Back in the winter of 2017 Ben was hanging out in some snowy mountains pondering business ideas. The criteria was strict and prohibited any plans which did not follow his self imposed guidelines. The business had to be environmentally friendly and promote positive behaviour change; it had to be sustainable and add no extra carbon emissions to the existing infrastructure; it had to be modern in its operation and built online; It had to be cheap to start and easily scalable. Above all, the ethos of the business needed to revolve around honesty and transparency, providing customers with an efficient and affordable service that they could trust. Ben wanted to create a business which would replace something old and inefficient, with something new and sustainable. Many ideas were brainstormed but the idea of combining a modern online subscription service with the retail of bamboo toothbrushes came out on top with good reason…
A PROBLEM THAT NEEDED SOLVING
A quick google search reveals that 4.7 billion plastic toothbrushes are manufactured and thrown out every year – this is completely unsustainable. With the plastic pollution crisis ever expanding at an alarming rate, it was clear that something had to change – perhaps encouraging people to adopt more sustainable toothbrushing could be a start. In the UK, biodegradable toothbrushes are hard to come by. Those available in high street stores are massively overpriced alienating the average brusher. Cheap alternatives exist online but lacked quality and brand integrity.
This problem had to be fixed. Plastic toothbrushes needed to be phased out, and so an affordable and accessible alternative needed to be made available.
Ben knew he couldn’t do it alone, so over a couple of pints of Welsh Ale a team was assembled – Tech wizard, Chloe and aspiring entrepreneur Dan were immediately sold on the idea. Bristle was born.
HAPPIER SMILE, HAPPIER PLANET
Two years later business was booming and Bristle™ was now fully operational, replacing thousands of plastic toothbrushes in the UK for its family of bamboo converts. The subscription base continues to grow with a steady flow of new subscribers coming through the online-door everyday. Bristle™ is now thriving, reducing the plastic footprint of its customers’ bathrooms. It’s just a toothbrush, but Bristle™ serves as a daily reminder to commit to environmental stewardship. Encouraging people to aim for a zero waste lifestyle is our goal.
We want everyone in the UK to have access to quality planet friendly alternatives. Bristle™ now stocks Biodegradable Floss and zero waste Toothpaste Tablets to further reduce the environmental impact of dental hygiene. We are also working with some amazing UK based partners who share our vision. As of 2019 Bristle™ became a proud new member of 1% for the Planet, contributing funds to help environmental non-profit organisations build a better future.
Bristle™ is just a small piece of the puzzle, but our contribution to a happier smile and a happier planet is real.
The Bristle Team
Ben Alsford – Operations Officer
Having the good fortune to be brought up in rural Oxfordshire, Ben was always messing about outside as a kid. Luckily he never grew out of this – As an adult Ben’s love of the outdoors developed into an obsession with climbing and skiing. He moved to North Wales in 2007 and now calls Llanberis home. Ben has spent the last decade travelling around the world in order to spend as much time exploring the mountains as possible. It is through his love of the natural world and that Bristle’s planet-friendly modus operandi was formed. He believes that all businesses must put the environment and the customer first when making any decision. Bristle™ is now as his full-time job and passion – Ben’s task is to keep operations on track and to ensure the company continues to roll on smoothly. Unfortunately he’s a bit of a techno-phobe, which isn’t ideal for an online-business guy: luckily Chloe is there to rescue him from time to time.
Chloe Choppen – Technical Officer
Originally from Portsmouth, Chloe met Ben while working a winter season in the Canadian Rockies. Chloe is a talented skier who loves to shred pow and enjoys the outdoor life in general: this is a key factor in driving her to maintain Bristle’s strict ethos of reducing human impact on the environment. Chloe now lives in London and is the link between the capital and our HQ in rural north Wales. Despite living in the heart of London she remains connected to nature and can often be found enjoying the mountains and coastline of the UK. Chloe has a real knack for all things artistic and design related – she has been the driving force behind Bristle’s aesthetic branding. She is the brains behind Bristle’s online operation and has also worked tirelessly to ensure that the virtual cogs keep turning in a smooth and efficient manner. Sometimes Chloe can get overloaded with tasks and to-do lists; fortunately Dan is there to save her….
Dan Jones – Communications Officer
Originally from North Wales, Dan is the only true Welsh person on team Bristle™. Brought up on a diet of climbing and surfing he has spent a significant amount of his life in the ocean and the mountains and is painfully aware of the devastation plastic is causing to our environment. It is this which drives his business goals. Dan’s can-do attitude has been a key element to Bristle’s success. Spending his time between North Wales and The French Alps, Dan is member of many grassroots initiatives in his home towns: From his work with Montagne Vert in Morzine; to the Bristle™ Beach cleans; to his food waste collection and distribution drives. This wild-card is always coming up with new initiatives to provide greener solutions for individuals and business alike – With so many ideas bouncing around his head he can sometimes disappear down a rabbit hole. Luckily, Ben is there to aim him in the right direction.