Q&A: The start-up committed to sustainable bed and bath fabrics

Today, we talk to Marcus Nelson, the entrepreneur behind Loop Home, which has been making waves for their bed and bath linen made entirely out of high-quality organic fibres. With Loop Home, Marcus aims to create accessible, design-led pieces for the home while advocating for the education of consumers in making environmentally-conscious purchases and transparency in the way their business is being run, which he hopes would be something businesses would emulate as well.

ISB: How did the idea for Loop Home come to you?

MN: From a design perspective, the bed and bath category is quite generic and we felt there was an opportunity to provide a more contemporary aesthetic, using only organic fibres at the highest quality we could source while remaining accessible to consumers. The benefits of organic cotton are significant but for existing brands, it only comprises a small component of their product range. As a result, they don’t talk about these benefits because it would reflect poorly on the rest of their operations. We wanted to change that.

ISB: How do your products contribute to creating a more circular economy?

MN: Our bed and bath linen are designed to last by only using high-grade, combed long-staple organic cotton that increases the product’s longevity – plus we incorporate simple design choices such as making our products reversible to extend their time and value in use. Our Re-Loop program incentivises consumers to consider the full lifecycle of the products they consume by offering a buy-back program for Loop Home goods. This means that products that are no longer of use to consumers are then upcycled into new products such as throws and cushions, rather than adding to the landfill crisis in Australia.

ISB: What has been the most challenging aspect of this business for you thus far and how did you overcome it?

MN: Finding partners that shared our commitment to sustainability and aligned with our values. We cold-called around 50 manufacturers until we found the right fit for us, the challenge being we were a new brand without a presence that was demanding high standards.  We were determined and stuck with our goals and things eventually fell into place.

ISB: What inspired you to create a related business (Re-Loop) and how does it benefit Loop Home?

MN: So much of how brands talk about sustainability is at the point of sale, whereas Re-Loop was intended to create a closed-loop business model that meant we had a plan in place for the end-of-life stage for what we sold, rather than it becoming someone else’s problem. Rather than incentivising people at the point of sale, Re-Loop incentivises people to recycle and the store credit we provide can be used to buy new products through Loop Home. So much of fast fashion is made with man-made fibres which can take decades to break down in landfills and so there is an education process that’s important to us as well.

ISB: What is your long-term vision for Loop Home?

MN: In the short term, we’ll continue to evolve the existing range of colours and styles and broaden our offering within bed and bath linen. Following this, we’ll continue to experiment with other product categories however we intend to do a lot of research into this to make sure we’re happy with this category and we’re producing with purpose.

We’re not pursuing a growth strategy just for the sake of it. We want our production methods to be considered and ensure that they’re filling a gap in the market rather than over-producing. We’re seeking to collaborate with other like-minded brands that share a similar commitment to sustainability and can demonstrate this in how they run their businesses.

ISB: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in this business journey that you hope to share with other would-be business owners?

MN: Doing things right from day 1 is hard – but it definitely pays as things are harder to change down the track and starting off right enables you to scale in the right way. Having clear criteria like this makes it easier to decide how and why to grow, rather than growth for growth’s sake. This provides clarity in the way both we and our partners operate and makes decisions on how to grow and operate the business that much easier.

Feature image courtesy of Dominic Al-Samarraie