DELPHIS ECO: the green cleaning pioneers

WeWhoDo sat down with Mark Jankovich to discuss how Delphis Eco became green cleaning pioneers and spearheaded the Tops Off campaign.

Where did the idea for Delphis Eco come from? 

Mark: The idea for Delphis Eco started back in 2007 when the media had only just started giving polluted oceans, starving polar bears, and the imminent climate crisis mainstream coverage. I’d been working in banking for 15 years at this point and decided that I needed to do something more fulfilling with my life. I quit and started searching for a new business idea, which would begin to change the world and have a net-positive impact. If I wasn’t going to do it, then who would?

I came across some scientists who had created a small and impressive range of eco-friendly cleaning products. The company was going bust so I decided to rescue the staff and take the business over- even though I knew nothing about cleaning products nor manufacturing! However, what I did know was that traditional cleaning products have a massive impact on the environment.

But, as we know, the impact of the 2008 financial crisis was dire and sustainability completely fell off the radar. It took a lot of sacrifices, risks and hard work to get it off the ground to where we are today, especially at a time when no one cared about sustainability. I am proud to say that not only are Delphis Eco products non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, non-flammable and non-harmful to aquatic and marine life, but our bottles are made of 100% post consumer plastic, a UK 1st. 

In the last decade, Delphis Eco has expanded from a handful of products to over 100.  Each have a simple test, 1) they have to work as well as their nasty competitors and 2) have to be formulated with aquatic organisms (bottom of the food chain) in mind.  It is easy to make ‘eco-friendly’ cleaning products, but if they don’t work, their environmental impact is twice as bad. 

Why is the work you do so important? 

Mark: You simply can’t ignore the pressing issue of plastic pollution, which threatens a million species of wildlife, as well as our own environment. The most recent David Attenborough documentary on BBC, Extinction: The Facts, goes into how this loss of biodiversity is disastrous for our planet, and if you haven’t watched it already it’s definitely a must!

I would like to think that we are pioneers in the field of green cleaning products. We were the first company to get an EU Ecolabel approval for cleaning products back in 2010 and we also created the first 100% post consumer recycled plastic bottle, all made from old milk bottles. Millions of tons of bleach and plastic go into the environment every year, and it’s our mission to stop this.

I say time and time again, we don’t sell cleaning products…We offer the ability to be more sustainable and the people who are making that choice are the ones that are saving the world. They are the heroes who use Delphis Eco. We’ve done the hard work, so it’s just up to the people to use Delphis Eco and lead more sustainable lives. This doesn’t only apply to individuals, but also corporations, who can have an even bigger impact.

How has Covid-19 impacted your work?

Mark: As a brand that makes cleaning products, you can imagine how the current global pandemic has kept us very busy. Unfortunately, whilst we are living in heartbreaking and dire times, one thing is clear; everyone is cleaning and cleaning more than ever before. With people panic buying and stocking up on hundreds of bottles of hand sanitisers, we had to keep up with demands so much that now there is a global shortage of bottle triggers and pumps.

So we set up a campaign, which the Metro called ‘Get your Tops Off’, asking communities to collect all of their old lotion pumps, trigger sprays and bottle closures and to send them back to us. We then repurpose them and get them back to manufacturers, so they can keep getting hand sanitiser to those that need it most. The Tops Off campaign has gone viral with people from all over the country helping out. We see ourselves as essential workers, supplying vital cleaning products to both hospitals and homes. 

Where do you see Delphis Eco in 5 years time?

Mark: We believe we have been a major disruptor in the cleaning product category, not only through manufacturing highly effective eco-friendly products, but also pioneering closed loop packaging. Thinking back to 2008 when nobody cared about sustainability, the world has changed and now everybody does. The future of Delphis Eco is one where we can work alongside and help others reach their sustainability goals.

In addition, education is key in creating a shift in culture. So going forward, I see Delphis continuing to be a flagship that paves the way for education, awareness and offering an easy solution for people to live a more sustainable life. 

This article has been posted as part of the Sustainable Start-up Series run by WeWhoDo:  building a community of world-leading experts to help sustainable businesses thrive. For more information about Delphis Eco, check out their site here: https://delphiseco.com/

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