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Monday, February 26, 2024

Eco home products firm Bower Collective sees sales rise by 234% as more households look to cut plastic waste

Davina McCall is a big fan of the subscription service for products such as laundry detergent, hand wash, skincare and bathroom products

Eco home products firm Bower Collective sees sales rise by 234% as more households look to cut plastic waste.

Launched three years ago, the Bath-based firm is looking to transform the way we buy home and personal care products and reduce plastic waste.

Products are delivered to customers’ homes and then they ‘join the refill revolution’ by pouring the liquids into reusable dispensers before returning the packaging in a pre-paid envelope, to be reused by Bower over and over again. 

Customers are given a personal calculator which allows them to measure just how much plastic they are saving by switching to a subscription model.

Just 9% of plastic waste is successfully recycled in the UK. Bower Collective says it can save each customer around 100kg of plastic waste from landfill and incineration each year.

Co-founder Nick Torday talks about Bower’s ‘laser focus’ on the pathway to profitability and continued growth on Brightpearl’s Lightning 50 podcast.

He said that too many of the big consumer products firms were trying to bolster their eco-credentials by ‘greenwashing’ without cutting out single use plastic waste which is a concern to 70% of consumers. 

He said: “I am delighted that the Advertising Standards Authority have started clamping down on brands making unsupported claims.

“Big brands cannot just ‘greenwash’ their way out of the crisis we face with the over dependence on single use plastics.”

Davina McCall is a big fan and recommended Bower on her Make the Cut podcast which provides product tips for consumers. McCall said: “Bower Collective makes reuse and refill easy – sending your pouches back in a pre-paid envelope is so easy. They sell everything you can think of to live a more sustainable life and I think they are brilliant.”

McCall said that it was “harder and harder to accept the amount of waste we generate each day”*.

Bower generates over 68% of its revenue from loyal subscribers and Torday explained the key to future growth had been developing their own tech stack to ensure that customer service was second to none.

A new addition has been adopting Inventory Planner software which gives the brand access to data driven sales forecasting, in-depth inventory data and robust, multi-levelled reporting.

Torday said: “You cannot just rely on gut instinct with inventory otherwise you are flying in the dark. We have a laser focus on data in all our decision making and Inventory Planner tells us exactly what products to buy and when to buy them to reach growing customer demand.

“It means we can ditch spreadsheet-based inventory calculations and instead receive integrated, accurate inventory insights across all our products, channels and warehouse locations that are always up-to-date.”

Bower has 11 staff and is based at Northgate Street in Bath city centre.

It  has just closed a funding round of over £900,000 from private investors. From its first funding round, it invested in direct-to-consumer sales and boosted the firm’s presence in physical retail.

Torday said sales continue to see strong growth but the focus this year was on profitability.

He said: “The world has changed dramatically over the last year and the consumer tech world is much more challenging. We are laser-focused on the pathway to profitability.”

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