The World's greenest bicycle product?
Plant based: The EcoSponge uses a plant based inner. This plant is indigenous to the Philipines and has to grow amongst other indignous plants. Growing these is therefore good for the ecosystem.
Recycled: The outside is made of recycled cotton. Litterally, every Ecospone is completely unique! They are largely made from reclaimed cottong rice sacks. This is super soft for frame cleaning, and tought enough to wipe down your frame too.
Compostable: The Ecosponge is biodegradable and can go on your compost heap if it ever wears out. It is Petrochemical free, so you're not putting fragments of petrochemicals into the environment when using it.
What is 'fair trade'?
The Ecosponge is our only fair trade product, because the term 'fair trade' doesn't apply to things produced in 'developed' countries like the UK, or products from large factories where a different set of ethical labour codes are applied. Simply, the UK and similar countries have a minimum wage and a welfare state which generally plays the role fair trade principals. 'Fair trade' applies generally to processed farm products, and things made by hand in developing countries. Like coffee, or little wood toys for example.
The Ecosponge is the only Green Oil product made outside of the UK. It is made in the Philipines and its production adheres to the ten principles of fair trade, listed here. Its basically about treating workers well and giving them long term prospects to alleviate poverty.The Ecosponge helps the economy of the Philipines, important after the recent Typhoon.
Receiving a fair income from fair trade products means extra cash to save for a rainy day (sometimes literally with the recent Typhoon in 2013) to buy food, investment in education, contraception and a host of other good things. You can find out more on the World Fair Trade Organization website.
Basically, fair trade is about breaking the cycle of poverty. Green Oil has a moral purpose as well as a profit motivation, so fair trade is something we strongly support in principal.
Why not use a natural sea sponge?
Apparently too many people want sponges from the bottom of the sea, and people taking too many is damaging the ecosystem in various places.
So growing sponges using fair trade principles is the way forward, rather than using sea sponges.
How to use the Ecosponge
1. Soak in a bucket of water for 1 minute. Watch it soften and expand slightly
2. Squeeze out, then apply Green Clean bike cleaner to your EcoSponge
3. Clean off dirt from your frame with your Ecosponge, rinsing it out regularly
After use, dry out your Ecosponge indoors or in the sun.
You can actually wash it with your dark clothing in a washing machine
The Ecosponge label is thin card, easily recycled.
The Ecosponge itself is compostable. If you don't have a compost bin, you can just bury it!