Covid lockdown gave Christchurch mum Cecilia Clavijo time to tackle an issue she’d long struggled with: the endless waste her household was creating with disposable hand wash bottles.

She developed a kit containing a natural hand soap tablet and a reusable glass bottle that makes 350ml of foaming hand wash solution.

“Just add water to your reusable hand wash bottle, drop in one Five Trees tablet and let the magic begin!” says Five Trees founder Cecilia Clavijo.

Cecilia says conventional hand wash products contain more than 95 per cent water.

“You buy them and once you’re done with the hand wash solution, you throw the empty bottles away, even though there is nothing wrong with them. It's time to shift from recycling and overbuying to reducing and reusing.”

It took many months of trial and error at home, and endless consultations with expert biochemists, before Cecilia finally found a hand wash formulation she’s happy for her kids to use, and share with the world.

She’s started a company to sell her starter-packs, called Five Trees. Five Trees is an ecofriendly company dedicated to reducing landfill waste from plastic soap bottles through an earth-friendly dissolving handwash tablet. When the tablet is mixed with lukewarm water inside a Five Trees foaming pump glass bottle, users’ hands are cleaned and single use plastic bottles are removed from the waste cycle. Five Trees use a subscription model so that customers can receive refills when needed.

Cecilia recently completed Soda's LIFT programme where she was mentored by evre. and I love Pies founder, Maree Glading.

“The LIFT programme was essential to set some clear milestones and deliverables for our business. Through the LIFT programme we had the opportunity to engage with a mentor and develop our brand essence and promotional strategy. It helped us set the foundation for leaning into the future better prepared,” says Cecilia.

Five Trees' goal is to remove five million plastic bottles from the waste cycle by 2022 whilst making reusable and refillable products the new normal in Kiwi homes. In the future, Cecilia hopes Five Trees will become a BCorp business, create jobs and expand into overseas markets.

In addition to a one-time and subscription model, Five Trees utilises a fundraising model focused on raising money and education on sustainable development in partnership with local schools.

Five Trees hand wash tablets and refillable bottles have just launched and are offering a 15 per cent discount until 4 September with code THANK YOU.