Every toothbrush you ever owned still exists. They are in landfill somewhere but they don’t break down and they can’t be economically recycled. Just think about that for a minute. Humans dispose of around four billion toothbrushes every year – enough to go around the world about 12 times. That is billions of plastic toothbrushes that will continue to exist for hundreds or thousands of years.
When we met Gyve Safavi and Mark Rushmore at SuRi (short for Sustainable Rituals) a year ago we didn’t know this. What we did know though from our first discussions was that they were on to something important and that they had the capability and will to do something about it.
What SuRi was developing then is what has now become the world’s first sustainable sonic electric toothbrush. The heads are made from plant-based plastics (corn starch in fact) and are fully recyclable. The bristles are made from castor oil extracts – all natural, high performing and of course, fully recyclable too. The brush body is made of aluminium and is modular, disassemblable and recyclable unlike the disposable, hermetically-sealed plastic units pushed by the incumbents.
When we invested, the brush was a prototype only but we were taken by Gyve and Mark’s vision for the product and the business, the importance of the mission, their background and obvious qualities. Having marketed oral and personal care products for some of the world’s largest brands they knew exactly what it would take to disrupt the category and how to do it.
Our initial investment in SuRi was about as early as we will go in terms of stage – two founders, a prototype and a plan was all there was at the time but we were delighted to partner with them to make that plan a reality. In the last few weeks the plan has become a reality as the first brushes are now with their owners who are now enjoying class-leading cleaning capability without costing the earth. And it is not just Hambro Perks and our coinvestors who have recognised the potential here. The company was featured by The Times newspaper as one of its five winners for its Earth Advertising Fund, it was featured in the Independent as the “Indy Best Buy” in their 2022 review of electric toothbrushes and has been covered by T3 magazine in a feature here. Not bad for the new kid on the block. Oh, and the first drop sold out in days.
Next in the plan is the launch of toothpaste and other oral care products with the same SuRi ethos - great performance and lightest touch. Congratulations to Gyve and Mark for getting this great product to market. We remain as excited as ever to work with you and to see what comes next.