Kiwi eco-cleaning start-up set to help Aussies clean up

by | Jun 9, 2022 | News

Cleanery, is a Kiwi eco-cleaning products company with patented technology to revolutionise the category, and eliminate millions of single-use bottles, many of which are shipped from overseas. 

The innovative start-up is hoping it’s going to be three times lucky.

First there was a successful seed investment round, where the company caught the attention of business heavyweights, such as Peter Cullinane, to raise more than $2.3 million. Second, Cleanery has secured ranging in Woolworths in Australia, who will be stocking their cleaning sprays this week. Thirdly, Cleanery founders Ellie Brade and Mark Sorensen are hoping for a major New Zealand win, with local supermarkets also stocking their products like their Aussie counterparts.

“We created Cleanery as proud Kiwis,” says Brade. “Our range is on shelf in Farro, in other specialist retailers and available direct to consumers through, so we’re looking forward to seeing them more widely available on shelf soon.

Mark Sorensen, who developed the product alongside co-founder and wife Ellie, adds, “there’s no point shipping water when we’ve all got water at home, and we’re becoming more aware of the problem caused by the millions of bottles Kiwis throw away each year – so let’s use what we already have under the sink.”

Cleanery products come in a recyclable sachet that can be added to any spray and are estimated to reduce plastic by 99%. Standardised tests also show their products clean better than other products on the market.

“So, we have products that work better than most other products – eco or otherwise, and have impeccable environmental credentials,” says Sorensen. “While we’re delighted that Australians will get access to Cleanery, we’re also keen to ensure New Zealanders can get their hands on it, at their local supermarkets,” he says.

The proposition was immediately attractive to Peter Cullinane, whose former company Lewis Road Creamery shook up the dairy aisle “Cleaning products are ready for a disruption,” says Cullinane. Cleanery’s simple proposition works –  it’s the cleaner we want, not the bottle. It also does what it says, and actually cleans.”

As well as Cullinane’s support, Cleanery’s investment backing has come from venture capitalist Lance Wiggs, via the newly minted Climate Venture Capital Fund. Wiggs says the fund is backing Cleanery because of its potential for fast-growth yet reduction on emissions. “It’s just the kind of new approach we need to transform our economy from high to low emissions,” says Wiggs.

Also investing in Cleanery is Icehouse Ventures and Angel HQ.

Rounding out the backing of Cleanery is grocery distributor Pavé who Sorensen credits as being one of the reasons for the Australian ranging. Chris Wong, Managing Director of Pavé, was impressed with Cleanery’s credentials.

Wong says: “Cleanery ticks all the boxes – commercial, efficacy, social and environmental. It’s ingredients are natural, it uses minimal plastic and has a low carbon and water footprint. It’s what consumers are demanding of brands, we see it as a win for everyone.

Pavé doesn’t normally take on start-ups, but Wong is making an exception for Cleanery products, which he says are truly innovative and “set to change the whole commercial model – a business with a small footprint that can create scale”.

For many, a global pandemic has had a negative impact on their business, but for Cleanery, Covid created a heightened awareness of hygiene and cleaning products, and resilient business models.

“We had the opportunity to create a local manufacturing system, and build an efficient, low environmental impact, high volume supply chain,” says Sorensen. “Decision during lockdowns, when supply chains started looking tricky, have helped us to build something truly scalable and fit for the future”.

Cleanery is now focused on using the funding raised to deliver an exciting New Zealand and Australian marketing plan and resource the business for rapid growth.



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