Ahead of this December's GO Wipes Europe 2023, we caught up with expert speaker Jakub , Wojtaszak, Head of Strategic Innovation Projects and Technology at Harper Hygienics
1) You are going to be speaking about hemp fibre use in wipes, what part do you feel this plays in the future of sustainable wipes?
The utilization of hemp fibre in wipes represents a significant step towards the future of sustainable wipes. Hemp is a rapidly renewable resource, requires relatively low water and pesticides during cultivation, and offers a high yield per acre. It's not only about integrating a renewable material; it's about the whole life cycle. Hemp fibres are biodegradable, which means our wipes can break down naturally, reducing the environmental impact post-use. Additionally, collaborating with partners like SIA iCotton (Latvia) and Bast Fiber Technology (USA, Germany) allows us to access the highest quality hemp fibres and ensure we're applying the best practices. I truly believe that as we move towards a more environmentally-conscious society, hemp-based wipes will play an integral role in replacing traditional, less sustainable materials.
2) What is your biggest driver as a business today?
Today, our primary driver at Harper Hygienics is sustainability without compromising on product efficacy and quality. The global market is witnessing a transformative shift where consumers are increasingly informed and concerned about the environmental impact of their purchases. They're seeking products that are both effective and environmentally friendly. By focusing on sustainable innovations, like our hemp-based products, we aim to not only meet these market demands but also stay ahead in the industry while making a positive environmental impact.
3. What do you think will be the biggest challenge for the wipes and nonwovens industry in the coming 2-5 years?
The next 5 years might be challenging yet promising for the wipes and nonwovens industry. The most pressing challenge will be striking a balance between sustainability and performance. As EU regulations tighten around single-use plastics and waste management, we must evolve our products to be more sustainable. However, consumers still expect high performance from these products. Furthermore, supply chain disruptions, exacerbated by global events, can impact raw material availability. Finally, educating the consumer about sustainable alternatives and their benefits will also be crucial. Overcoming these challenges will require collaboration, innovation, and a forward-thinking approach.
4. What do you see as some of the most interesting innovations in the market now?
There are numerous intriguing innovations in the market now. Biodegradable and compostable materials are gaining traction, not only in wipes but across the personal care segment. Additionally, the use of AI and data analytics in R&D is opening up avenues to tailor products more closely to consumer needs. On the materials front, innovations like waterless beauty products, encapsulated ingredients for controlled release, and bio-based polymers are showing great promise. Collaborating with partners like SIA iCotton (Latvia) and Bast Fiber Technology (USA, Germany) ensures we're at the forefront of these innovations.
5. What are you most looking forward to at the event?
What I'm most excited about for the upcoming event is the opportunity for collaboration. Events like these are a melting pot of ideas, where industry leaders, innovators, and thought leaders come together. I'm eager to engage in dialogues about the future of sustainability in our industry, gain insights from other sectors, and explore potential partnerships. Additionally, I'm looking forward to showcasing Harper Hygienics' latest innovations and receiving feedback from peers and potential customers. It's these exchanges that drive our industry forward and inspire the next big innovation.
Hear more from Jakub at GO Wipes Europe 2023.
At 9.30am on Tuesday 5th of December, Jakub will be presenting on 'Beyond Conventional Wipes: embracing hemp for a sustainable tomorrow with Harper Hygienics'