With a growing range of intimate hygiene cleansing products, two-years-young start-up, Wype, is turning over £1m a year while also turning heads in the media.
With an impressive body of articles and TV appearances, Wype, which was founded by LBS alumni Giorgia Granata and Eli Khrapko in 2020, is today taking, head-on, one of the biggest challenges any new company faces – managing its own reputation.
With appearances on Dragons’ Den, a big spread in The Evening Standard, and now a mention in The Economist, Giorgia and Eli are cracking public relations, one of the toughest nuts for any new business.
Wype was founded by Giorgia and Eli, self-described as “as an inquisitive Italian and a globetrotting Kiwi”. When Giorgia first came to the UK from Italy, she was desperately missing her bidet and it was this dilemma which, dreadful pun intended, flushed out a great business proposition.
Wype is an environmentally-friendly alternative to wet wipes, those effective but ultimately ecologically ruinous, cloths made of polyester, polypropylene and other non-flushable materials. In place of these non-biodegradable fabrics so often responsible for creating mountainous glop lodged in domestic pipes and public sewer systems, Giorgia and Eli have invented a natural vegan gel that can be applied to regular (and biodegradable) toilet tissue.
“Our gel is natural and organic, biodegradable, and plastic-free which means it won’t clog pipes,” says Giorgia, the former Head of Product Development at Versace Jeans Apparel and a graduate of the world-famous Fashion Institute of Technology whose alumni include Calvin Klein, Michael Kors and Norma Kamali.
The daily impact on the environment of wet wipe products, paper towels and makeup removal cloths is longstanding and far-reaching in Britain. With a name akin to a sinister character in a Roald Dhal novel, so-called ‘Fatbergs’ - masses of discarded rubbish and pollution, some the size of football fields - have been found clogging up the sewage systems all over London.
This foulest of foul issues is covered in a recent article in The Economist, Britain’s newest islets are made of wet wipes, (The Economist, January 30 2023) in which a number of dreadful ‘inconvenient truths’ are revealed, principally that Britons dispose of 11bn wet wipes a year.
Happily, in both an ecological and a promotional sense, Wype gets a mention at this juncture: “Wype, a natural gel that is applied to toilet paper, is the invention of Giorgia Granata, an Italian expat mourning Britain’s lack of bidets.”
Naturally, Eli and Giorgia are cock-a-hoop at being mentioned in this illustrious organ. “It’s a huge stamp of approval regarding the issue we are addressing,” says Eli.
“We have a busy first half of the year with a few more announcements coming soon, including the launch of a crowdfunding campaign which will give our community and the public the opportunity to become investors in the company. This round will allow us to enter omnichannel retail, double down on R&D and further drive our awareness and customer acquisition,” says Giorgia.