Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Stainless Steel Cleaning Brushes

All Cleaning Brushes Are NOT Created Equal
by David Leonhardt
Owner/Founder GlassDharma
GlassDharma began operations in early 2007. We found brushes online and brought them on board. Within 6 months or so, we started getting a few complaints about the handles showing rust. We inquired with our supplier for a solution and they recommended using Stainless Steel instead of galvanized wire. Although there was a small cost increase on our part, we were still able to keep our current pricing and at the same time offer a superior product.

As we had created the glass drinking straw industry, we watched our competitors grow. We had set the standard in a number of areas and most have followed our lead. (Lifetime Guarantee against Breakage, Stainless Steel brushes, etc.) One thing that I noticed with our competitors is that many of them also copied quite a bit of verbiage off of our website. Imitation being flattery aside, we purchased brushes from most of our competitors and sent them to our supplier for analysis and guess what!? NONE of our samples sent to our supplier were stainless steel – they were all galvanized – even though their websites claimed they were stainless! To be fair, not all websites claimed they were stainless, but some did.

Now, I don’t think that there is any intent to misrepresent here. I’m guessing that it was just a simple error of assuming that their supplier was giving them stainless steel when they saw that that’s what we had. We could have easily fallen into that trap if the roles were reversed. None-the-less, it is important to know what materials and sourcing is used in everything we buy and use.

For instance, GlassDharma originally carried colored straws. Not many are aware that the ONLY place that colored tubing (and colored straws) comes from is China. We were unable to establish that the glass China exports is made under humane labor conditions. (Every time we asked about 3rd party labor certification they quit communicating with us.) Obviously, at that point, we discontinued any suppliers in China.

What’s the lesson here? Don’t assume anything about your sourcing! Check with your suppliers!

The only raw materials GlassDharma uses that are not domestic are:
  • Glass tubing: Made in The Czech Republic or Germany (depending on brand) there is no domestic sourcing for this. The straws themselves are made in Fort Bragg, CA.
  • Hemp fabric: Comes from Romania, Not (yet) legal to grow in the US. The hemp sleeves themselves are made in California.
All else from GlassDharma is sourced domestically, including our packaging & shipping materials (which is compostable, recyclable and never has any plastic tape).

GlassDharma was created to reduce the use of single use plastics world-wide. GlassDharma continues to set the standard and lead the way with one solution to the Plastic Pollution issue facing all of us.


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