Two bottles of Dirty Labs detergent submerged in clear water

18 February 2021 

Ultra-concentrated detergent bulks up on enzymes for a cleaner green wash

Traditional laundry detergents get clothes clean, but also dirty up wastewater with chemicals. On the other hand, environmentally-friendly versions don't always do the trick when it comes to removing stains.

Portland-based Dirty Labs created an alternative that's readily biodegradable, yet fights stains by making enzymes the key ingredient. Whether it's in the human body or in a jar of kimchi fermenting on a countertop, enzymes aid in breaking down starches, oils and proteins, which also make up the majority of textile stains. Dirty Labs uses a proprietary blend of enzymes and 'natural stain fighters'. The enzymes are produced through fermentation, using naturally occurring microbes.

Just two teaspoons are needed for a standard load, making each 20 fl oz (591 ml) bottle last 75 loads, and the bottles are made of 73% recycled aluminum with a recyclable plastic cap. Dirty Labs, which launched in October 2020, offers both a scent-free product and one with a magnolia, bergamot and cedar fragrance, retailing direct-to-consumer for USD 19.

Both consumer demand and government regulations continue to push household cleaning and personal care products to do less harm to the environment. New brands can embed sustainable practices into their DNA from the start, while large companies can leverage their resources to initiate change on a consequential scale. Is your brand taking every step it can to stay ahead of the curve?

(Related: Everist launches first waterless shampoo and conditioner concentrates.)

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