Babson Undergraduate Business Making Laundry ‘Clean’
Babson undergraduate students Ryan Lupberger ’18 and Sam Gaudet ’18 are the founders of CleanCult, a subscription service that they say delivers the most effective, non-toxic laundry pods, so that you can feel clean, not chemicals. Their mission is to deliver that “clean-sheets feeling” to people while removing harmful chemicals from their skin and the waste stream.
The idea came from the simple act of doing laundry. “When I got to college, I started to do my own laundry,” says Lupberger, “I looked at the back of the laundry bottle and didn’t see any ingredients.” This lead to Lupberger doing some research into what exactly laundry detergent was made out of.
“After reading and talking with professors in at home in Boulder, Colorado and at Babson, I came to the conclusion that conventional laundry is not only harmful for the world, but also extremely detrimental to our skin and to young children,” says Lupberger.
This business idea was partnered with the inspiration to make laundry detergent more efficient; to ditch the large plastic bottle and create pods that not only worked but weren’t harmful to the environment or to the consumer.
CleanCult supplies some of the most effective, non-toxic laundry pods on the market. According to an study conducted by a third party examiner, Sterling Labs, CleanCult beat Tide in removing stains of grass, blood, milk, clay, and cocoa. CleanCult does this with a nontoxic formula that does not contain the five worst ingredients (Phosphates, Chlorines and Dyes, Fragrance, EDTA, and 1.4 Dioxane) in conventional detergents.
CleanCult is aiming to become the best known and most adopted soap brand among young socially conscious millennials. Its container is a unique shipping and packaging option, not yet used in the laundry industry, that they believe will appeal to their millennial audience. The goal is to be in every Whole Foods in the country and to make a significant reduction in the amount of toxic chemicals on the skin of their customers.
Lupberger is a part of the Entrepreneurship Tower at Babson, which has helped him grow his business from an idea into a venture. He also credits the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship and the Summer Venture Program for CleanCult’s growth through supplying resources and mentoring.
“We want to prove that the triple bottom line is possible. It is both possible and beneficial to create a business based on profitability and impact,” says Lupberger.