"Serving in one of the IDF's special forces, I was spending a lot of time in the field with no shower and so always had a pack of baby wipes in my gear..."
A study in 2017 by Water UK, the body representing the UK’s water and sewerage companies, found that wet wipes made up a staggering 93% of the material causing blockages. Unlike tissues for example, wet wipes are often made partly from polyester, a plastic that doesn’t deteriorate. Many are also chemically treated to ensure they last longer, which makes them slow to degrade, and when they do they add pieces of plastics to the ground or water. Now an Israeli company, Combat Wipes is aiming to change our reliance on these convenient if damaging products. Today our Editor Luke Upton, speaks to their founder and CEO B.F. ( who due to other work commitments, he needs to remain anonymous for now) about the products origins in the IDF, creating a unique selling point and offers his own advice to those looking to start their own business.
Luke Upton (LU): Thanks for the time today, so as an introduction – what’s been your personal path to becoming CEO of Combat Wipes ?
BF: Serving in one of the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) special forces, I was spending a lot of time in the field with no shower and so always had a pack of baby wipes in my gear. I never found the wipes that would serve serve me well in terms of strength, cleansing effect and of course would be biodegradable. Years after, and whilst still part of the reserves forces in Israel, and having had over 10 years’ experience in technical sales, I decided to make the wipe I have always wanted to have for myself so other outdoor enthusiasts and users could enjoy it as well.
LU: So, what’s the unique selling point of Combat Wipes ( @CombatWipes ) ? Why should people buy them?
BF: Above all, a 100% biodegradable wipe that you can bury after use and forget. It goes back to nature 100%, has recyclable packaging and a cleansing and refreshing formula that has all the right ingredients for anyone experiencing the outdoors. This is not just another baby wipes pack, it specifically designed to the outdoor enthusiasts.
LU: From a technical perspective, what was the process behind developing the product?
BF: Defining and producing the right fabric in terms of biodegradability, size, thickness, texture and the formula that will be antibacterial, will keep your skin refreshed all without the sticky and smelly residue of other wipes.
LU: What do you most enjoy about launching a business in the sustainable industry?
BF: That we can be part of keeping our planet as free of plastics and contamination as much as possible and to be part of a community that actually cares about and enjoys the outdoors. We show that it is possible to leave a good impact and to be able to offer a tailor-made hygiene-keeping product.
LU: And what’s the biggest challenge?
BF: Not to be considered as just “another pack of wipes”, but as a MUST have outdoor gear accessory. People would go far to choose the right hiking shoes, walking poles, tent and backpack, but would not think it is as important to keep good hygiene while outdoors for a few hours or days, with no access to showers. Good hygiene provides good health we are here to support this.
LU: What advice would you give someone looking to start their own business?
BF: Aim for the best product or service, always make sure you have added genuine value and not just another product, always know your customers' true needs and tell the truth. Be honest and connect to your customers on a personal level.
LU: If we were having this discussion again in five years time, what would you like the business to look like?
BF: Global brand recognition, employing nature-loving people and a successful business that supports keeping our planet as clean as possible while providing non-compromising quality products.
LU: Combat Wipes aside… what’s your favourite sustainable or bio-based product?
BF: For me its biodegradable baby diapers as current regular diapers have a massive impact on our planet and Tencel/Modal fibres based clothing.
LU: Thanks BF, we’ll keep our readers up to date with your developments and reveal your real name when we can!
WE WANT YOU! If you would like to feature in the feature that every week puts a face to the brand and provides established businesses and start-ups the crucial advice they need in this industry, please email me, Luke@BioBasedWorldNews.com with an overview of who you are and what you do. Thanks!