Every year Hillbrush judges a “Dragons Den” style event at Mere 1st School, when children come up with ideas for new brush products and ‘pitch’ their ideas to a group of “Dragons”.
In previous years, the event has included a visit to the Hillbrush factory, where the children were given a tour of the production facility, shown the machines and materials used, and a visit to the Visitor Centre/Museum. Due to the current global situation, there was no event in 2020 and this year, it was a scaled back affair with the children using the Hillbrush website to research materials and then a lone “Dragon”, our own Phil Norris - Product and Quality Assurance Manager, visiting the school to hear their pitches.
This is the third of these events I have judged, and every year I am amazed at how switched on 10 to 11 year-olds are to environmental issues and how important it is to have recycled/sustainable products. All the pitches I have seen in the three events have used recycled or natural materials, and during each pitch the children highlighted the importance of sustainable materials. For this young generation to be as switched on about the environment bodes well for the future.
At this year’s event there were 12 ‘pitches’; the ideas ranged from make-up brushes to a cleaner for glasses, to a brush which the user attached to their belt and swept-up as they walked around the house! Each pitch detailed the ideas, the expected costs and expected selling price. Once again, all the ideas included recycled or natural materials. Of the 12 ideas I chose two to be joint winners, the Emoji Brush and Smooth Grove Brush.
The Emoji Brush is a product aimed at children and is, in fact, two brushes: one a hairbrush and the other, a toothbrush. They are made using 100% recycled plastic and brightly coloured. The hairbrush fill face has a smiling emoji face (hence the name). The idea is to make a fun product that encourages young children to brush their hair and teeth.
The Smooth Grove Brush is a car cleaning/multi-use brush that has two separate heads – one for inside and one for outside the car and the inside brush can also be used on upholstery/furnishings. The brushes fit onto a handle unit with a reservoir for liquid and soap and an attachment to fit a hose when used to clean a car. The idea behind it is that most car brushes only have one brush, with two you can clean inside and out. All materials would be recycled.