This month, UK-based social enterprise Change Please launched Serious Tissues: A line of recycled toilet paper for which all proceeds are donated to the NHS. Normally, Change Please works to help homeless people achieve upward mobility by becoming baristas. The organization then pivoted to launch Serious Tissues, originally founded to address sustainability and save trees, this summer. However, the COVID-fueled spike in demand for toilet paper inspired Change Please to release the line early. Serious Tissues’ profits go to covering the costs of travel and accommodation, as well as wellness packs, for NHS workers taking on long shifts. One 36-roll package retails for GBP 24.
This quote, from Change Please co-founder Chris Baker, is what made Serious Tissues stand out to our team: “Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen people up and down the country panic buying toilet rolls and we believe we can turn this behavior into a force for good.”
So, one idea for your organization? Consider some of the worst parts of this pandemic: the consumer hoarding impeding supply chains, the lack of in-person interaction...or perhaps, conversely, the number of people not taking social distancing seriously. Serious Tissues did just that, drawing a connection between the UK public’s desperation for toilet paper — and the subsequent economic opportunity — and the country’s essential health services’ need for funding. So think creatively about how you can make your customers’ dollars (or pounds, yen, pesos...whatever you earn!) go further, for the good of society. Is there a negative aspect of this epidemic you could flip on its head? How can you find (and then exploit) a silver lining?
The TrendWatching content team