Brodie and Roger Cook, the twin brothers behind Lucent Globe, talk about their journey from an eye-opening trip to Mt. Everest to starting their eco-friendly cleaning brand. They were inspired to tackle the issue of plastic waste after witnessing the litter in the mountains, and this experience shaped their vision for Lucent Globe.
The brothers discuss starting from their kitchen bench in 2021 and the challenges they faced in creating effective, affordable, zero-waste products. Their focus was on developing plant-based, biodegradable laundry and dishwasher detergent sheets, a new concept in Australia at the time.
They also share their approach to maintaining sustainability in every aspect of their business, from production to packaging, and offer advice for those looking to start an eco-friendly venture. Finally, they touch on their personal sustainability practices and their aspirations for a future where single-use plastics are eliminated from households.
Hey Brodie and Roger, great to have you here today. Could you tell us about that ‘aha’ moment on Mt. Everest that led to starting Lucent Globe? How did that experience shape your company’s vision?
It was an interesting journey really. Back in 2017 we embarked on a trip of a lifetime to Mt Everest with high expectations to experience unrivalled natural surroundings. But, sadly, when we arrived we found a vast place of natural beauty riddled with litter and most of them were cheap, single-use plastics.
When we arrived back to Australia after our trip we kept thinking there must be something we can do, and so we set out with the idea of creating a product that would help reduce household reliance on plastics. Cleaning was a logical solution as there’s surprisingly so much plastic in our cleaning products. For example, dishwashing tablets are now covered in plastic.
You guys started Lucent Globe right from your kitchen bench and now you’re processing thousands of orders. That’s incredible! Can you share a bit about this journey and how you made it happen?
We started out back in 2021, just after the pandemic, working from the kitchen bench with just a concept of what we wanted to achieve: Eradicate the use of plastic in cleaning.
We then went into a six-month product and development phase before launching in March 2022 with our laundry detergent sheets, and another six months later we launched our dishwashing detergent sheets. Initially it was a slow start, after all we were creating a completely new category for Australians to explore — dishwashing and laundry detergent sheets were almost non-existent when we started. Even now, a year and a half later, a large percentage of people still aren’t familiar with the concept.
But slowly but surely, our name is getting out there. In our first year of business we made 2,000 sales in total, and yet in 2023 so far, we’ve secured over 90,000 orders and are currently recording over 10,000 orders per week. Not to mention 200 new subscribers a day. The market response has definitely validated our proof of concept as a business.
In the early days, what were some big hurdles you guys faced with Lucent Globe, and how did you tackle them? How crucial has being resilient been to your journey as entrepreneurs?
A key pillar for our business strategy was to make sustainable, zero waste products affordable to everyday households, not just in Australia, but around the world. This is what we believe will have a true impact on minimising the use of single use plastics.
Our ethos is that households should not have to compromise on the quality or cost per clean when doing right by the planet. This came with its own set of challenges — we needed to develop a product that was effective, but was zero-waste and completely biodegradable.
It’s through extensive research and development that we came to develop our laundry and dishwasher detergent sheets that are made completely from plant-based materials. We’re continuing to work with scientists to continue to optimise the clean achieved with our products using the latest technology, without of course sacrificing the environment.
I’m curious about your plant-based, biodegradable products. Could you talk about their environmental impact and why it’s essential for us to switch to sustainable cleaning options?
Most of the products that you’ll find in the supermarket are not only made and housed in plastic, but worst off they’re made using chemicals. These chemicals seep into your clothes and onto your dishes, and ultimately are ingested — and no one needs that in their system.
Our biodegradable detergent sheets are made with plant based products, such as coconuts, which house powerful enzymes to deliver a powerful clean. Not only is it good for the environment, but it’s also safer for people to use — including newborn children.
That’s why we believe it’s essential for everyday Australians to switch to sustainable cleaning options — not only are they better for the planet, but they’re better for people too.
As the brains behind Lucent Globe, how do you stay true to your mission of reducing single-use plastics in all your business choices and strategies?
We are always looking at ways to decrease our footprint through our operations. That includes looking at the way we order stock in, how we package our products and how we conduct our operations. Our packaging is completely recyclable and made from recycled materials. Wherever possible we will look to make the right choice by planet.
For anyone itching to start an eco-friendly venture, especially in household products, what’s your top piece of advice?
Start with the single use plastics! It wasn’t long ago we were all using single use plastic bags to take our shopping home with us from the grocery store, and how quickly did we adapt? You’ll be surprised at how many things you can find sustainable, eco-friendly substitutions for, you just need to put your mind to it. Easy starts are reusable coffee cups and biodegradable laundry and dishwashing sheets, of course!
Besides running Lucent Globe, how do you both practice sustainability in your everyday lives?
Roger: “Using reusable shopping bags is a great way to be sustainable and save a bit of money each time you shop. Keep them in your car to ensure you never have to buy a single use bag ever again!”
Brodie: “It may sound obvious, but walking is a great way to help the environment and avoid car unnecessary emissions, and it also reduces the need to pay for fuel. We enjoy getting out and about on foot, it’s not only good for the environment but also great for mental health when you need a bit of time out after a busy day.”
To wrap up, what’s your dream for the future of sustainability in the household products space, and how do you see Lucent Globe playing a part in that vision?
We want to create a brighter future for our next generation, one where people don’t live with single use plastics. And so, we’re on a mission to completely eliminate single-use plastics from households by providing zero-waste, environmentally and cost-friendly solutions that do not compromise on the quality of clean, in comparison to their chemical-based alternatives.