Jessica Bragdon, co-founder of Koala Eco, is making cleaning ‘cleaner’, naturally.
When it comes to everyday cleaning products, consumer perspective is shifting, and driven by a rising consumer demand for cleaning products that are both effective and sustainable, “cleaner” cleaning is on the rise.
According to a newly published Smithers study, the sustainable cleaning products market is set to surge to $110 billion in 2025.
Launched in 2017, Koala Eco is an Australian natural cleaning products company contributing to this market’s growth. Koala Eco utilises high-grade, quintessentially Australian essential oils to create household cleaning products for a sensory cleaning experience – products that are both safe for the household and effective when used.
Koala Eco is also an environmentally responsible company. The Koala Eco products are packaged in recycled packaging and PET recyclable plastic, which entirely cuts out the need for virgin plastic production. What’s more is every month, Koala Eco customers avoid around 2000kg of virgin plastic being manufactured, and they also stop 25,000 litres of toxic liquid being dumped into our water systems.
Koala Eco is (evidently) purpose-driven, and is built upon the desire to “use the power of nature to inspire a safe, caring and beautiful world.” Behind every good company is a great founder, and Koala Eco – the epic home-grown company using Australian essential oils to create a safer, healthier, more enjoyable cleaning experience – is no exception.
The brains (and beauty) behind Koala Eco.
After studying Psychology in Boston, Jessica Brangdon, Koala Eco’s co-founder, started a successful floral business with her twin sister, which they subsequently sold. She then went on to achieve her Masters in Psychology at Columbia University in New York City, where she met her now husband and Koala Eco’s co-founder, Paul. The two then relocated to Perth, where the foundation for Koala Eco would ultimately be built.
Unsurprisingly, the idea for Koala Eco came to Jess whilst she was cleaning her home bathroom. Spraying the mirror with a conventional, chemical-laden glass spray, Jess subconsciously held her breath as she watched the mist fall onto her children’s toothbrushes. It was here that she questioned why there weren’t effective and healthy products that could enhance the overall cleaning experience.
“Cleaning products are such a neglected category, and we as consumers kind of accepted this as the way it should be,” Jess says of this realisation. So, after trying a bunch of non-toxic cleaning products that didn’t deliver, Jess created her own. The rest, as they say, is history.
Koala Eco differs from other cleaning product companies in terms of people, planet and profit.
Despite living for the majority of her adult life in large cities, Jess has always been nature-oriented and possessed a deep passion for the environment, and this has been transferred directly into the crux of Koala Eco. Jess is also wholly driven and influenced by mental health and a connection to nature, and her business is a reflection of these values.
During the developmental process, Jess and the Koala Eco team were set on creating accessible cleaning products that would bring nature into the house, which is why the products harness the power of plant-derived, biodegradable and grey water-safe ingredients that are free from nitrates, chlorine, ammonia, parabens, sulphates, palm oil, animal products and dyes.
The Koala Eco natural cleaning products have also been developed to give the user an unexpected, entirely superior experience, without the use of unnecessary chemicals and without compromising on the products’ effectiveness. Koala Eco utilises sugar-derived alcohol and Australian essential oils – including Pink Grapefruit, Tea Tree, Mandarin and Eucalyptus – which have all been chosen due to their unique and powerful properties.
Jess chose to use essential oils in Koala Eco’s everyday cleaning products because, to put it simply, they are safe for everyday use. Mandarin, for example, not only has antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, but it also evokes a sense of calm and contentment in those who smell it. The mandarin essential oil has found its way into Koala Eco’s Natural Dish Soap, Natural Floor Cleaner, Natural Multi-Purpose Kitchen Cleaner, and Natural Fruit and Vegetable Wash, which Jess hopes will uplift the user and elevate their entire cleaning experience.
Jess also utilises her background in psychology, as well as her interest in ecopsychology, within her business. As stated in Ecopsychology: How Immersion in Nature Benefits Your Health by Yale University, in “a study of 20,000 people, a team led by Mathew White of the European Centre for Environment & Human Health at the University of Exeter, found that people who spent two hours a week in green spaces were substantially more likely to report good health and psychological well-being than those who don’t.” Internally, Jess has implemented a paid hour for her staff members to get back into nature, and to reap the benefits and wellness that comes from this.
The future of Koala Eco is bright and shiny.
Jess will continue to use Koala Eco as a vehicle to continue giving back. Aside from their 1% For The Planet Partnership in which they support environmental conservation, the Koala Eco team hope to incorporate ecopsychology further into their business, including developing programs that bring the consumer back to nature.
Under the watchful eyes of Jess, Koala Eco will always remain a purpose-driven company dedicated to “cleaner” cleaning. This incredible Australian business will continue to develop natural cleaning products that are safe, effective and animal-free, and that will give their users a beautiful sensory experience each and every time they clean.
Shop Koala Eco’s range of natural cleaning products, and take 15% off with code ‘EME15’.
This article was written in collaboration with Koala Eco. Whilst this was a paid partnership, we genuinely only promote brands we wholeheartedly believe in, and that we ourselves believe to be examples of the best in the ethical and sustainable sphere.