This week saw us officially entering Spring, prompting us to finally cast off our scarves and gloves and, for lots of us, think about giving our homes and workplaces a good scrub! With this in mind, it's the perfect time to hear from humblestuff, Glasgow-based pioneers of eco-friendly cleaning. Humblestuff's handmade products are designed to offer fantastic cleaning power without being harmful to you or the planet; they never use harsh chemicals or artificial fragrances in any of their products, instead sticking to 'old fashioned' soap and esential oils, expertly blended together to create easy-to-use cleaning products. Even better, all of humblestuff's products are vegan, cruelty-free, and packed in recyclable materials.
We heard from Marie Savage to hear a bit more about humblestuff, her journey in setting up a small business, and her perspective on the wider cleaning industry as it stands today:
1.How/why and when did you start your business?
I began making cleaning products because I wanted to create a product that could clean the oven without giving me a headache. I have been a domestic cleaner since 2005, and was really fed up using foul smelling products.
Initially, all I was interested in doing was making a product that I could use while cleaning other people's houses, as I wanted to make my job easier. I created the Cleaning Paste, and I was delighted with the results and so were my cleaning clients. After much persuasion, I eventually contacted Trading Standards in order to find out what was involved in producing handmade household cleaning products. The rest as they, is history.
2. What advice would you give to someone starting a new business in the sector?
Don't do it. I mean it. Don't start any business unless you are willing to work at it all the time and sacrifice days and nights that could be spent with family and friends. Otherwise, go for it.
3. What motivates you?
I'm motivated by a desire to show people that toxic chemicals are the last thing we should be cleaning our homes with. It's a classic 'David v Goliath' situation, as the companies that use these harmful chemicals have the money to advertise their products on TV and reach millions of people. Thankfully, more studies are highlighting the danger of some of these chemicals and newspapers and news programmes are sharing this information with the public, so it's a matter of time before people reject these big brand products and look to less toxic products, like humblestuff.
4. How do you think the food & drinks industry could improve?
The best thing that could happen would be for the UK to follow New York and California by introducing a requirement for cleaning product manufacturers to disclose the ingredients. Most people have no idea what's inside some products, and that is wrong.
5. Is there an individual or organisation, current or in the past, who inspires you?
There are so many organisations doing great things, but for me 'Stink! The Movie' a film about one Father's search to find out about secret chemicals within everyday products is inspiring me to keep on highlighting this big issue.
6. Apart from Greencity, which other three or more people, living or deceased, would you invite to make a dinner party entertaining?
I think I would have to invite Dame Agatha Christie, because I am a huge fan of her work. I'd also invite Graham Norton because he looks like a good laugh as well as my friend Carmen because she is brilliant.