Saving the world, one toilet paper roll at a time
Back in 2012, I stumbled across an Indiegogo fundraising campaign for a company calling themselves Who Gives A Crap. What initially drew me in was the fresh graphic design and the production value (and humor), of their appeal video.
But WGAC also had a noble cause, taking an everyday item that all of us need to purchase (toilet paper, of all things), facilitating the order and delivery of the item to your house, and finally using the proceeds to fund sanitation projects in developing countries. I hadn’t really encountered this social enterprise business model before then, but I thought it was frikkin genius! I excitedly signed up to contribute to the campaign and eagerly awaited my first toilet paper delivery.
Purpose driven business
Since then, WGAC has grown massively, funding sanitation access to 120,000 people (current as of May 2016), and increasing their product line to include tissues and paper towels. I must also note that their design and marketing continues to be an inspiration to me (and I’m sure many others).
I actually had the pleasure of working with Simon (the OG giver of a crap), as a manager at his social enterprise bar called Shebeen in Flinders Lane, Melbourne. Shebeen shares the same profit-for-purpose model as WGAC, selling beers and wines from developing nations, with proceeds funding carefully selected projects in their country of origin. Best part is, it is a legite little bar with a droolworthy menu (Pork Belly Banh Mi, Holy mother of Delicious Goodness), kick ass staff and live music gigs every other night. Simon and his team have nailed it I reckon, and I imagine there are probably more tricks up those sleeves.
I have been buying the WGAC loo paper for a while now. It’s great, obviously not the plush 4ply you might be used to (but butts don’t need to get wiped by blankets made out of brand new trees imho), is on par with supermarket prices and gets delivered to your door. Try it! Also, if you are in Melbourne, make sure you head over to Shebeen for an after-work drink (or 5, depending on your day), you won’t be disappointed.