Thus far, we’ve shared with you our recommendations on where to find some of the best sustainable homewares, as well as some great sustainable decorating brands. So, to continue in the spirit of this mini series of helping you to create a sustainable home, today we’d like to introduce you to ten of our favourite brands that offer natural and environmentally friendly cleaning and laundry products.
Even though cleaning is not the most glamorous of activities and many of us would quite happily skip it, it is a necessary one, nonetheless. While it’s all well and good to make a beautiful home for yourself, it won’t look the part if you don’t take care of it (and the same goes for your clothes).
Yet, there can be a refuge found in the simple therapeutic act of washing the dishes or doing the laundry, a time to switch off and not look at a screen. Especially, if you do it using products that are packaged in lovely glass or metal bottles void of single-use plastics, smell heavenly owing to natural essential oils and don’t contain any synthetic ingredients potentially harmful to your health and the planet – as, unfortunately, many of the commonly used cleaners do. Ironically, the cleaning industry is one of the dirtiest out there, but luckily, there are brands that are changing that.
KINN Living is a family-run company of vegan plant-based cleaning and laundry products, founded in 2017 by mother-and-daughter team, Marie Lavabre and Sophie Lavabre-Barrow. Shortly after Sophie was born, Marie became conscious of all the potentially harmful and sensitising ingredients that baby products are loaded with, such as synthetic fragrances, parabens and sulphates. So instead, she decided to make her own natural alternatives. But it wasn’t until Sophie reached adulthood that the duo decided to launch their own company and share natural non-toxic products with the world, each good for you and your health, the environment and effective for your home.
With its minimalist keep-me bottle in sleek aluminium, an infinitely recyclable material, the UK-based brand is on a mission to reduce single-use plastic pollution. As the name of the bottle suggests, it is encouraged to be kept as the brand offers refills, which in turn come in little amber glass jars, that you can also subscribe to. The natural products rely on the natural antibacterial properties of essential oils such as rosemary or lavender, mixed with the likes of baking soda or cleaning agent made from corn sugars and coconut oil.
Manchester-based Attirecare started its journey in Amsterdam, while its founders Sebastian Collinge and Abigail Brookes lived in the Dutch capital for a year during their fashion studies. Inspired by the style of the city, its lifestyle stores and discovering everyday-use products that were both purposeful and visually pleasing, the couple noticed the absence of well-designed clothing care and cleaning products. So when they came back home to Manchester, they got to work straight away and launched Attirecare soon after in 2017.
While aesthetics is a huge part of the brand’s offering, sustainability is another. Each product from their garment care, shoe care and home care collections is made to order using essential oils for a natural scent. Avoiding harsh chemicals to ensure each formula is safe for sensitive skin and delicate fabrics, every product is packaged in a recycled amber glass bottle with aluminium top wherever possible, with refills also available. Attirecare promotes longevity by caring for your existing wardrobe and preventing clothes and shoes being thrown out, ending up in landfills.
Wilton London is not one for compromise. Founded by Mike Perry and Sam Whigham, the brand creates eco-friendly botanical home cleaning and laundry products that work just as well as their traditionally used chemical-filled alternatives, consisting of plant-derived ingredients such as surfactants derived from chicory root and soy beans. And seeing as the founding duo never liked the synthetic smells of those infamous cleaning products, they filled theirs with natural essential oils like jasmine, cedarwood and grapefruit instead, which make cleaning up all the more enjoyable and somewhat aromatherapeutic.
The brand strives to be UK’s most loved environmentally friendly cleaning brand. And it is well on the way as every formula is biodegradable and certified by the Vegan Society, packaged in recyclable and recycled plastic or card with artistic labels. The company is also BCorp-certified, meaning that it balances purpose and profit in an equal measure, meeting the highest standard of social and environmental responsibility and transparency.
Until quite recently, it seemed like stylish branding and design was not an important element of the cleaning industry space. But similar to all the brands featured here, Kinfill’s founder Reda Jouahri utilised his background in design and creative direction to launch a cleaning product that you’re not going to want to hide under the sink.
Launched in early 2020, the Rotterdam-based brand offers cleaning products for every purpose from floor to tub and tile and most recently launched, the kitchen cleaner, designed specifically to cut through the grease that cooking leaves behind. Upon receiving your cleaning kit, you might notice one thing missing – water, which usually makes for at least 90% of a regular cleaner. Kinfill cuts the unnecessary transport of water, which everyone has in their home anyway, and instead provides customers with a beautifully designed modern and minimalist spray bottle in solid Italian glass, along with a vial of a cleaning biodegradable concentrate, made with clean raw ingredients, free from harmful chemicals and colourants, to be diluted at home using tap water. And they come wonderfully scented with the likes of pine and frankincense or cucumber with melon and violet.
COLT & WILLOW
Dorset-based Colt & Willow was founded by husband-and-wife duo Tony and Annie McWilliam, combining Tony’s design background and Annie’s experience as a personal chef, which included much experience of dish-washing with harsh irritating washing-up liquids. But the push for them to create their own brand came only once they became parents of two, realising that while their house was child-proof, it was covered in nasty and foul-smelling chemicals and toxins from the cleaning products they used which were definitely not lick-proof against two toddlers.
So in 2019 they took the plunge and launched a line of cleaning products that is natural, vegan and kind to the environment with joyful scents such as bestselling geranium leaf or rhubarb, reminiscent of being in nature. Housed in chic matte amber glass bottles, the products are also available in 1 litre refills so that you can keep your original bottle for many years to come. Moreover, the brand chooses a different charity every year to donate a percentage of its profits to, such as Cool Earth, Australian bushfires or, this year, 1% For The Planet.
You might recognise MadeKind from the news pages of our latest issue. Launched in late 2020 by long-time friends Anita Parker-Elms and Caroline Jones, the brand offers natural plant-based cleaning products, creating an antidote to unnecessary plastics of traditional cleaners that are damaging to the environment and synthetic ingredients harmful to the health of your family and pets.
Instead, Anita and Caroline use formulas created by a UK-based laboratory specialising in eco-friendly formulas, utilising nature-derived ingredients with antibacterial and antiseptic properties, heavenly scented with essential oils like refreshing lavender and peppermint. Housed in stylish amber glass bottles with minimalist labels, every product from the dish wash to bathroom cleaner is also available in 1 litre or 3 litre refills in pouches or cartons, with a subscription service on offer.
READ THE LABEL LONDON
Starting out only in the summer of 2021, Read The Label London is one of the youngest brands on our list but no less experienced. Its team, led by founder Hayden Haji, has around 25 years of experience between them, and has spent months perfecting the formulas of its home care and laundry products prior to launch, each free from chemicals, SLS, SLES, parabens and artificial dyes.
The London-based brand is built on the knowledge, which many are still unaware of, that the majority of common household products contains components that can have a negative effect on the natural hormone levels of our bodies, interfering with hormonal functions. Read The Label wants to provide a safe alternative to these products that is just as effective, filled with natural plant-powered ingredients from the likes of coconut and vegetable oils, as well as essential oils such as eucalyptus and bergamot. Favouring an organic nature-inspired aesthetic, every product is packaged in amber-coloured recycled and recyclable PET bottles with illustrated labels.
Not everything good starts off that way. That is the case with Mahira Kalim’s journey to founding Spruce, an eco-friendly vegan non-toxic cleaning brand, in early 2021. Following a 10-year journey of unexplained infertility, the former tech executive decided to take a close look at her lifestyle and everything that goes into and on her body, as well as her home. What she found shocked her. Her research led her to a conclusion that microplastics and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are in pretty much everything and that World Health Organization warned as early as 2012 of the dangers of EDCs and that they are one of the likely causes of cancer and infertility.
That’s why Mahira wanted to offer a safer option for a clean home to everyone and launched Spruce. Launching with two products – a bathroom cleaner and a multipurpose one – each comes with a reusable aluminium eternity bottle in one of two pastel shades with minimalist branding and a plastic-free refill sachet to be diluted in tap water, filled with natural ingredients rating highly on the Environmental Working Group and European Chemical Agency for human and environmental safety.
And PS, during her journey of launching her brand, Mahira was able to get pregnant and welcomed her baby after all.
The story of Tincture started with a mother wanting to keep her four children safe from toxic cleaning products that only worsened their conditions like eczema and asthma. Searching for a safe yet effective alternative that wouldn’t smell of pure vinegar, Angelika Davenport was unsuccessful in her search. So instead, she took it upon herself and started her own 100% natural, sustainable and toxic-free cleaning brand in 2014.
At Tincture, every ingredient is carefully selected as antiviral botanical extracts are employed to naturally break down grease and dirt and essential oils are used not only for their antibacterial properties, but their lovely mood-lifting scents. This is all inspired by and derived from centuries-old wisdom and knowledge of ancient monasteries on the topic of herbal remedies. The website of the London-based brand lists all the given properties of its ingredients in detail. And knowing that active silver has antimicrobial benefits, hence its common use in medicine, every one of its sleek reusable white spray bottles includes silver to remain free of bacteria.
Clothes Doctor is all about reducing fashion waste and pollution by offering better care for your existing wardrobe and that way making it last. Launched by Lulu O’Connor in 2017, the founder was inspired by the way previous generations cared for their garments by repairing, altering and protecting and wanted to bring that forgotten sentiment to the 21st century.
While many believe that the likes of cashmere and silk can only be cleaned at a dry cleaners, since that is what most labels tell us anyway, London-based Clothes Doctor offers an at-home eco-friendly alternative. Its range of detergents, each targeting different materials and concerns, effectively remove stains and leave your clothes feeling soft and fresh.
Plastic-free aluminium bottles with numbered compostable labels are loaded with vegan non-bio formulas fit for sensitive skin, including the heavenly scents of natural essential oils such as cedarwood and basil.