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Who Gives A Crap about social enterprise? Australia’s most successful toilet paper disruptor, that’s who.

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Simon Griffiths

Social enterprise and personal care company Who Gives A Crap has collaborated with Melbourne artist Stephen Baker to create a limited edition Christmas toilet paper wrapper– a nostalgic pantone-inspired design that references the classic Australian summer.

Utilising Baker’s signature bold and abstract composition, the fresh and beachy designs depict holiday beach scenes in five colourways.

“I wanted to capture a typical Aussie summer vibe that is seen during the holiday period” Baker says. “I wanted these scenes to be fun, playful and full of colour; it’s all about the summer vibes during the festive season in Australia!”

Saving the world with toilet paper

Baker’s work is the latest artist collaboration for Who Gives A Crap, following the success of Beci Orpin’s limited edition collection earlier this year.

Each artist in the series creates a product that forms a beautiful addition to any bathroom, while contributing to a social cause.

WGAC_XMas15_RollHat_PeachWho Gives A Crap contributes 50 per cent of its profits to providing access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene education in the developing world.

“Since first having the idea for Who Gives A Crap, we’ve been really excited about the opportunity to collaborate with artists on limited edition wrappers,” says CEO and co-founder of Who Gives A Crap Simon Griffiths.

“The idea is to create toilet paper that’s an object of beauty rather than something that’s stuffed in the back of your bathroom cupboard. And every roll provides someone in the developing world with access to a toilet for a week!”

Stephen Baker
Stephen Baker

Griffiths selected Baker for the collaboration based on his impressive body of work, including large-scale projects around Melbourne such as his iconic mural at Fitzroy Pool. Baker’s distinct artistry continues to establish Who Gives A Crap as a sustainable toilet paper company with a difference.

Since its establishment in 2012, Who Gives A Crap has challenged perceptions around toilet paper, transforming an unglamorous product with a beautifully designed, sustainable and ethical offering.

To date, sales have provided over 69,380 people with access to a toilet for an entire year.

Who are the people behind Who Gives A Crap?

There are three co-founders; Simon Griffiths (CEO), Danny Alexander (Chief Design Strategist) and Jehan Ratnatunga (Director of Strategy), based in Melbourne, Bogota and Los Angeles respectively.

Before Who Gives A Crap, Simon co-founded and ran a non-profit cafe and bar in Melbourne CBD called Shebeen. Shebeen, where he is still a Director today, sells exotic beer and wine from the developing world and the profit from each sale is donated to a project in that drink’s country of origin.

Prior to Shebeen Simon worked briefly in engineering, then in investment banking, and I did a short stint in the NGO sector as well. “None of these roles were quite right for me, so I decided to start my own social business which took the best of each role and blended them together,” he told us.

Jehan met Simon at university and they co-founded their first business together – a click-to-give and search-to-give website called Ripple.

After finishing university he took a corporate job at Boston Consulting Group and now works in Strategy at YouTube. In his spare time he works with Who Gives A Crap in an advisory capacity.

Before Who Gives a Crap, Danny was Senior Designer at IDEO.org, where he led interdisciplinary teams on design projects in Africa and Asia, with a focus on sanitation and reproductive health.

He has worked with Method Home and Catapult Design, co-founded three businesses, and readily admits that he has a particular fondness for New York pizza.

Danny met Simon and Jehan at a social business incubator called The Unresonable Institute. “I was there as a design thinking mentor and loved where they were going with Who Gives A Crap.”

What is the inspiration behind Who Gives A Crap?

“Two and a half billion people didn’t have access to a clean toilet,” Simon told Anthill.

“That’s roughly 40 per cent of the global population and means that diarrhoea-related diseases fill over half of sub-Saharan African hospital beds and kill 1,400 children under five every day – it’s the second biggest killer of children under the age of five

“We wanted to find a smart way to fund sanitation projects and also create a fun way for people to start talking and raising awareness about the sanitation problem.

“We’d been talking about ideas around how to create a business that could achieve sustainable, scaleable impact using a product that everyone could relate to.

“Who Gives A Crap came out of that as a bit of an epiphany – I walked into the bathroom, saw a 6-pack of toilet paper sitting there and thought ‘That’s it! We start a toilet paper company, use our profits to build toilets and call it Who Gives A Crap’.

WGAC_XMas15_Rolls_Aqua“I called three friends (one of them was Jehan) and they all said I had to do it.

“Before we launched we had lots of people tell us that the name would never work, but we thought it was too good not to give it a try – worst case we knew we could change the name later.

“Who Gives A Crap has been an absolute hit and there’s no way that we would change it now!”

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