Welcome to another edition of our 'Meet the client' series where we explore the exciting companies we support with legal services.
This time, we’re speaking to Elle McIntosh, co-founder of Twipes, the start-up leading a bathroom-based revolution with environmentally friendly wet wipes.
Name and job title:
Ellenor McIntosh, co-founder and wizard of wipes at Twipes
What is it your company does?
We’ve created the first genuinely flushable wet wipes. Lots of brands proclaim that their wipes are flushable, but that only means the wipes will make it down the toilet – it doesn’t mean the wipes are dissolving or actually being as successfully flushed as toilet paper.
The build-up of these discarded wet wipes is one of the main contributors to the ‘fatbergs’ that are clogging sewage pipes around the country, so our product, which dissolves in three hours, aims to allow people to use wet wipes for their comfort and do so with the confidence that when they flush them they aren’t blocking pipes.
Our wet wipes are alcohol-free, paraben-free, plastic-free and overall fantastic for your body and the environment.
Who do you work with?
Currently, we’re working closely with independent hotels, gyms and restaurants to stock our product in their bathrooms.
However, in the next few months we’re going to launch our subscription service, which will mean consumers will be able to purchase the right amount of wipes to suit their lifestyle.
How long have you been in business and how has your business grown?
We began as a business in 2015, so we’re now about four years in. In the first few years, it was mainly R&D, however things really took a big step forward in 2017 when we were awarded the Mayor of London’s Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Since then, we have gone on to partner with some big brands such as IHG, KX Gym and even more out-there partnerships such as the Miss England Contest!
What inspired you to start/join your business?
A consistently blocked toilet! My co-founder, Al, told us wet wipes were clogging his toilets all the time, and as a former biomedical student, I was interested in what could be done to actually engineer a wipe that was usable but also flushable.
I looked at the current components in the wipes and then went to the lab to create an alternative – once I’d found a formula that worked, we didn’t look back.
What have been the biggest recent challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?
Expanding the team! When we first started it was just two of us: myself and my co-founder, Al. We’ve now grown to start-up team size, with colleagues formerly of major corporate companies like Credit Suisse, Pepsico and Mars.
It’s been a pretty big jump for them to transition from corporate life to start-up life. Whilst it’s really exciting to have a team on board, it’s been a challenge to manage it all and keep on top of everything.
What are your hopes/goals for the next 1-3 years?
As well as launching our subscription service, we’re hoping to start stocking in shops so that everyone can have quick and easy access to flushable wet wipes.
We’re also looking into diversifying our products, adjusting the formulas to create wipes that are able to be used as a cleaning product as well as a personal hygiene product.
What has it been like to work with Harper James?
Working with Harper James has been ace! We’ve preached about it so much that we could not recommend it more. We worked with Rob Cobley and the intellectual property team to get an IP audit performed and to solidify our intellectual property as much as possible.
Meeting with our solicitor and discussing our needs really helped me to open our eyes as to everything and expand our horizons when thinking about the company, it’s IP and it’s future.