Foam turns toilet paper into sustainable wet wipe
by admin on Nov 08, 2021
On a mission to eliminate one trillion wet wipes globally, one Auckland wahine has taken toilet time to a fresher level.
The owner of innovative personal hygiene business BDÉT, Billie Jo Hohepa-Ropiha, is one of five SheEO ventures winners and will receive interest-free loans for five years, business mentoring, and pro-bono legal and PR support.
She won thanks to the brands' hero product, the BDÉT natural foam wash, which turns toilet paper into a hygienic cleansing wipe, that's flushable and biodegradable.
“How can people use dry toilet paper? It's weird to me, but it's not a subject you talk about,” Hohepa-Ropiha said.
She had the idea to create the product as a university student in the 1990s, but it wasn't until she had her own kids, and saw how many wet wipes people were using, that she realised it was a bigger issue than just having a smooth wipe.
“Wet wipes are a huge problem for wastewater pipes.”
They also get pushed out of storm water pipes and into the ocean, where they’re consumed by marine life, and break down into microplastics, she said.
After visiting Auckland Council's Watercare facility, she saw the issue for herself as the wastewater flowed through the system.
“It's just wet wipes, it’s almost the water is white from wet wipes,” she said.
After helping her dad, Thomas, create the Kiwi Lifter, a hands-free toilet seat lifter, she decided to develop the wet wipe alternative, too.
“It was the first product we cut our teeth on,” she said, "but it wasn’t enough. I didn't want to be an Achy, Breaky Heart one-hit-wonder.”
The BDÉT natural foam wash turns toilet paper into a hygienic cleansing wipe, that's flushable and biodegradable.
She approached a skincare product manufacturer.
“And she asked what face cream I wanted to make, and I said ‘oh it's quite the opposite, it’s an arse cream’ and she cracked up.”
The foam comes in two scents. Newanewa scent is a mix of soft notes reminiscent of freshly washed linen with aromatic hints of light woody frankincense, mint, and a hint of freshly squeezed lime, while the Pikopiko scent has slight hints of native silver fern with bolder fruity tones of tropical mango and freshly cut coconuts.
She has also been asked to speak at Te Aratini, the first ever Festival of Indigenous and Tribal Ideas at a World Expo, at Expo 2020 Dubai at the end of November, about the business.
After that, she’ll be working to team up with a big toilet paper manufacturer and councils to help spread the word about her products.
“I’m on a mission to eliminate a trillion wet wipes globally.
“So to hit that I really have to partner with some muscle out there in the market.”
Looking to try BDÉT? Click here to shop now.