BORN TO CLEAN
After seeing the damage to waterways and aquatic life caused by phosphates and other cleaning chemicals, a bunch of Belgian hippy scientists decide to find a cleaner way. Starting from a tiny shed, they develop a bold new phosphate-free formula and launch ECOVER®.
Our first box of washing powder hits supermarket shelves across Belgium. A new market for alternative cleaning products is born. It’s what eco-conscious consumers have been waiting for – and demand surges.
OUR GREEN MACHINE
We build our ecological factory in Malle, Belgium. Our vision of what clean manufacturing could be. With a living, green roof for insulation, eco-bricks made from recycled coal waste and sustainable wood instead of concrete and steel. It’s the place we’re still proud to call home today.
RECYCLED ADS IN THE UK
To launch ECOVER®. in the UK, we create the ‘Washes Righter’ recycled poster campaign. Made from the printed overruns of old posters and assembled on the floor of an old carpet warehouse in Greenwich, each 10ft x 60ft poster is a one-off created by 100 up-and-coming UK artists.
OUR FINEST HOUR (NOT)
We thought it would be a good idea to launch a naturally-derived beer glass cleaner for pubs and bars. Needless to say it didn’t catch on.
The UN puts us in their Global 500 Roll of Honour for outstanding achievements in protecting and improving the environment. Another Environmental Stewardship Award follows in 1999 for our commitment to environmental manufacturing processes.
ROCKING A SOFTER LOOK
As sponsors of Antwerp’s Laundry Day festival, we launch ‘Softens Your Clothes’, a tongue-in-cheek fabric softener campaign. We took the famous AC/DC logo, rewrote it as ABBA and stuck it on a tough hairy biker. Needless to say, the limited-edition t-shirts given out at the festival didn’t hang around for long.
STEAL OUR FORMULA
We launch a daring ad campaign deliberately giving away our biodegradable formula. Challenging the competition to use it ‘for nature’s sake’ with one ad appearing directly outside a big corporate competitor company. The goal? To put environmental protection above every other consideration.
TIME FOR SOME RECOGNITION
Time ® Magazine features us and then-CEO Mick Bremans as Eco Pioneers for their Hero of the Environment issue. Along with 30 other green trailblazers fighting to save the planet.
WORK WITH WATERAID
To help raise awareness around water usage, we partnered with WaterAid to launch an on-pack promotion and free water care pack, including a hippo water saver for toilets. We also helped fundraise for their many life-saving projects around the world.
ECO SURFACTANT BREAKTHROUGH
Our scientists make a real discovery, creating a new eco-surfactant for our new range of hard surface cleaners. Using sugar fermentation instead of petroleum, these tough molecules deliver a powerful, naturally derived clean.
We unleash our first 100% recyclable plastic bottles made from renewable sugarcane instead of petroleum. Nowadays, our bottles contain a mix of PlantPlastic® and post-consumer recycled plastic.
FROM BEACHES TO BOTTLES
To highlight the harm of plastic waste in our oceans, we launch a limited-edition washing-up liquid in a specially designed Ocean Plastic bottle. The first of its kind, the 2014 bottle is made up of 10% of plastic recovered from the North Sea with the rest coming from post-consumer recycled plastic.
A NEW KIND OF COMPANY
ECOVER® is certified by B Corp, making us a founding B Corp in Europe. B Corp (which stands for Benefit Corporation) is to business what Fair Trade is to coffee. A certification that rates companies on social and environmental performance, as well as transparency and accountability. It’s what we’re all about.
OUR NEW PALM OIL-FREE FABRIC SOFTENER
We launch our new palm oil-free ECOVER Laundry Fabric Softener. With the help of a softening agent derived from French rapeseed oil, we are able to remove palm oil from the formula. As a result, that year we cut our responsibly-sourced palm oil use by around 200 tons.
GROWING THE FAMILY
Our new sub-brand – ECOVER Essential – launches for the health food trade in mainland Europe. Featuring 100% naturally derived fragrances, the range is certified by ECOCERT, the rigorous standard for environmentally friendly products
OUR NEW BOTTLE
Single-use, throwaway plastic culture has had its day. So we’ve given our plastic packaging a serious rethink. The result? Our brand new Washing Up Liquid bottle made from 100% post-consumer recycled, 100% recyclable plastic. By 2020, we’re aiming to make all our bottles like this.