Who Gives a Crap box

Who Gives a Crap is now the third-largest toilet roll brand in the market, according to UK & Europe MD Emily Kraftman 

Sustainable paper products challenger Who Gives a Crap is racking up rapid growth in the UK thanks to a loyal DTC customer base and expanding distribution in retail.

The company’s first full set of UK accounts filed at Companies House revealed a 26% jump in revenues to £32.8m in the year ended 30 June 2022.

However, historically high freight rates following the pandemic pushed up costs significantly, while the eco supplier of toilet paper, tissues and kitchen towels also ramped up marketing to build brand awareness.

Despite the double-digit increase in sales, operating profits barely nudged up from £323k to £345k as cost of sales ballooned 22% to £29m and administrative expenses jumped 84% to £3.5m. Overall profit for the year fell from £335k to £256k after tax.

UK & Europe MD Emily Kraftman said the business had continued to grow rapidly in the UK following the year end of the 2021/22 accounts, with the brand now the third largest in the toilet roll category.

“Our sales growth to date has been fuelled by record-breaking revenue from customers shopping with us directly, combined with a steadily expanding array of new partnerships, including with Amazon, Ocado and, most recently, Waitrose.

“Our rapid growth highlights clear consumer demand for a sustainable alternative to traditional toilet paper. For us, that’s not just a functional challenge – we want to make doing good fun, aspirational and exciting – and customers tell us they love our eye-catching wrappers and cheeky tone of voice, which help drive loyalty in a competitive market.

“There is plenty of headroom for additional growth in the UK, including through new retailer and brand partnerships.”

Simon Griffiths, Danny Alexander and Jehan Ratnatunga founded the group in Australia in 2012, after learning that more than two billion people around the world didn’t have access to a toilet. The brand launched the following year thanks to a crowdfunding campaign.

The wider group gives away 50% of its profits to charity partners, including WaterAid, to support clean water, sanitation and hygiene services in developing countries, with more than AU$13m (£6.7m) donated so far.

The UK operation launched in 2017 and secured its first retail listing with Waitrose in 2023 for its bamboo toilet paper, recycled toilet paper and recycled facial tissues.

“Our mission is to uncrap the world, so in the year ahead, we will work closely with the industry, including competitors, to share our knowledge and help them meaningfully improve their environmental impact,” added Kraftman. “We will also be progressing our work to expand WASH [water, sanitation and hygiene], including with our campaign to ‘scrap the roll tax’ in the UK and help alleviate hygiene poverty. If the Treasury scraps the tax, we are committed to passing that saving onto customers.”

In February, Who Gives a Crap called on the government to scrap the 20% VAT levied on toilet tissue.

Last month, the sustainable toilet roll market was rocked by a report from consumer watchdog Which? that found a number of brands did not contain high levels of bamboo as advertised.

Naked Sprout was found to contain just 4% bamboo, while Bumboo had just 2.7%.

Who Gives a Crap and Cheeky Panda contained 100% bamboo as claimed.