We are proud to be working with LoofCo to promote a more sustainable solution to cleaning and washing. Find out more from Lois Clark:
We all know the importance of finding more sustainable, plastic free alternatives when creating an eco-friendly lifestyle. When we founded LoofCo in 2017, our mission was to create products that offer simple, affordable switches while helping to reduce household plastic use & waste including the microplastic particles released by plastic washing-up scourers, sponges & brushes.
However, what was equally important to creating plastic-free products, was our desire to ensure that we worked with our suppliers on an ethical, collaborative, respectful and fair-trade basis, using natural vegan plant-based ingredients and respecting their traditional methods and practices.
In our view this is so important as it adds up to products that are safer for the planet and all its inhabitants.
Cottage Industry Production
LoofCo is a range of 26 plastic-free pads, brushes, cloths & soaps for washing-up, household cleaning & body. This includes a coconut husk scraper and 8 coconut coir-based brushes that are made in small batches in rural Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has an abundance of coconut palm trees that yield coconuts every 3 months. Coconut coir fibre and husk is a bi-product from the coconuts that are processed for the food and oil industry. The coconut coir fibre is extracted from the matured brown coconut husk. It is perfect for all our brush designs as it has a strong twist resistance & remains stiff when wet. It’s a completely natural, renewable fibre that’s 100% biodegradable. Coconut husk is perfect as a traditional pan scraper. Excess coconut husks & fibre are often burnt if not used in other ways and so LoofCo products help to reduce this practice in a small way.
We take pride in the fact that LoofCo brushes & scraper are made in rural areas of Sri Lanka to our designs that are inspired by tradition and proven over generations. Our products are not mass-produced but are skilfully made by individual artisans, under a unique social enterprise-based cottage industry model. Located in rural areas where there may not be many employment choices, there is a village production centre for the brushes that supplies the necessary equipment, such as a twisting machine, wire cutters and weighing scales. The production centre leader employs workers from the local village area who can work on a flexible basis.
At these local centres, the fibres are cut and twisted around the wire into ‘rods’. Depending on the brush design, the rods of twisted fibre will then be trimmed, bent, and fashioned to the correct design of brush, quality checked and packed. The addition of a shaped rubberwood handle takes place at this stage. Our rubberwood handles are made from plantation trees that no longer yield latex for rubber. This part of the process can either take place at the worker’s home or at the production centre. The carving of the Washing Up Scraper is done by trained artisans in their home workshops.
Additionally, LoofCo brushes are fairly traded with the 10 principles of the WFTO being adhered to. So overall, this model has numerous benefits for the workers, such as higher wages than other local employment and flexible working hours that enable them to fit their work around other commitments such as childcare and collecting children from school.
Workers also enjoy trips, pilgrimages, gifts of food provisions around holiday times to further develop a feeling of community and enjoyable working conditions.
This sense of tradition, community and flexible, fair working practices is important to LoofCo and adds to our reputation as an innovative & ethical plastic-free range.
A Brush with Nature
These are the wonderful brushes & scraper that are made for you in Sri Lanka. From cleaning the Kitchen, Dishes, Bottles, Home or Garden our effective, affordable, and long-lasting brushes from LoofCo really are a ‘brush with nature’:
Washing-Up Brush, a handheld brush for scrubbing and cleaning crockery, cutlery, pans, and woks. Designed to fit into cups to remove tea stains. Washing-Up Brush with Handle, the curved brush head and rubberwood handle is perfect for everyday washing-up. Bottle Brush, a long brush for cleaning jars and tins prior to recycling, dishwasher filters and juicer blades. Scrubbing Brush, a generous handheld brush for garden and household cleaning. Mini-Scrub Brush, a small hand-held brush for scrubbing sinks, chopping boards, and getting into corners, great for travel and camping. Water Bottle Brush, a long brush especially designed for easy cleaning of reusable drinks bottles; Gardener’s Brush, a robust coir brush with rubberwood handle for cleaning pots, tools, lawnmower blades and more; Kitchen Brush, a circular handheld cleaning brush with string hanging loop; Washing-Up Scraper, an ingenious coconut husk tool that lifts baked-on food residue.
We wish you happy, healthy cleaning!
Lois & Matthew Clark, NatBrands Ltd.