When you stand in front of long shelves of detergents and dishwasher tabs in a drugstore, you don't believe that these everyday products need to be reinvented: they are available in all variations, in powder form, as a concentrate, liquid in bottles, as tabs or pods, from some brands also with eco-label.

Nevertheless, Katrin Steinbach tried to reinvent the wheel and compete with the big corporations.

Not because she doesn't know the market, but precisely because of that.

The 44-year-old graduate engineer from Wiesbaden has been working in the cosmetics industry for 17 years, where she is responsible, among other things, for the development of harmless cosmetic products as a sustainability officer.

So it's not surprising

She developed the idea for sustainable products and her own company during the Corona pandemic, a year ago she went online with her shop.

So far, there is a heavy-duty detergent, the “world’s smallest dishwashing tabs”, a face cream and a body lotion.

A mild detergent should be added in the next few weeks.

All products are climate neutral, vegan and not tested on animals.

The list of ingredients is transparent, 90 percent of them come from Europe, production takes place in Germany, and the skin care even comes from a partner laboratory in Frankfurt.

Instead of exotic beauty promises, the creams come with simple active ingredients made from apple fibers from Lake Constance and Styrian pumpkin from Austria.

Apple water from Poland, which otherwise ends up in the sewage system, is also an ingredient.

The dishwashing tabs are the most popular product in their range so far.

With a diameter of one centimeter, they are as small as a headache pill and do not require any foil.

"Due to their much smaller size, they are also stable during transport and do not crumble." The engineer does not understand why traditional suppliers absolutely have to color their tabs blue and red.

"At most, there are streaks in the dishwasher, because you don't need any dye to clean them." In addition to the environmental aspects of the missing fillers, the stockkeeping and storage of the much smaller products is another advantage.

Flushing costs around 10 cents once.

“As an older founder, I fall through the cracks”

Katrin Steinbach sees a growing market for her range, as enlightened customers are increasingly asking for sustainable products.

Unnecessary fillers only artificially bloated conventional detergents and then ended up in the waste water.

"Large companies also know that they have to change something," says Steinbach.

She believes that market shares will shift and that more and more sustainable products, which are still considered niche products today, will conquer the market.

Shrinking resources, unreliable supply chains, all of this is forcing companies to rethink.

So far she has been on two tracks, working three days a week and dedicating the rest of her time as a mother of two to her own company.

Like many other young start-ups, she did not receive any financial support or funding.

"As an older founder, I fall through all the cracks," she says.

Most start-up competitions have an age limit of up to 35 years or end five years after graduation.

However, thanks to her long career as a specialist, she has a great deal of experience and know-how, as she says.

"I'm happy that my employer gives me free rein." She had had the concept for her products for a long time, the corona-related home office and the question of what to do afterwards gave her the impetus to implement it.

She currently relies on her web shop as a sales channel, because her sustainable products are not yet available in brick-and-mortar stores.

Health food stores and unpackaged shops should be added at some point.

Keywords: