Clean for good
A social enterprise which provides paid employment for disabled people by selling an eco range of cleaning products, hopes to capture a slice of the market with its unique focus on ecological sustainability and social impact. It’s the only range of eco cleaning products in New Zealand which uses 100% recycled plastic milk bottles. What’s more, customers can then return the bottles which can in turn be recycled.
It may be just out of its starter blocks, but the founders of Will&Able are ambitious, and aim to have 20,000 return customers on its books, and employ 100 people by 2021. Its parent company, Altus Enterprises, is striving hard to enable the fledgling business to become its own self-sustaining social enterprise.
Altus already provides over 200 jobs for people with mental and physical disabilities. When you visit their warehouse down the road from Onehunga, it’s a hive of activity, with workers carrying out a myriad of tasks for contracted clients. These range from filling airline toiletry kits, packing plumbing accessories, and cleaning and testing airline headphones.
Craig Burston, who is spearheading Will&Able, and whose disabled son works at Altus, says the work Altus provides is reliant on contracts from other businesses, which they have no control over. Their idea was to start their own sustainable, profitable, social enterprise, which would employ people with different levels of disability and pay the minimum wage. “It’s an idea they own – they have a stake in, “ he says. The profit they make from sales will go directly to creating more jobs for people with disabilities. What’s more, instead of being at home, isolated, and lacking direction, they will have a community to belong to, a purpose to strive for, and a way to develop more independence and financial freedom.
“Members can be sure their money is going towards a cause with integrity that focuses on ecological sustainability, social impact and ethics,”says Craig.
To find out more go to willandable.co.nz and check out their Facebook and Instagram tag @willandablenz
(The team at Will&Able fill and label the bottles and despatch them to customers)