First the washer, then the world: How the Tru Earth movement is tackling the global plastic waste problem

Bolstered by the success of the brand’s eco-friendly laundry strips, the Tru Earth Movement is sweeping the planet.

three men standing in a warehouse

Every so often, across every industry, a product comes along that disrupts the entire vertical. Rarer still are products that disrupt the way things are done across the planet. One such invention is the Eco-Strip, a plastic-free, hypoallergenic laundry detergent strip weighing less than three grams, launched by Vancouver’s Tru Earth. In contrast to the time-honoured laundry tradition of lugging around a cumbersome jug or box, the Tru Earth Eco-Strip, with a dramatically smaller eco-footprint than traditional detergents, reduces transportation pollution by 94% and, handily, is delivered to customers’ doors using a convenient subscription model.

For Brad Liski, Tru Earth’s CEO and a veteran venture-launcher, sustainable products have always been a focus. When an extended family member invested in a patent of the Eco-Strip and asked for help, a winning team was brought together. Liski and his two co-founders, Ryan McKenzie and Kevin Hinton (who are equal in their environmental enthusiasm), designed a subscription model around the Eco-Strip, initially aiming to sign on 150 customers in the first month. “We ended up with fifteen-hundred,” he recalls. “When a product exceeds your expectations ten-fold in a launch environment, you know it’s more than a product. That’s how the Tru Earth Movement came about.”

The stats around global recycling rates in general are quite appalling, but Liski says one of the biggest “greenwashes” of our day involves detergent packaging: approximately 700 million of the one billion jugs in circulation each year end up in landfills.

Collection of Tru Earth products

Since April of 2019, Liski estimates that Tru Earth change-makers have averted more than 1,800,000 plastic jugs from clogging our ecosystems. “The way we look at our customers is that they’re the change-makers, the heroes of the story,” says Liski. “They’re the ones that have the courage to make one small, simple change that has a massive impact. The Eco-Strip blew up, and it just keeps going.”

Thanks in part to a mandate of simplicity, empowerment and integrity, social media has been a boon for Tru Earth, both in terms of building a flourishing community of carbon-reducing enthusiasts and in sales. With a customer base spanning 45 countries and 2020 sales on track to breach the $30–40 million bracket, a recent Facebook campaign exceeded 10 million views—doubling the company’s order queue.

Liski, who recently began mentoring at UBC’s Lab2Launch for Climate Solutions, explains that the Eco-Strip is but the first in a long line of Tru Earth products in the pipe. Their common enemy? Plastic packaging. And if the company’s fervent base of Eco-Strip adopters—and the broader call for more climate-friendly solutions—are any indication, the Tru Earth movement shows no sign of slowing. “Our tagline is ‘helping to save the planet, one change at a time.’” Liski says. “We’re helping, but the change-makers are the ones doing it. We simply provide the alternatives for them to make the change.”

To join the #TruEarthMovement, please visit www.tru.earth