Why We're Sqwishful

Call us Sqwishful. We believe that something we want to happen can happen. Especially when it comes to our everyday choices and the impact we can make.

 

Given our current climate crisis, some might call this wishful. We call it Sqwishful – a name that embodies our hopes for the future based on our greatest gift.

 

At its highest potential, our imagination can create new realities while holding space for our current ones. Our ability to consider and share unfounded possibilities is what makes us human.

 

Often, it's our most unlikely ideas that define us. It's what put men on the moon and text on this screen. It's what gives us the courage to dream in the face of reality.

 

As a company, we're committed to making ordinary things better for the earth.

 

Our mission to protect our planet, care for our health, and create change are more than promises. They are our daily work. By sharing them with the world, we hope to inspire and empower everyone to do the same.

Sqwishful Thinking: dismantling ideas and offering solutions that are equitable, circular, and carbon-saving

Design by Rafaela Mascaro 

Call It Sqwishful Thinking

We're here to change the cleaning industry. By changing the way we think about "clean." And offering solutions that are equitable, circular, and carbon-saving.

 

As a small team, we won't achieve this overnight or alone. Which, is why we're excited to set goals for the year ahead and share them with you, our community 👋🏼


Our Sqwishlist

We've made investing in communities, sustainably sourcing plant-based materials, and designing our products to reduce their carbon footprint our priorities. While we're proud of the work we've done, there is more we can do.

 

That's why we came up with our Sqwishlist, a list of goals we hope to achieve over the next year. Throughout, we'll explore topics to learn more about the evolving climate space and imagine ways to make it better.

 

1. Investing In Community

As an Asian-American and woman-owned business, we strive to uplift communities of color and support women and gender non-conforming founders. We do this by working with, and buying from, companies that are majority-owned and operated by individuals who belong to these groups.

Our suppliers, vendors, and brand partners are:

  • 74% BIPOC
  • 26% White
  • 50% Women & Gender Non-Conforming
 

Our goal is to increase the percentage of businesses owned by women and gender non-conforming founders to 75% by 2022.

The words "best sqwishes"

 Design by Rafaela Mascaro

2. Building Circularity

As a sustainable business, we believe in building circular economies based on the principles of "designing out" waste, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.

 

When we source materials, we start by looking at a material's environmental impact. How renewable is the crop? What does the lifecycle look like? How much energy, water, waste, and carbon get consumed or generated in production?

 

An example of this is our switch to tree-free packagingWhile we still love kraft paper, we found that sugarcane fiber, or bagasse, puts less strain on forests. Using bagasse diverts leftover sugarcane husk from incineration or landfill. It supports an economy for waste material that preserves its value over time. Producing paper from bagasse consumes significantly less water and energy and generates less CO2. It can also be treated like ordinary paper and processed in the same recycling stream.


What happens at a product's end of life is just as important as the beginning. This is why we use materials that are: recyclable, recycled, biodegradable, or compostable.

 

Currently, 100% of our products and packaging are compostable and meet one or more of these categories. Compared to 83% of our shipping materials, which we can do better to improve.


Our goal is to make 100% of our shipping materials compostable and design a framework for measuring and becoming more circular by 2022.


3. Drawing Down Carbon

Becoming carbon neutral is a big challenge for small brands. Measuring the carbon footprint of every material at every stage of its journey from seed to shelf can be tricky. And as a small brand, working with numerous suppliers and vendors offers us less control over every aspect of our supply chain than if we were vertically integrated.

 

Over the years, we have found suppliers and vendors who work with small brands to achieve higher standards.

 

We can confidently say that we work with and learn from the best.

 

When sourcing, we look for materials that are lighter and have a lower upstream CO2 footprint. When designing, we look for ways to minimize waste and further reduce weight, helping lower C02 downstream. 

The words "Sqwishful Thinking" framing a photo of a sustainable sponge floating in clouds
Design by Rafaela Mascaro 

By design, compressing our sponges allows us to use less packaging and storage space and reduces transportation costs. An astute customer once pointed out that nothing should get lighter by simply compressing it. The thing about sponges is that they love to absorb moisture, even from the air over time!


Our compressed sponges are not only smaller when compressed but drier and thereby lighter because they hold less moisture content. At 1/3 of the weight and 1/8 of the space of a conventional sponge, our compressed sponges significantly reduce storage and transportation costs.


We also support local businesses. Almost 50% of our suppliers and vendors are located less than 500 miles from our warehouse. And about 70% are less than 1,000 miles away.

 

Our goal is to become carbon neutral, and ultimately, carbon negative.

 

Currently, to offset our carbon footprint, we plant trees and purchase carbon offsets. To date, we have contributed to planting 29,988 trees in 22 locations as part of the Eco-Packaging Alliance.


Our goal is to increase the percentage of local businesses we work with by 10% and design a framework for reducing, measuring, and offsetting our carbon footprint by 2022.

The words "everyday is a clean start"

Design by Rafaela Mascaro

Let's Be the Change We Sqwish to See

Angela Davis said, "we have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society." Any lasting change starts with how we think and view the world.

 

One aspect of our work that's essential but difficult to measure is dismantling ideas about "clean." It's how we approach creating solutions that are equitable, circular, and carbon-saving. And what we hope to normalize alongside believing in our individual and collective actions.


Well, there it is. Sqwishful as a philosophy, paradigm, and path. We're taking ordinary things that inspire cleaner, greener living to new heights. And dreaming up a better future using the simplest of tools. We invite you to join us.