Who Gives a Crap: the ‘sit down’
- Exhibited by
- Sue Kershaw, development director, SOFII.
- August 06, 2012
- Medium of Communication
- Target Audience
- Type of Charity
- International relief / development
- Country of Origin
- Date of first appearance
- July, 2012
We are always being told that we should take a stand against this, or stand up for that, so it’s with delight that SOFII brings you the story of Simon Griffiths who sat down for what he believes in. He sat on a loo for over 50 hours until he had raised his target of $50,000.
Who Gives a Crap is a social enterprise that aims to give 50 per cent of profits to WaterAid and to take their product to the next stage they needed to raise money from the public. Obviously, a lot of people thought it a great idea. But it does have detractors. What do you think?
Creator / originator
Simon Griffiths, co-founder, Who Gives a Crap.
Summary / objectives
To raise enough money to produce and sell toilet paper and then give 50 per cent of the profit to WaterAid to help the world’s poorest people access clean water, sanitation and hygiene education.
Who Gives A Crap is an undoubtedly cheeky product – pun intended – but it’s addressing a very serious problem. Almost 40 per cent of the world’s population, 2.4 billion people, do not have access to basic sanitation. This results in waterborne illnesses that kill 4,000 children under the age of fiveevery day. Put simply, the developing world needs toilets.
The founders of WGAC, Simon Griffiths and Jehan Ratnatunga, met at university whilst studying engineering and began working on their idea for toilet paper with a mission, other than the obvious, in 2010. They were joined at that time by Danny Alexander, a product designer with a similar mindset who had already worked on sanitation products for the developing world.
They’ve spent two years developing and perfecting the product and the logistics, as well as building a viable business model. After extensive testing they were ready to take the final step to start the first bulk production run. But they needed a substantial investment to achieve it.
So they launched Who Gives a Crap on Indiegogo.com and on 10 July Simon Griffiths sat down for what he believes in: toilet paper that uses its profits to build toilets in the developing world. He promised to sit on a loo until they had raised $50,000 worth of pre-sales.
They reached their target in just over 50 hours and Simon Griffiths was able to stand up again – with great relief no doubt.
The insight to see that an everyday product that we all need and use all the time could, in fact, be used to make the lives of poor people healthier. The bravery to carry out what could be considered a rash promise.
Influence / impact
Raised a lot of money in an extraordinary short space of time.
It’s amazing to think that in 2012 so many young children are actually dying because they don’t have access to clean water and sanitation. And what a great idea to use toilet paper to save their lives. The name of the organisation turns a negative phrase into a challenge and gives us a chance to give a crap about the less advantaged.