-do-you-package-your-toilet-paper-the-way-you-do-

      Kudos to WGAC for getting back to me on this matter.

      The paper is cute but then the only thing I could use it for is gift wrapping (we don’t really do gifts in our families) or to chuck in the fire when we heat up our water (we are off-grid). But then it just seems too pretty to go to waste. I understand it from a branding/marketing perspective, but still I don’t prefer fancy schmancy packaging for toilet paper lol. I’m going to offer to our employees to take home. They might find it more useful than I 🙂

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