(Who says that the bottom line can’t be ethical and economical?)
Not only does Güdco provide quality TP, it also supports an unseen cause: sanitation for those who need it most. In the case of this small business, the product is the means to the end, not the other way round.
Here at The Small Business Showcase, we know Güdsheet when we see it!
There was always a desire to have a business that did good in society.”Ruan Coetzee, founder of Güdco.
In 2015, Güdco was created. It sells biodegradable, plastic-free toilet paper. But the do-good train doesn’t stop there. Proceeds from sales go towards providing toilets and toilet paper to schools in need.
All aboard for do-good, feel-good, BE-good vibes!
Ruan Coetzee saw the shocking sanitation infrastructure in his home province, the Eastern Cape, and decided to take action.
Despite the horror stories about pit latrine deaths that regularly plague the media, the issue Ruan saw back in 2015 is still largely unaddressed. This, despite President Ramaphosa’s Sanitation Appropriate for Education initiative in 2018.
In the Eastern Cape alone, 1473 schools have pit latrines instead of toilets. This lack of basic sanitation spells disease – and even death – for many school-going children.
Ruan’s need to make a difference was the beginning of a long and challenging journey. Not only did Güdco decide to stay true to its original promise of delivering high-quality toilet paper that’s 100% biodegradable – aptly named Güdsheet – but it did so in a country still very much mastering the manufacture of eco-friendly items.
Güdco spent two years product-testing Güdsheet to ensure that everything, from the roll inside to the adhesive that seals the individual wrapping and the boxes it comes delivered in, is entirely biodegradable. “Güdsheet is Africa’s first plastic-free toilet paper in retail,” says Ruan Coetzee.
To serve – that’s our real doodie
There was no “Ja, no, well, fine” with Ruan Coetzee – he’s a businessman who really gives a sheet. When proceeds from sales were not generating the change Ruan was driven to see, he investigated other options. And so the Eastern Cape Water and Sanitation Development Trust, trading as The Güdfoundation, was set up.
With a slogan declaring “Dignity of a toilet for all”, the Güdfoundation is the cause behind the product which, Ruan says, is where his goal really lies.
“It was the cause that drove the product,” says he says.
On a roll
Just before the pandemic hit our country, both Güdco and the Güdfoundation were going strong with Güdsheet gracing trendy tourist spots (as well as your vegan girlfriend’s bathroom).
Although the bulk-buying bunker-madness of Covid-19 saw Güdsheet sales in March 2020 hit the roof, Güdco found that the overall impact on the tourism industry did take time to bounce back from. Now, though, things are on the up and up with more people opting for this feel-good purchase.
They see me rollin’
As Güdco grows from strength to strength and its do-good, feel-good vibes grow, there are plans to expand their puns into other toilet-related products. We loo-k forward to seeing these!
Visit Güdco at www.gudco.co.za for some güd quality sheet. You can also feel free to poop an email to email@example.com
P.S. Want to spread the word about how buying TP can save lives? Do you love the way Güdco blends conscious behaviour with a basic need?
Share this The Small Business Showcase article far and wide:
- Mkhuseli Sizani (2022). Groundup: Dangerous Toilets. Daily Maverick. URL: www.dailymaverick.co.za
[Accessed 17 Mar. 2022]