Manufacturing News

Celebrating Australian Made — luxury in the laundry

Manufacturing News

By Paul Gover

Applying a luxury twist to humble laundry liquid, incorporating natural organic plant-based ingredients, has allowed Bon Savvy to create a new Australian export success story.

Bon Savvy is selling its range of luxury laundry products through one of the world’s most upscale department stores, Globus of Switzerland, which has a total of 13 stores including outlets in Zurich and Geneva.

It is now targeting expansion into the UK and USA by the end of 2024.

Globus joins a small but select range of boutique stores in Australia which stock the Bon Savvy range, as the company also fields growing interest from Japan, Korea and Europe.

Bon Savvy has been operating for less than four years, using a factory at Penrith in the west of Sydney, after founder Michelle Gray realised there was nothing available which suited her family’s laundry needs.

She had a daughter suffering with asthma, sensitive skin and allergies, and needed a laundry product to clean natural organic and silk without damaging the fabrics.

There was also her work wardrobe, an upscale collection essential through a 30-year career in recruitment and human relations.

“It came to me in a blinding realisation. It was the result of frustration and not finding a solution to my problem. If you invest in quality you want it to last,” Gray said.

“There were so many things wrong with what was on the market. The basic problem was trying to wash something and trying to find something that worked.

“There was nothing particularly tailored to individual fabrics. There were lots of chemicals, and they smelled terrible. And I wanted to avoid the dry cleaner.”
So she got to work, contacted people who would listen and work with her, created products, moved into testing, then began sales.

“I went on a journey for over a year, trying to research it myself. I found an Australian manufacturer that I was really happy with.

“I’m a real patriot. I love my country. I want to bring business back home. I’m upset that we’ve off-shored a lot of it. It greatly upset me when people don’t manufacture their products here.” 

Gray will not talk in detail about the chemistry in the Bon Savvy products, or her manufacturing partner, although she emphasises the laundry liquids are tested and fully certified as naturally derived, plant based and cosmetic grade.

“I found this lady who makes her own eco products. She was a nurse, with a special interest in soaps. Her whole mission has always been to create natural quality products.

“I had to pitch to her.”

The pitch was successful, although Gray and Bon Savvy ran into trouble with Covid 19 on several fronts, including a shortage of bottles because everyone was chasing hand sanitizer.

There are eight laundry liquids and five fragrances, with the company’s silk wash – which took more than a year to develop – as the hero product.

Bon Savvy also has a range of complimentary products, including a beach brush to battle sand, fragrant sprays and a heavy-duty cleaner for gym clothes.

“Active Savvy removes stains and odours and it has five active anti-microbe elements. It gets rid of stinky socks, too,” she said.

The plan this year is to expand into the UK and the USA and Gray said her dream would be to have a Bon Savvy product in one of the exclusive gift bags given to presenters and winners at the Academy Awards.

“When I was developing the product I had an idea around romancing your life. Bringing some pleasure back into the mundane. When you hate doing the laundry, you are going to make it the best experience you can.”

Picture: credit

This story is part of Celebrating Australian Made, an annual series sponsored by Australian Made and profiling its licensees. For more information on becoming a licensee, visit this link.

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