Local female-founded start-up, The Pleasant State, offering Australian-made, non-toxic, single-use plastic free cleaning spray products, has officially launched after a successful crowdfunding campaign which raised over $80,000.

The zero-waste products are delivered in a concentrated bar form activated by water with biodegradable and home compostable packaging.

The Pleasant State co-founders Sian Murray and Ami Bateman said their products filled a gap in the market for just add water products.

“Ami came across the idea of just add water cleaning products in December 2019 and learnt that most spray cleaners consist of 97% or more water – so we’re buying water and transporting it around the country only to throw the bottles away. Not only that, most have petroleum-derived ingredients, many of which have never been tested for their impacts on human health,” Murray told Retailbiz.

“Ami was going through a process of removing chemicals and plastics from her home and was keen to purchase just add water products. However, when she started looking to buy them, she quickly discovered they were not yet available in Australia or New Zealand. So we thought why not go make them?”

An international report from Unilever back in 2017 showed that one-third of consumers were choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good, and this has been reinforced by research undertaken by The Pleasant State, which shows that consumers are taking things into their own hands and making meaningful and tangible lifestyle changes to live a life that’s more aligned with their values.

“Consumers are realising the impact that their purchasing decisions can have on the world around them. Once they start making more conscious decisions in one area, it’s much easier for them to move to another so it has this great snowballing effect towards a more sustainable lifestyle,” Murray said.

And she expects the trend towards sustainable products to only become more mainstream over the next few years and not just something that appeals to the minority. “As more brands release products like ours, consumers will find that they don’t have to trade off on product quality or efficacy when making sustainable choices.”

The Pleasant State research has also shown that transparency and proof of sustainable practices are increasingly important. “Consumers are asking much more of businesses, and if they don’t have the right answers, they’ll turn to those brands that have put sustainability at the heart of everything they do.”

Reflecting on the challenges faced when starting a new business amid the pandemic, Murray said navigating the uncertainty combined with significant supply chain shocks was one of the biggest challenges.

“Prior to Covid we had this sense (misguided in hindsight) that business and projects were largely predictable and typically went to plan. Covid has completely changed our views on this but we’ve come to accept that we have very little control, we need to be super flexible and agile, and we’ve had to build in far bigger buffers into our business plans.”

But looking ahead, the co-founders are excited for what’s to come in 2021 and are now sending out pre-orders from last year’s crowdfunding campaign with a goal is to see 15,000 Australian homes make the switch to Pleasant State products.

“This will result in 100,000 single-use throwaway cleaning bottles being saved from landfill, and about $10,000 being donated to our charity partner Take 3 for the Sea,” Murray said.

“By June this year, we also aim to have the seal of approval by B-Corp – an ethical decision-making framework that helps brands make choices that have a positive impact on their workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment.

“As we establish ourselves, we will be listening and learning from our customers so we can start planning more of the long-term goals for Pleasant State.”