Bamboo Club is the passion project of Maggie Charters and her best pal, Kim Cuthbertson. After seeing the statistics on single-use plastic and how devastating these were for the planet, the two friends began looking for a way to take action.
“There are 3.6 Billion toothbrushes thrown away every single year, and a plastic toothbrush takes four hundred years to breakdown. It’s shocking isn’t it? Literally every single toothbrush ever used is sitting in a land fill somewhere, or floating about in the oceans,” Maggie says. “We thought we could do something about it.”
That something was to become one of the new, young ‘side hustlers’ creating sustainable businesses. Maggie spent a long time finding a factory that sourced ethical, responsibly sourced bamboo and then set about designing the brushes to make them feel and look far more lovely than the usual plastic variety. There are six adult coloured – and four kids coloured – toothbrushes, with the ‘bambino brushes’ also having a sea creature embossed on the handle.
“We chose a turtle, whale, seahorse and a crab,” Maggie says. “All badly effected by the plastic waste we put in our oceans. We love them, but were surprised at how much kids love them too. Parents tell us it turns teeth brushing into story time: they’re learning about plastics at school where they can then become part of the solution, and learn about the cute animal on their own brush.”
Currently Bamboo Club is only available through its Instagram account, but that’s already proving a big hit: “We’re going to need to bigger premises!” Maggie laughs. “It’s a subscription service, so every eight weeks you get your brushes sent to you. A lot of families sign up all at once; it’s something they can do together to help the oceans.”
Maggie is a recent convert to Redhill, having moved from Wimbledon with her partner eighteen months ago. “If I hadn’t moved to Redhill, I’d never be doing Bamboo Club. I’ve got such a short commute into the City – forty minutes door to door; Thameslink is so reliable – which gives me the time and space to run Bamboo Club.”
It’s not all about the hustle though. Redhill and Reigate’s green spaces are perfect for Maggie’s little cockapoo – a scamp called Rufus – who loves running about the hills near the house (once Maggie’s picked up a coffee from Deli on the Hill). “It’s such a friendly place,” Maggie says. “And there are fantastic shops. I’m a massive fan of Mint Velvet, and we’re really lucky to have one here. I love eating out – a big restaurant girl – and Reigate has so many different styles of food and vibe. It’s a really great place to live.”