Nothing predestined Sarah Weyssow and Nicolas Devaux to create a company marketing ecological detergent. Sarah, originally from Belgium, was an IT salesperson before becoming a business analyst. After living in the South of France, Nicolas worked in the insurance industry in Paris before arriving in Luxembourg. He then created his first start-up before moving into the logistics sector.
As nature lovers, they never miss an opportunity to walk around and discover traces of pollution. They then decided to launch a new project to reduce the environmental impact of the detergent industry and propose products that are both good for people and respectful of nature. “Initially, we wanted to reduce plastic consumption, and we realized that the detergent industry is a significant consumer of this material. Unfortunately, there are few alternatives on the market today. When we took a closer look at laundry products, we also realized that they are also composed of toxic ingredients for our health and the environment,” explains Sarah.
After many hours of research and support by laboratories, Sarah and Nicolas launched the testing phase. They experimented with different recipes to find the one that would allow them to develop a quality product. The difficulty was to find the right recipe, especially the suppliers. Many suppliers had products containing palm oil or animal fats. Indeed, the will of the brand’s creators to propose respectful products made the task difficult.
The second difficulty was finding a recipe with an attractive visual aspect. Indeed, homemade detergents made with Marseille soap are not optimal because they tend to solidify. Visually, it doesn’t necessarily give you the desire to use it; and it can clog the washing machine in the long-term.
After many experimental recipes, they found the right composition, and the visual problem was also solved. In 2021, Wasch was launched, and Sarah and Nicolas marketed the products online on their website.
From small-scale production to supermarkets
The success is quickly achieved, and the founders of Wasch are contacted by a chain of supermarkets that wish to market their products. If this news delighted Sarah and Nicolas, the challenge of production and logistics remained. To ensure production on a larger scale, finding a subcontractor was essential. “We were quickly confronted with a problem: there are no subcontractors in this field in Luxembourg. We are practically the only ones who make detergents. So, we contacted the Yolande Coop, but it was a little bit like a bottle thrown into the sea,” explains Nicolas. But it was a good idea because the soaps are now produced and bottled in Betzdorf, in the heart of the cooperative’s soap workshop. This cooperative works with disabled people.
From an administrative point of view as well as for storage, it was necessary to find larger premises. So, the company settled in Dudelange, in the heart of the Innovation Hub. The many services proposed, including providing a storage website and the support offered, encouraged the two young entrepreneurs to set up there.
Sarah and Nicolas do not intend to stop there. They will continue developing other products, such as washing-up liquids or multi-surface cleaners. They also want to export their products. Currently, Luxembourg represents almost 90% of their sales. But Belgium and France could soon follow.