Climate-consciousness and a bent toward sustainability are becoming more commonplace in the venture capital ecosystem, from startups that focus on clean meat production and insect-based foods to sustainable fashion and carbon capture and removal. Paper products—including toilet paper—are in the mix, too, with several brands championing more eco-friendly offerings. With roughly 18 million acres of forest lost globally each year and an estimated 27,000 hardwood trees harvested daily for our TP needs, these four startups are working to usher in a new forward-thinking approach to toilet tissue:

1. Who Gives A Crap

This Australian startup’s product line—including toilet paper, paper towels and facial tissues—hit the virtual shelves in 2013 following a successful crowdfunding campaign. Their sustainable goods are made with forest-friendly bamboo, recycled paper and/or sugarcane, and 50% of the company’s profits help build toilets and improve sanitation in developing countries. Who Gives A Crap’s premium bamboo toilet paper, their “softest loo roll ever,” is made without dyes, scents or inks. The startup has raised $360,000, not including an undisclosed amount of venture funding secured in 2018. 

Featured product: Premium bamboo toilet paper
Headquarters: Melbourne, Victoria, AU 
Founded: 2010
Notable investors: Cubit Family FoundationImpact Investment Group

2. Bippy

Founders Lisa Frame and Isidro Hurtado were chatting over margaritas when the conversation turned to crap—specifically, the thousands of hardwood trees that are harvested every day in the US to create toilet paper. Bippy steers consumers away from traditional TP with their soft, biodegradable, fragrance-free toilet tissue made with bamboo fibers. Why bamboo? Because it’s a triple threat of environmental sustainability, the duo says—it creates more oxygen, uses more carbon and doesn’t have to be replanted. Bippy joined Backstage Capital’s Accelerator program as a part of its first cohort in 2019 and received $100,000 in funding.

Featured product: Bippy bamboo toilet paper
Headquarters: Los Angeles, California, US
Founded: 2019
Notable investors: Backstage Capital

3. The Cheeky Panda

Founders Chris Forbes and Julie Chen zeroed in on bamboo for their sustainable product line that includes toilet paper, paper towels, tissues and wet and dry wipes because the super-plant grows 30 times faster than trees. In addition to being vegan-registered and carbon-balanced, The Cheeky Panda is the UK’s first tissue company to become a Certified B Corporation. After a successful crowdfunding campaign and several rounds of angel funding, The Cheeky Panda raised £1 million in venture funding from Northern & Shell Ventures in 2018.

Featured product: Plastic-free family bundle with toilet tissue, facial tissue and paper towels
Headquarters: Brentwood, England, UK
Founded: 2016
Notable investors: Northern & Shell VenturesSeedrsSmartAngels


4. Reel

Reel is on a mission to help the planet, our fellow humans and provide sustainable bamboo paper products—and that’s just what they’re doing. Since 2016, Reel has donated 21,000+ single-use biodegradable toilets to individuals in need. Reel’s TP is made with bamboo because it grows quickly, up to three feet in 24 hours, and because it uses 30% less water than hardwood trees. Most recently, Reel raised Early Stage VC funding in the form of convertible debt from Bluestein & Associates, Litani Ventures and others.

Featured product: 100% bamboo toilet paper
Headquarters: Santa Monica, California, US
Founded: 2017
Notable investors: Bluestein & AssociatesLitani Ventures

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