Change Please launches a recycled toilet paper brand to support frontline NHS workers

Serious Tissues decided to pull their launch date forward to support the cause that needs funds most right now, demonstrating that a brilliant creative idea can often be just an impactful when translated for an alternative cause.

Izzy Ashton

Deputy Editor, BITE

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Public respect and gratitude for NHS staff is one of the strongest forces to emerge from this period of nationwide lockdown. People are taking to the streets every Thursday evening to show their appreciation for them. Yet there is a growing understanding that more than just gratitude, what is truly vital is that the organisation receives adequate, and continued, financial support.

This is where NHS Charities Together comes in, the umbrella organisation of 170 NHS trusts across the country that is working during the crisis to distribute funds raised by causes as disparate as online sporting tournaments, Captain (now Colonel) Tom Moore’s extraordinary walk round his garden or even perhaps, a roll or two of recycled toilet paper.

Serious Tissues is a new initiative created for Change Please, the social enterprise that trains homeless people to work as baristas, by independent creative agency Above+Beyond. Serious Tissues is a 100% recycled toilet paper brand that’s being sold to support NHS frontline workers. The tone of voice and bold branding reflect the urgency of the situation as it falls under a simple leading headline: ‘Sh*t just got serious’.

Serious Tissues has actually been in development by Change Please for almost a year. The original intention was to focus on tackling climate change with a commitment to plant trees around the world. But, with the outbreak of COVID-19, the business realised there was a more immediate need to raise money for the incredible NHS staff and volunteers on the frontline of the crisis.

Chris Baker, former Head of Strategy at FCB Inferno and one of the founders of Serious Tissues commented on the brand’s pivot, saying, “The world has changed rapidly in the past 100 days, so we’ve quickly mobilised and changed our focus from climate change to fighting this terrible pandemic.”

Once the current pandemic is over, the brand intends to switch back to raising awareness and funds for the environmental crisis. Every year ten million trees are cut down across the world to make toilet paper; Serious Tissues are made from recycled paper from offices and homes.

While the current COVID-19 crisis is impossible to ignore, nor should be the looming climate emergency. Serious Tissues decided to pull their launch date forward to support the cause that needs funds most right now, demonstrating that a brilliant creative idea can often be just an impactful when translated for an alternative cause.

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