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The Lessons we have learnt during the Pandemic

The Lessons we have learnt during the Pandemic
(Written by Lin Dickens)

Lessons of brand love during Covid-19

Covid-19 and the economic outfall have pushed businesses to their limit and beyond. Some of the world’s biggest brands have struggled to adapt. And others have risen to the challenge. For authentic brands in unprecedented times it's a chance to let their values shine. And I would argue, become brands to love.

I am going to discuss a brand I have come to love and the lessons for me, as brand manager. Not renowned for my domestic goddess qualities, you may be surprised that it’s a brand for cleaning products!

Brand purpose is essential

At work, we have been working with Delphis Eco since 20xx. They are the UK’s leader in ecological cleaning products, powered by plants. They share our ethical values and our teams love using their products. Founder, Mark Jankovich’s ambition was simple: build a business that could have a net-positive impact. Following their success over the past ten years in the professional sector, Delphis Eco launched a household cleaning range in 2019. I immediately started using it (and not just because I am named on the washing up bottle!).

Social good drives consumer loyalty

I have always been ‘green-minded’ (vegetarian for 40 years, recycler, composter and veg grower.) But after a diagnosis with a cancer mostly caused by chemical poisoning, I became obsessive about everything I used. From perfume and toothpaste to washing up liquid. I read every label’s ingredients and that's when I came to appreciate how much nasty stuff there is in personal and household cleaning products.

When Covid-19 hit I knew that we would use a lot more cleaning materials to keep us safe. But I worried the increase would mean a lot more bad stuff would start pouring down the drain and into our water system. It would be on my hands, in my bath and in my clothes. But using Delphis Eco felt a lot more positive and reassuring.

Be truthful

Science wasn't my strongest subject at school, I wish I had taken more notice. In my obsessive information gathering phase I learnt a lot. Did you know traditional detergents are a source of phosphorus in waterways? Phosphorus causes over-fertilisation of aquatic flora like algae - a condition known as eutrophication. When these flora die, they decay and use up oxygen, causing the death of fish, invertebrates, and aquatic organisms. EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is a chelating agent common in household cleaning products that doesn’t break down much in the natural environment. This makes it a persistent pollutant, which also contributes to the remobilisation of heavy metals. And it is also potentially harmful to people and animals. It causes problems from nausea, to kidney damage. Delphis Eco products are free of phosphorus and EDTA as well as lots of other nasty stuff.

Authenticity within

Not ones to rest on their laurels, Delphis Eco wanted their bottles AND their transportation materials to be made from all recycled materials. They spent a decade developing the first 100% PCR (post-consumer recycled) plastic bottle that uses only recovered plastic from the UK. They have created a genuine closed-loop system that re-purposes plastic over and over again. How much better can it get? Well it seems, it could....

A continued focus on values

When they discovered, as a result of Covid-19 there was a global shortage of most bottle closures (trigger sprays, hand soap pumps, and spray pumps) they immediately offered to sponsor their collection. Their ‘Tops Off’ campaign means that anti-bacterial hand soap and sanitisers can quickly get to those that need them most. Delphis Eco didn't need to shift their focus during Covid-19, they were already there.


And with the increased volume of these products we are now using, we all have the opportunity to mitigate in the impact on climate change. If everyone in the UK recycled one bottle, it would save enough energy to vacuum 82,460 homes! Imagine how long that would take?!

I have been recycling all my bottle closures and sending them back to First Mile, thanks to Delphis Eco. It’s super easy. Go online, download a label, package it up in the last box delivered to you (recycle). I drop mine off to my nearest Spar shop (and Hermes collection point). I had a nice warm feeling to know these closures aren’t going to landfill. And they could be providing a vital role in keeping people safe and protected from contracting from Covid-19.

So you can see why I have fallen in (brand) love with Delphis Eco. And, why I like working at bartlett mitchell. I hope these ideas are useful when thinking about your brand’s success during these challenging times.

You can order a box and book a free collection at recyclebox.co.uk. First Mile sort and clean the items before returning them to Delphis Eco to refill and reuse.

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Go Alcohol Free this Stoptober

Go Alcohol Free this Stoptober

Yes, it is a thing and no I’d never heard of it.  Like ‘Dry January’ which is all about recovering from the excess of the festive season, Stoptober is about staying away from Alcohol to help prepare for the, soon to be upon us, festive season.

This Stoptober we are encouraging everybody to stop using Alcohol based Hand Sanitisers!  There are many alternative water-based hand sanitiser products that have the same, if not a better bug kill rate but are much better for us to use on so many levels.

It’s ironic that on the back of every Alcohol based sanitiser it says ‘keep away from children’ yet almost every school child up and down the country is using them because this is the only option they have been told to use.

When the pandemic broke out in March the Government, Public Health England, NHS, Professor Chris Whitty the Chief Scientific Advisor were all saying to only use Alcohol Gel to sanitise your hands. Not only did they give no other guidance but the information they were giving about only using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser was factually wrong and risked the health of many. Coronavirus is an enveloped virus which is relatively easy to kill when on surfaces. They die naturally, sunlight kills them, bleach, iodine and a multitude of disinfectants are hugely effective but the only advice coming from the know it all’s was to use Alcohol Gel.

So, we did a Donald Trump and attacked them on twitter demanding that they change their messaging and confirm that more than just Alcohol gel can kill enveloped viruses on hands.  Clearly it worked because soon after they released a second statement with ‘oh you can also wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water…’ 

No children should be forced to use 60%+ alcohol gel to sanitise their hands if it can be avoided. The number who have had alcohol poisoning since the pandemic started is catastrophic. Religious groups that make up large parts of our community also refuse to handle alcohol and not to mention it leaves your hands dry and skin prone to cracking which can cause further issues. We’ve all seen the burn marks alcohol gel leaves on the floor when it drips from the containers which is an expensive unintended consequence.

Water based hand sanitisers with independent bug kill certifications being EN14476, EN1276, EN13697 are all disinfectants. They are proven to kill enveloped viruses on surfaces and skin.

We used to make an alcohol hand sanitiser gel but when we found out that some people were drinking them, others couldn’t touch them and the skin impact meant we set about creating a product that was much nicer to use, equally effective and safe for all ages and communities.

We say STOPTOBER – ask for non-alcohol hand sanitiser wherever you go.

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What is Coronavirus and How Can I Sustainably Combat it?

What is Coronavirus and How Can I Sustainably Combat it?

In the words of Delphis Eco CEO, Mark Jankovich, “The World Health Organisation has declared the virus ‘public enemy number one’.

“People are worried, businesses are worried, and hotels and restaurants are taking the situation very seriously. Whilst the evidence seen so far indicates that the coronavirus spreads through close contact with individuals who are infected, personal hygiene is at the forefront of peoples’ minds who want to take precautionary measures. Anti-Bacterial Hand Soap, and good hand hygiene, are key to this.”

In recent months, the Coronavirus has spread and continues to infect people globally. Curious as to what the Coronavirus is and what the symptoms are? Want to know how to sustainably prevent the spread of Coronavirus and stay healthy? Read on.

 

Common questions we have the answers to:

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

What are the coronavirus symptoms?

How does the coronavirus spread?

How do I prevent and treat coronavirus sustainably?

Why should I care about coronavirus?

You will also find:

Top Five Tips To Sustainably Keep Your Home Coronavirus Free

 

What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

According to the World Health Organisation, Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

The new coronavirus, now called COVID-19, had not previously been detected before the outbreak was reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

In China

Health officials in China have published the first details of more than 44,000 cases of the coronavirus in the biggest study since the outbreak began. China’s latest official figures, released on 18th February, show that more than 12,000 people have recovered. The study found that 80.9% of infections are mild, 13.8% severe and only 4.7% critical. It is suggested that the sick and elderly are at the greatest risk. The number of deaths among those infected remains low and the study put the overall death toll at 1,868 with 72,436 total infections.

In The UK

As of 19th February 2020, the UK has tested a total of 5,216 people for the coronavirus. Nine patients have so far tested positive for the virus. The remaining 5,207 tests have all come back negative. Fortunately, there have been no deaths as a result of coronavirus within the UK.

What Are The Coronavirus Symptoms?

Common signs of infection include:

● Fever

● Cough

● Shortness of breath

Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

If you are concerned about symptoms of coronavirus, then please consult the government’s latest information and advice on GOV.UK.

 

How Does The Coronavirus Spread?

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious, while other viruses are less so.

coronavirus sustainable sanitationThe specific virus that causes the coronavirus (COVID-19) seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the Hubei province and other parts of China. Interestingly enough, in other parts of the world, including the United Kingdom, spread from person-to-person has occurred only among a few close contacts and has not spread any further to date. Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. According to the United States’ Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, ie:

● Between people who are in close contact with one another (within approximately two metres)

● Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes

● These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, or possibly inhaled into the lungs.

It may be possible that a person can get the coronavirus (COVID-19) by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.

How Do I Prevent And Treat Coronavirus Sustainably?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent the coronavirus (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed.

Everyday preventative actions include:

● Avoid close contact with people who are ill

● Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

● Stay home when you are ill

● Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the bin

● Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using Delphis Eco naturally powerful Anti-Bacterial Kitchen Sanitiser.

 

coronavirus sustainable sanitation

Five Top Tips for Sustainably Keeping Your Home Coronavirus Free

1. Focus your efforts on cleaning areas in the house where germs are more likely to spread, such as the kitchen and toilet. Use Anti-Bacterial Sanitiser or Anti-Bacterial Kitchen Sanitiser to kill the germs, and use hot water to wipe the products off surfaces after spraying.

2. Make sure you dry surfaces ,such as worktops and chopping boards, thoroughly after cleaning. Dampness helps any remaining germs to survive and, if there’s enough water, multiply.

3. You should clean germ hotspots on a regular basis after use, rather than the customary once-a-week deep clean.

4. Cleaning aids, such as cloths or mops, must be germ-free or they’ll spread germs to other surfaces. Reusable cloths should be disinfected or washed at 60°C (140F) after each use. Mops and buckets should be cleaned and dried after each use.

5. Ensure food-preparation surfaces are clean before use. Use separate chopping boards for uncooked food – such as raw meat – and food that doesn’t need cooking, like salad leaves. Always wash and dry your hands after handling foods such as raw meat.

Why Should I Care about Coronavirus?

coronavirus sustainable sanitationOn 30th January 2020, a public health emergency of international concern was declared by the World Health Organisation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). Outbreaks of new virus infections among people are always of public health concern. The risk from these outbreaks depends on characteristics of the virus, including how well it spreads between people, the severity of resulting illness, and the measures available to control the impact of the virus (for example, vaccine or treatment medications). The potential public health threat posed by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is high, both globally and nationally. It’s unclear how the situation will unfold, but risk is dependent on exposure. While there is growing panic regarding the spread of the coronavirus, the fact of the matter is that the general public is unlikely to be exposed to the virus. Thus, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low at this time. Despite the risk of this new virus to the public being low, everyone can do their part to help respond to this emerging public health threat by following the preventative measures listed above. Do your part to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy. Using Delphis Eco’s sustainable cleaning products throughout your home will protect you, your family and the planet.

Shop Delphis Eco household cleaning range now.

 

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The Power is ours - Vote with your wallet

The Power is ours - Vote with your wallet

I keep hearing that it’s the Government’s responsibility to fix the environment - false. Ikea didn’t wait for approval to mandate that they wouldn’t sell non-LED light bulbs. Yes they were more expensive and yes they had to take a huge hit on margin to make them more affordable for homeowners but their buying power drove manufacturers’ prices down and everybody, including the environment, is a winner.

There may now be around 5.25 trillion macro and microplastic pieces floating in the open ocean, weighing up to 269,000 tonnes. The toxic cycle of plastic-filled oceans, animal ingestion and human consumption at the top of the food chain means the effects are potentially catastrophic. We cannot wait until we face irreversible damage and the collapse of society.

It’s in our power to tell shops to have free water fountains, to tell supermarkets to relinquish fruit and vegetable packaging or to tell schools to reduce waste in kitchens. Systemic change is essential to create movements.

Our entire business model is predicated on being as environmentally friendly as possible. This means that my suppliers need to understand and live our beliefs or lose our business. It’s inspiring to know our main factory has installed a massive rainwater capture system to use in the manufacturing of our products.  Our box suppliers have worked really hard to not only provide a 100% recycled cardboard box but also to ensure that the inner liner, which is normally virgin paper for rigidity, is also 100% recycled. 

If we don’t ask, we won’t get and it’s 100% down to us.

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It's World Environment Day!

It's World Environment Day!

A time to stand back and truly assess how our everyday actions impact our environment and how best we can act to protect planet Earth, our home.

This year’s theme is Air Pollution. With 9 out of 10 people worldwide breathing polluted air, it begs the question how we can reduce this no matter how big or small the scale. We can all be kinder to the planet:

  1. Switch to reusable coffee cups on your way to work so we can normalise the use of permanent coffee cups, rather than simply recycling disposable ones
  2. Swap plastic straws for metal straws and reduce the 425 million straws that make their way into landfill every day
  3. Bring your own bag for your supermarket shop to stop 2 million plastic bags being used every minute

At Delphis, we pride ourselves on minimising the environmental impact of our products at every level of production, packaging and supply chain. We have a carbon saving of 70% thanks to our Post-Consumer Recycled plastic bottles, an industry first.

In fact, it is estimated that if all milk bottles used in the UK were recycled, we would save an estimated 2.7 million tons of CO2. Think how much cleaner our air would be. Consider the power you have with every purchase. Let’s be the change our planet needs.

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Giving a Second Life to Single-Use Plastic

Giving a Second Life to Single-Use Plastic

There are 500 times more bits of plastic in the ocean than there are stars in the galaxy.

The fact that 8 million tons of plastic waste is dumped in the ocean each year begs the question, why are our recycling rates so bad and how can I fix this? I am a huge buyer of plastic for all of our products which are packaged in plastic and in reality this isn’t going to change.  So being a totally focused eco business, I demanded from my supply chain that the plastic we use be only from post-consumer used recycled content (PCR). My belief is that if I can think it, it must therefore be possible.

13 billion single-use plastic bottles are sold globally every year and it’s anticipated that only between 3% and 9% are recycled. This needs to change.

In 2013, Coke and Unilever committed to using 15% recycled content in their packaging by 2025. Unsurprisingly when I said I wanted 100% PCR content I was told it was impossible.  Supplier after supplier, trade body after trade body and numerous Government officials all said no chance.  So not only demanding that it be 100% PCR, it also had to be Food Grade quality and 100% sourced and reprocessed in the UK – NOT going via China. They all laughed.

Eventually my belligerence paid off and a supplier said they would give it a go.  Yes it failed and then failed again. Getting a 100% PCR plus Food Safe grade was hard but third time lucky and 18 months after our first 100% sample had been attempted, we cracked it.

In December 2018 we switched all of our packaging from virgin plastic to 100% post-use recycled bottles. My little, London based SME had thrashed the global giants in creating a totally circular model, giving single-use plastic a second life. This proves that millions of tons can and must be redirected from going into landfill, incineration or the ocean and there’s a 70% carbon saving as well.

- Mark Jankovich, CEO

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Clean Air Day 2018

Clean Air Day 2018

It's clean air day, so at Delphis Eco we're talking VOCs. 

But what actually is a VOC? 

VOCs stand for Volatile Organic Compounds. They are emitted when using cleaning products, cosmetics, solvents, paints and varnishes. It is medically proven that these gases when inhaled regularly can have irreparable damage on our lungs. 

In a study published by Bergen University, they found that "people who have worked as cleaners or done household cleaning for 20 years have reduced lung function equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes a day for the same period of time" [PHD candidate, Dept Clinical Science, University of Bergen]. 

 

 

It's a scary fact. That's why the Delphis Eco range of products are certified as "Ultra Low" VOC levels, "Low" levels or "Zero".

Less impact on you, and less impact on the environment. 

 

https://www.uib.no/en/news/115228/household-cleaning-can-be-bad-smoking-lung-function

 

 

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"Waxtastic": Damer's Eco Entrepreneurs Create Eco Solution To Clingfilm

"Waxtastic": Damer's Eco Entrepreneurs Create Eco Solution To Clingfilm

The Damer's First School "Eco Enforcers" have entered the National Young Enterprise Fiver Challenge Competition with their 100% eco-friendly product aptly named 'Waxtaxtic: No Plastic'.

The innovation is 100% cotton material dipped in beeswax as an alternative to non-recyclable cling film. The product can be washed with soap and water (works well with Delphis Eco Washing Up Liquid) and lasts for up to a year. With the added bonus of the wax making it an anti-bacterial wrap. (Suitable for all foods except meat).

The children (aged between 5-8) have made, marketed, promoted and sold the product thus far themselves, with minimal help from their mentor and teacher Edd Moore. 

The talented crew have already secured 'Best Logo' in the first weekly competition which can be found here

The smart wax wrapping can be bought from locations secured by the Eco Crew. 

Outside Poundbury Waitrose, 30th June,
Poundbury Farmers Market and DCNS Summer Funday,
7th July, Damers School Summer Fair, 29th June, 
Dorset Food and Arts Festival, 4th August
The Dorset County Show 1st and 2nd September.
Also at these events the children will be also be selling Delphis Eco from their Turtle. 

 

The business-minded children have already attracted a visit from MP, Oliver Letwin who was "amazed at how articulate the children were", proud teacher Edd Moore told me. 

The competent crew are also working on a website launch in the coming weeks in which they hope to sell the wax wrap online as well. 

Please share to promote this brilliant project! 

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Earth Day - Pollution Pods at Somerset House

Earth Day - Pollution Pods at Somerset House

Don't miss the Pollution Pods by Michael Pinsky displayed at Somerset House from the 18th-25th April. 

Visitors can pass through the pods and compared the pollution levels in various environments. 

The first pod emulates Tautra in Norway, boasting the cleanest air. Using Airlabs technology, all harmful gases have been fully removed, making it totally clean. Each pod hosts a different environment symbolising the unique pollution levels in places around the world. 

Studies suggests that the average Londoner exposed to the levels of pollution recreated in the Pollution Pods would lose up to 16 months of their life. 

Here at Delphis Eco air quality is our top priority. That's why we have "ultra low" or "zero" levels of VOCs in our cleaning products that harm lung health and contribute to respiratory problems.

The exhibition is free. 

More info: here

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Dame Jane Goodall among famous visitors to Damer's school in awe of their eco efforts

Dame Jane Goodall among famous visitors to Damer's school in awe of their eco efforts

Dame Jane Goodall, ethologist and conservationist has dedicated her life to understanding animals and in particular holds a fascination with chimpanzees. Jane championed the idea that chimpanzees have emotions, minds and personalities. An idea which is now commonly accepted. 

In 1963 Jane was commissioned by National Geographic to document her life in Gombe, and subsequently she published her first article with the publication, "My Life Among Wild Chimpanzees". Jane has since written many articles documenting her findings and also published two autobiographies. 

In 2004 Jane was made a Dame of the British Empire. She has also achieved the UNESCO Gold Medal Award. 

Jane currently travels an average of 300 days per year speaking in venues around the world and the threats facing chimpanzees, other environmental crises and her reasons for hope that we will solve the problems that we have imposed on the earth. 

Recently Jane paid a visit to Damer's First School in Dorset to see all their hard work surrounding plastics pollution and their Delphis Eco Turtle. Also visiting the children was Princess Marie Esmeralda of Belgium, Sarah Begum - TV Presenter and Journalist. 

It is incredible to see how much recognition these forward thinking children are receiving for their fantastic work to reduce our impact on the environment. 

Initiatives include their Refill Dorset Scheme, encouraging local businesses to offer free tap water refills to anyone with a reusable bottle, to discourage unnecessary sales of single-use plastic water bottles, contributing to our plastic pollution crisis. 

The wonderful school also adopted a Delphis Eco Turtle, a recycled metal station filled with concentrate cleaning products that parents and stuff can refill spray bottles - saving on plastic and encouraging reusing.

 

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