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Australian loo-paper frenzy wipes popular social enterprise clean

7 March 2020 at 12:00 pm
Maggie Coggan
But the Who Gives a Crap founder is urging customers to give away their spare rolls to those in need

Maggie Coggan | 7 March 2020 at 12:00 pm


Australian loo-paper frenzy wipes popular social enterprise clean
7 March 2020 at 12:00 pm

But the Who Gives a Crap founder is urging customers to give away their spare rolls to those in need

The threat of coronavirus has seen Australians clearing toilet paper stock in supermarkets around the country, and now the loo-paper buying frenzy has hit the world of social enterprise. 

On Wednesday, ethical toilet paper brand Who Gives a Crap announced it had completely sold out of toilet paper, after seeing sales jump by 800 per cent earlier in the week.

With the enterprise putting 50 per cent of its profits towards building toilets and improving sanitation in third world countries, there’s no question the extra rolls sold are good for business and its social mission. 

But the organisation said in a statement that customers needed to spare a thought for those that might not have a tonne of toilet paper stashed in their shed. 

“We want to acknowledge these are crazy times. We feel it too… but if you have some spare rolls, see if your neighbours need some,” the statement said. 

Who Gives a Crap co-founder Simon Griffiths added that the wealthy Sydney suburbs of Mosman and Balmain were buying the most out of anywhere in Australia.

Griffiths told Smart Company that the buying frenzy was an opportunity to talk about the larger problem the enterprise was trying to tackle.

“We’re panicking about not having toilet paper. Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the 2.3 billion that don’t even have access to a toilet,” he said.

“That results in 700 deaths of kids under the age of five every day.”

Community sector urges public to slow down 

On Wednesday, Foodbank and the Victorian Council of Social Services also took to social media to raise concerns over people on low incomes who weren’t able to stockpile like the rest of Australia seems to be doing at the moment.   

“You know who can’t ‘panic buy’ and stockpile goods? People on low incomes, living week to week on little cash,” VCOSS said on Twitter. 

“Runs on essential items hurt people in poverty. Please stop and think about others before you empty out the supermarket.” 

Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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