Suds and scrubs

11 Mar 2019

Although the words “soap” and “teenage boys” don’t appear to have too much in common, enterprising Year 13 Agribusiness students Jack Elvy, Max Goulter, William Macdonald and George Matheson have come up with an environmentally friendly and sustainable idea to improve the way we wash.

“A lot of people like to use exfoliating soaps, but microbeads are terrible for the environment and now banned in many places,” says George. “We decided to create a soap product that uses ground up mussel shells as a natural exfoliant.”

Mussel shell is chock full of calcium which, George explains, has many health benefits, promoting skin growth and regeneration, stimulating the creation of antioxidants to fight precancerous cells, and helping skin to retain moisture.

Provisionally called Kuku Hou (fresh mussels), the boys came up with the idea as part of the requirements for the Level 3 Agribusiness programme. Teacher Mike Field says all Year 13 students, working in small groups with volunteer business mentors, are expected to set up and develop a marketing plan for an “innovative and sustainable” business. They are also participating in the 2019 Young Enterprise Scheme (YES), a nationwide competition designed to inspire young people to unleash their entrepreneurial spirit and start their own businesses.

The boys pitched Kuku Hou at a YES KickStart | Tīmata session at Ara on Friday 1 March, taking the opportunity to learn all they could about how to get their business up and running, picking up tips from established Christchurch business people and entrepreneurs.

“There’s so much that goes into launching a business, so many things you have to think about. It’s such an exciting project, an amazing experience. I’ve never done anything like this before, and I can’t wait to see where it goes,” says George.

For now, the boys are busy creating different prototypes to find the ideal mix of soap, shell and perfume, and plan to test their products at Open Day on Tuesday 26 March.

Kuku Hou Soap 2Kuku Hou Soap 1