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As most parents soon find out, with a new baby comes a lot of kit and a great deal of it is plastic or melamine. How much of this ends up in landfill is a worrying thought when you consider it’s the next generation that is going to have to deal with it all. Becothings is a London based company started by two young entrepreneurs that produces eco alternatives to everyday products. George Bramble and Toby Massey met through friends and originally started a company selling advertising on hangers used in dry cleaners, but with many advertising budgets cut with the onset of the credit crunch, they had to re-think their business and the pair soon turned their attention to the hangers themselves. The market for eco products was growing but it was still quite specialist and it became clear that to bring it into the mainstream, customers needed everyday products that they would use regardless of their eco-friendly credentials. Hence the Becohanger was born, a robust hanger made entirely from recycled card board that came flat packed and could easily be recycled at the end of its life.
Toby had trained as a product designer and had lived for a few years in Hong Kong and whilst there had become interested in a manufacturing process involving rice husks. The rice husks were ground, combined with natural resin and once placed in a hot mould became a rigid melamine-like material that biodegrades. Seeing the potential (particularly as the process used the by-product of the enormous rice industry rather than having to grow a crop to use) he started to think about the markets that might appreciate biodegradable products that were natural and free from the many chemicals (such as BPA) found in traditional plastics. The baby market seemed an obvious place to start and now the Becothings range includes potties, step stools and feeding sets, all in a range of beautiful colours and in stylish, contemporary designs. The potties come with a packet of seeds to encourage little ones to bury the potty in the garden, plant the seeds and watch them grow while the potty biodegrades feeding the plants. Maybe planting a potty will be the new rite of passage for children who have finally made it to the adult loo! Becothings also has a great range of pet products including bowls, food scoops, and litter trays.
The key to the brand’s success has really been to take an everyday product and turn it into an eco-friendly choice without the premium price tag that many eco-friendly or organic products have. Making it available in mainstream stores alongside regular products has also been essential in reaching customers whose priority is perhaps a well priced, well designed product rather than an eco-friendly one. Take a peek at the Becopotty at JoJo or the Becothings website for their pet products – because for us all, having one less piece of plastic in our homes has got to be a good thing.