And the winner is… fab!
In a nation of entrepreneurs, the award for Entrepreneurial Spirit is always hard fought at NatWest’s prestigious Great British Entrepreneur Awards. The proud winner for 2018 announced last week is none other than FabLittleBag, brainchild of city worker turned inventor, Martha Silcott.
FabLittleBag is an innovative, patented sanitary disposal bag that has been disrupting the feminine hygiene market since its launch in 2015. Its growth has been fuelled by the recent trend for more openness around periods and also by the growing concerns around waste and ocean pollution.
“Winning this award is a definite highlight of the journey so far – the competition was fierce and I was thrilled to make it as a finalist. These awards are so well respected and being a winner out of over 3,000 entrants makes me feel both humbled and proud!
“Talking about periods is becoming easier but disposal is the taboo within the taboo. Women are either Flushers or Binners of their sanitary products. Flushing causes fatbergs and ocean pollution, whereas binning them is a messy, unpleasant experience which feels awkward. Finding yourself in someone’s bathroom without a bin is an all too common occurrence, which is why I searched for a better solution. There wasn’t one, so I invented one”.
FabLittleBag is designed to be opened with one hand and seals completely closed. It is opaque, leak-proof, biodegradable and made partly with sustainable materials.
The big issue
“Approximately 60% of UK women flush their tampons, sending 1.4bn tampons into our waterways each year. So it is not surprising that a percentage ends up in our rivers, oceans and on our beaches as plastic pollution. A big thank you goes to the Blue Planet programme for highlighting this worldwide. By giving women a decent alternative to flushing, FabLittleBag can stop this pollution at source”.
In an early trial with Mumsnet & Anglian Water, 33% of women said they had experienced a “nightmare scenario” disposing of their used products* and over 52% confessed to doing the “handbag smuggle”.
Fighting the taboo around periods and explaining the product to a roomful of male retail buyers has taken a lot of “entrepreneurial spirit” too.
“It’s not always easy to get people on side with something that is truly innovative. After all, it’s always been done that way. But as 87% of women said they would recommend us, we knew we were on to a good thing. One of my favourite customer quotes is that FabLittleBag is ‘the best invention since the tampon!’ And now we even help the environment in other ways through our partnership with phs Group’s LifeCycle programme. This transforms sanitary waste into eco fuel for power stations”.
- Team England took FabLittleBags to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
- 6 UK water companies work with FabLittleBag
Where to buy
FabLittleBag is available to both businesses and consumers. It is distributed via PHS Group Washroom Services and sold at Waitrose, Ocado, Whole Foods, Ethical Superstore, Amazon and at fablittlebag.com