PATCH protects wounds without the waste
It began with Charlie: an adventure-obsessed kid who happens to be allergic to bandages.
His dad, James, noticed Charlie's skin was reacting adversely to common wound coverings - often making abrasions worse. He scoured the market for an alternative, but what he found was a staggering number of chemicals in the compounds of traditional bandages, and a mounting plastic problem. He needed a solution, and urgently.
After months of intense product development, PATCH - a line of natural bamboo bandages by Nutricare - was born.
Made with people and planet in mind
"Not only is bamboo naturally anti-microbial and one of the safest materials to use on wounds," says James Dutton, Founder and CEO of Nutricare, "but it's both human and planet friendly."
"At Nutricare, it’s our goal to be health care done differently," James explained. "We focus on making better natural alternatives to existing products, using only the best premium, sustainable ingredients and processes."
The flagship product range of PATCH bandages are made from certified organic bamboo fibre and are 100% compostable, including the backing on the strips. They come in award-winning kraft tubes, which can be planted directly in the soil where they break down in a matter of weeks. PATCH is reported to be the first and only compostable wound care product available worldwide.
The bandages are also infused with natural ingredients such as coconut oil and aloe vera to help aid in the healing process. "This innovation helps reduce the need for excess creams and ointments, and helps limit the clutter in your medicine cabinet," said James. PATCH strips are free from plastic, latex, synthetics and parabens.
For those with sensitive skin or allergies, PATCH is a welcome alternative to common first aid products.
"We make sure that there’s a PATCH for every age and person, so that everyone can have access to safe and sensitive wound care no matter where they are. "
Using education to drive change
Since beginning in 2017, Nutricare has sold millions of tubes - and billions of strips - worldwide. PATCH can be found in 35,000 stores across 41 countries. "Every single retailer makes a difference by choosing to stock PATCH," wrote James.
Not only does Nutricare seek to educate retailers the impact of their product, but they also hope to change consumer behaviour.
"We are taught to be hypervigilant around our plastic impact through everyday items such as straws and plastic bags, but when it comes to the medical and personal care space, it's largely unconsidered," James shared.
The Nutricare team is seeing a positive shift with younger generations, especially children at school. "They are the most educated and encouraging when it comes to waste."
"They are such an inspired generation that don’t need convincing as to why reducing our environmental impact is so important."
As for older generations, Nutricare works to educate through their social and digital campaigns, collaborations with industry bodies, and even sampling directly with consumers. "From people going through chemotherapy at hospital, to an everyday mothers group - it's crucial for us to get in front of people that are concerned with skin sensitive so they can learn about alternatives," James said. They cite their B Corp certification as an important badge to gain trust of both consumers and retailers, and have their voice heard on the right platforms.
Setting on an improvement journey
Because PATCH offers a compostable, natural, and plastic-free alternative to common wound care, Nutricare qualifies for Resource Conservation and Toxin Reduction or Remediation Impact Business Models in the B Impact Assessment. They also appear on the Best for the World 2021 list for Environment, recognising their contributions in limiting the waste businesses and consumers send to landfill.
"For us, being a B Corp is not so much about the actual certification as it is about the journey," said James.
"We always tell people that although the process is long, it’s so important. It holds you accountable as a business every step of the way."
"For us, it’s helped us define what our business goals were as well as what our non-negotiables are as an operation."
Nutricare also offers discounts to fellow B Corps and prioritise supplying from B Corps wherever possible.
As part of their commitment to creating impact, the Nutricare team donates to the not-for-profit Trees for the Future to help train farmers to regenerate their land. "It’s mportant for us to be connected to our community and the environment as much as possible," James said. To date, they have planted over 45,000 trees, with a hope to see this number grow even further.
Today, Nutricare continues to innovate in creating biodegradable and plastic-free alternatives for health and personal care products. Their latest product, STRAP bamboo body tape, offers a sustainable alternative for athletes.
Best for the World recognises B Corps with exceptional work in any of the five impact areas of the B Impact Assessment: community, customers, environment, governance, and workers. Their score has placed them in the top 5% of B Corps for their size in that impact area.