Founded by Sydney owners Jessica Bragdon and Paul Davidson, KOALA ECO is a stylish, plant based, chemical-free, cleaning range. Not only were we excited to try this thoughtfully crafted, eco range, but we were also looking forward to sharing their story with you!
Jessica, what inspired you to create Koala Eco, chemical-free cleaning products?
Out of frustration! My husband Paul and I felt our two young sons (and our family dog) shouldn’t have to hold their breath in order to avoid absorbing chemicals every time we cleaned the family home, so we were constantly on the hunt for safe, affordable, chemical-free cleaning products that not only could make our home smell (naturally) fabulous but would also actually work.
After repeatedly drawing a blank, we decided to make our own cleaning products, using formulas derived from nature and sourced locally. We’re both from entrepreneurial backgrounds, and so being Koala Eco’s first — and therefore possibly most demanding — customers, we had some pretty specific and sophisticated aims in mind. Primarily we wanted something that not only worked flawlessly, but also could be misted safely around our children. Then, aside from the formulas being 100 percent safe and effective, we also wanted our products to look stylish in case we needed them handy for easy access, or were just too busy to put them away.
So we did a lot of research and started working carefully with a local chemist and lab to create really special products, and the result was Koala Eco, launched in Sydney earlier in 2017. Because it’s an Australian company committed to the wellbeing of the planet, we named it after the koala, a marsupial that’s instantly identifiable with Australia, but which is also suffering population decline owing to reduced habitat.
What ingredients are Koala Eco products made up of and where do you source them from?
We’ve done our research to ensure that Koala Eco products are absolutely free of any synthetic chemicals. We use only 100 percent pure Australian essential oils, because these, when combined with vinegar, sugar-based biodegradable alcohol and bicarbonate soda are just such great alternatives to caustic cleaning products. Essential oils in particular are fragrant and effective antibacterial alternatives to thousands of mainstream chemical-laden products. Especially when combined with other natural biodegradable grime-fighting ingredients, essential oils are equally (or more) effective than toxic chemicals. We know they are chemical/toxic-free because we research, source, and test every ingredient that goes into our products. It’s that simple. If you take a look at the ingredients lists on our products, what you read is literally what you get: and they don’t include any chemical formula or item that is hard to pronounce. That can only be a good thing!
Please share with us your thoughts on conscious consumerism?
Buy products that do no harm. ‘Do no harm’ is the medical mantra, but it makes sense for ethical shopping too. I don’t want to buy things that will damage either ourselves, or the environment. It seems like common sense but I am amazed at the toxic stuff out there that people still buy. So buy local and choose seasonal produce whenever possible. Buy (and buy into) things that are recycled, or recyclable and refillable.
Why should we consider making the swap from our mainstream cleaning products to natural products such as Koala Eco?
We’re a family-owned business, based in Sydney Australia, and we make eco-friendly cleaning products with ingredients sourced from plants found in Australia, such as Eucalyptus, Lemon Myrtle, Peppermint, and Mandarin. Our products are absolutely free of any synthetic chemicals: they’re created from high concentrates of pure Australian essential oils, combined with quality plant-derived biodegradable ingredients. The product aromas come only from the essential oils: no artificial fragrances, colours or harsh chemicals. What’s more, these formulas work just as well—if not better than—ordinary chemical cleaners.
We all want our families to be as healthy and safe as possible. Many “green” cleaning products on the market are not actually green. They often combine a large percentage of toxins with a small percentage of essential oil so they mislead customers in thinking their products are free from harmful synthetic fragrances.
What makes Koala Eco different is that our products have been developed from nature for nature.
Many of the plants we use have been part of the Aboriginal pharmacopeia for many thousands of years. Koala Eco cleaners won’t harm people, pets, or the planet, and we never test on animals. We also give a percentage of each sale to One Percent for the Planet, a charity committed to protecting land, forests, rivers and oceans and encouraging sustainable energy methods.
We are well and truly into Spring, with Summer just around the corner……what spring-cleaning tips can you share that will help us create a healthier home leading into the warmer months?
My 8 tips for spring cleaning:
- With spring cleaning, set a realistic schedule and focus on one task at a time.
- Always work from the top of the house and move down.
- Avoid using commercial dusting sprays and try Koala Eco’s Mild Dishwashing Liquid mixed with warm water on a cloth. It’s not toxic or harmful and works a treat on all hard surfaces.
- Believe it or not, sunshine (which we have in abundance here!) is a natural and free cleaner because the ultraviolet radiation works to kill germs and rid laundry of dust mites and bacteria. So hang your washing, line dry it rather than machine dry it.
- The professional cleaning industry estimates that our footwear tracks 85% of the dirt from the outside into our homes, so leave outdoor shoes and boots at the door.
- Try to buy products that do no harm. ‘Do no harm’ is a medical mantra but it makes sense for ethical shopping too. I don’t want to buy things that will damage ourselves or the environment.
- Buy local and choose seasonable produce whenever possible. Buy things that are recycled or recyclable.
- Take small steps and make sure you take time to recharge, regroup, rest and connect with nature.