Who Gives A Crap? Simon Hill does!

When it comes to product names, Simon Griffiths has hit on one of the more memorable – his company Who Gives A Crap is enabling people to make a difference to the developing world, one toilet roll at a time.

Let’s face it, there’s nothing sexy about toilet paper. It might be a part of our daily lives, but how often do you really think about it beyond making sure there’s a good supply in your cupboard to avoid being caught short? But what if every time you bought toilet paper, you got to help build a toilet for a community in the developing world? That’d have to make you feel good about going to the loo, wouldn’t it?

This is exactly what toilet-paper company Who Gives A Crap is designed to do. The Melbourne-based company was created to help solve the very serious problem that 2.3 billion people around the world face – lack of access to a toilet.

That’s one in three people who don’t have access to a toilet. That’s not just an inconvenience, it’s a major health problem. Poor sanitation and water supply lead to diarrhoeal diseases, which one child under five dies from every two minutes. Let that sink in.

WGAC’s Co-founder Simon Griffiths saw it first-hand when he was volunteering with aid organisations across the developing world. He had a burning desire to change this on a grand scale, and began searching for an innovative business idea that would allow him to do this. He had established a bar in Melbourne that gave a portion of beer sales to improvement projects but it wasn’t scalable to the size required to tackle the size of the problem. So he realised he needed a product that could be massed produced. A product that everyone needs …

With co-founders Danny Alexander and Jehan Ratnatunga, Who Gives A Crap was launched in 2013 through a crowd-funding campaign that saw a livestream of Simon sitting on a toilet until they’d raised $50,000. It took 50 hours and got them a lot of attention and their idea off the ground.

Since then, the company has donated $1.8M – half of its profits – towards building toilets via its partnerships with organisations like WaterAid Australia, Sanergy, Shining Hope for Communities and Lwala Community Alliance.

“Toilets are proven to be a great solution – they provide dignity, health and an improved quality of life. It’s been shown that a dollar invested in sanitation yields $5.50 in increased economic prosperity. ”The remaining profits are used to build the business. “It’s incredibly important for us to prove our profit-for-purpose business model can work. The more people see this, the more social enterprises like ours can get off the ground and do great things!”

They don’t intend to stop until everyone around the world has access to a toilet. That’s a lot of toilet paper left to sell!

Fortunately, their approach is proving popular. The product ticks many feel-good boxes – as well as helping make a difference to people in the developing world, it’s environmentally friendly (made from 100 percent recycled paper or bamboo, with no inks, dyes or scents), highly affordable (between 25 and 31 cents per 100 sheets), easy to buy (as single purchases and subscription), and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

All that and it comes in colourful packaging that makes it too good to hide away. It just goes to show how an everyday product can be taken to the next level with some innovative thinking, a determination to make a difference and a strong sense of fun.

“Who Gives A Crap was launched in 2013 through a crowd-funding campaign that saw a livestream of Simon sitting on a toilet until they’d raised $50,000. It took 50 hours.”
“Who Gives A Crap was launched in 2013 through a crowd-funding campaign that saw a livestream of Simon sitting on a toilet until they’d raised $50,000. It took 50 hours.”

Since then, the company has donated $1.8M – half of its profits – towards building toilets via its partnerships with organisations like WaterAid Australia, Sanergy, Shining Hope for Communities and Lwala Community Alliance.

“Toilets are proven to be a great solution – they provide dignity, health and an improved quality of life. It’s been shown that a dollar invested in sanitation yields $5.50 in increased economic prosperity. ”The remaining profits are used to build the business. “It’s incredibly important for us to prove our profit-for-purpose business model can work. The more people see this, the more social enterprises like ours can get off the ground and do great things!”

They don’t intend to stop until everyone around the world has access to a toilet. That’s a lot of toilet paper left to sell!

Fortunately, their approach is proving popular. The product ticks many feel-good boxes – as well as helping make a difference to people in the developing world, it’s environmentally friendly (made from 100 percent recycled paper or bamboo, with no inks, dyes or scents), highly affordable (between 25 and 31 cents per 100 sheets), easy to buy (as single purchases and subscription), and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

All that and it comes in colourful packaging that makes it too good to hide away. It just goes to show how an everyday product can be taken to the next level with some innovative thinking, a determination to make a difference and a strong sense of fun.