As part of its mission to end single-use plastic use, Blueland has saved over 1 billion plastic bottles from landfills and oceans since 2019. Its products are refillable and designed to last. The company believes eco-friendly and low-waste homes should be easy to build.
Blueland has won Amazon's Products for Tomorrow award. The company achieved profitability just four years after its founding and is now entering big-box stores like Target and Costco.
But what sets Blueland apart from other DTC brands? Its innovative approach to reducing plastic waste distinguishes it from its competitors.
This case study will teach you everything you need to understand about Blueland and what entrepreneurs can learn from its story.
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What is Blueland?
Blueland is a startup company that creates non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning products and hand soap packaged in reusable ‘’Forever Bottles.’’ The aim of this is to reduce single-use plastic in everyday life. The cleaners are concentrated tablets that dissolve when added to the ‘’Forever Bottle’’ water.
Blueland products are cost-effective, vegan, cruelty-free, non-GMO, and gluten-free. Its packaging is recyclable, and the tablet wrappers are compostable and biodegradable.
Who founded Blueland?
What is its origin story?
Blueland's story begins with its co-founder, Sara Paiji Yoo. Sara felt inspired to start the company after giving birth to her first child. She conducted extensive research into the right water to use in her baby's formula.
According to her research, Sarah found tap and bottled water in the US has many tiny bits of plastic - hundreds per litre. She discovered that humans consume about the same amount of plastic as a credit card every week. ''This information is staggering,'' she says.
She later presented her tablet idea to existing companies but none quite caught her vision. Sara recalls how these prospective partners stared at her as if she had three heads. The companies were not equipped to handle tablet production and were used to working with liquid products.
Sara and co-founder John Mascari searched LinkedIn for chemists who could help them create the idea. They found a former director of a big natural cleaning company to join them. However, their journey was not over yet.
They faced difficulties finding a manufacturer who could pack their tablets on paper because most machines were made of plastic. They eventually found a machine in Europe but had to buy and ship it to the US, which almost derailed the project.
Sara and John saw an opportunity to create a company that could provide a more sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional cleaning products. They wanted to develop a product line that was non-toxic, cost-effective, and easy to use while reducing plastic waste.
Eventually, after a long journey of thorough research and development, Blueland's Clean Essentials kit was launched in April 2019.
How was this brand funded?
Blueland has secured a total of $23M in investment in three rounds. Their most recent funding round was February 16th, 2022, through a seed round. The company has received financial support from 12 investors. The latest investors include Prelude Growth Partners and Able Partners. Here are the different investors that funded Blueland:
In 2019, Blueland raised $3 million in a funding round led by Primary Venture Partners, Able Partners, and Great Oaks Venture Capital
In 2020, the company announced a $9 million Series A funding round led by GGV Oaks Capital.
What made Blueland grow?
Blueland's focus is on reducing single-use plastic waste. The company has expanded tremendously over the years. Factors that have contributed to its growth include:
- Sustainable and eco-friendly products. Blueland's products solve the problem of single-use plastic waste by providing reusable containers and dissolvable tablets. The company's commitment to non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free products appeals to consumers who are conscious of the environment and animal welfare.
- Environmental consciousness: The company capitalized on global awareness and concern for environmental issues, particularly plastic waste. By providing a solution that eliminated single-use reusable bottles, Blueland tapped into the growing demand for sustainable products. Consumers were drawn to the company's commitment to reducing plastic waste and its mission to create a more sustainable future.
- Convenience and cost savings: Cleaning tablets or powders could be easily shipped and stored, reducing bulky bottles. Customers can use their own reusable containers or purchase Blueland's durable, refillable bottles. Compared to traditional cleaning products, this method saves customers money.
- Online presence and marketing: Blueland leveraged its online presence and marketing strategies to reach a wide audience. Through engaging social media campaigns, and collaborations with influencers, the company expanded its brand visibility and attracted customers who aligned with its values.
- Expansion of product line: Blueland expanded its product line beyond cleaning supplies. It introduced other sustainable household products such as hand soaps, dish soaps, and laundry detergents. By diversifying its offerings, Blueland caters to a broader range of consumer needs and increases its market reach.
- Consumer education: The company emphasizes on consumer education about the environmental impact of traditional cleaning products and the benefits of switching to sustainable alternatives. Blueland empowers consumers by providing transparency and information on its website and through various marketing channels. By reducing plastic waste, it encourages them to join the movement.
What is its valuation?
Blueland's valuation in April 2023 was $10 million.
What lessons can entrepreneurs learn from the Blueland story?
Blueland recognizes the growing concern about single-use plastics and traditional cleaning products' environmental impact. Offering a solution that addresses consumers' needs is one way to tap into their preferences.
The company's commitment to sustainability is at the core of its brand. Blueland prioritizes creating eco-friendly products and packaging, which resonates with environmentally conscious consumers. Embracing a purpose-driven approach can differentiate your business and attract like-minded customers.
Blueland's distinct packaging approach played a crucial role in their success. They created cleaning tablets that dissolve in water, eliminating traditional plastic bottles. By thinking outside the box and reimagining product design, entrepreneurs can create solutions that capture client attention.
The company focuses on educating consumers about the environmental impact of single-use plastics and the benefits of their products. By fostering transparency and providing educational resources, you can establish trust and credibility with your target audience.
Blueland recognizes that convenience is essential for consumers. Their cleaning products are easy to use, just drop them into reusable bottles filled with water. By prioritizing convenience and removing barriers to adoption, entrepreneurs can make their products more appealing to a broader audience.
Blueland understands the importance of building a community through social media engagement and customer advocacy. By nurturing a sense of community and creating opportunities for customers to share their experiences, entrepreneurs can harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing and create a reliable customer base.
How is Blueland different from other cleaning products?
Blueland seeks to reduce cleaning products' environmental impact by eliminating single-use plastic bottles and providing refillable solutions. Their products are non-toxic and free of harmful chemicals. This helps promote a sustainable and eco-friendly cleaning approach.
Their cleaning tablets are an innovative alternative to traditional liquid cleaning products. The tablets are compact and dissolve easily in water. This design reduces transportation weight and saves storage space compared to bulkier liquid cleaning products.
Blueland differs from other cleaning products because of its flexible business model that focuses on reusable packaging. Unlike traditional cleaning products that come in single-use plastic bottles, Blueland's tablets are used in reusable spray bottles. This approach reduces single-use plastic bottles and minimizes waste.
What are the main products offered by Blueland?
Blueland's main products include:
- Cleaning tablets
- Hand soap tablets
- Dish soap tablets
- Laundry tablets
- Powder dish soap.
What type of scents does Blueland offer?
Some scents offered by Blueland include:
- Iris Agave - a fresh and floral scent
- Perrine Lemon - a bright and citrusy scent
- Lavender & Eucalyptus - a calming and herbal scent
- Rose Bergamot - a romantic and uplifting scent
- Aloe Tea - refreshing and green scent
Blueland also offers unscented options for those who prefer fragrance-free cleaning products.
Does Blueland have any product certifications?
Yes, Blueland has product certifications like Leaping Bunny certification, which means they do not test on animals. EPA Safer Choice certified, meaning they meet strict criteria for human and environmental safety.
What type of subscription service does Blueland offer?
Customers can choose to subscribe and receive their chosen products regularly, such as every one, two, or three months. This allows customers to have a steady supply of their favorite products without worrying about running out or reordering.
Blueland also has a subscription starter kit with cleaning tablets and reusable bottles. This is an ideal way for existing customers to try out the brand's products and see which ones they like best. Customers can modify or cancel their subscriptions at any time.
Blueland stands out from other cleaning product brands due to its adaptable business strategy that emphasizes repeatable packaging. Unlike traditional cleaning products packaged in plastic bottles, Blueland's tablets are packaged in refillable spray bottles.
Blueland creates non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning products and hand soap packaged in reusable ‘’Forever Bottles’’. The brand's goal to reduce single-use plastic extends beyond business transactions.
The company's products are cost-effective, vegan, cruelty-free, non-GMO, and gluten-free. Its packaging is recyclable, and the tablet wrappers are compostable and biodegradable.
Now that you've discovered the incredible impact of Blueland and their innovative approach to reducing single-use plastics, it's time to elevate your own e-commerce business to new heights.
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