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Smile Squared, Inc., a new company created by husband and wife entrepreneurial team Eric and Geri Cope, has launched national online sales of its environmentally friendly bamboo toothbrushes in both adult and children’s sizes. For every toothbrush that is purchased online through the Smile Squared e-commerce website, or in retail stores, Smile Squared gives a toothbrush to a child in need. Smile Squared aims to donate one million toothbrushes by 2015.
The Copes conceived the idea for Smile Squared after a 2011 trip to Guatemala, where they performed charitable work at a dental clinic for underprivileged children. There, says Eric, “…we saw children who had preventable, and sometimes severe dental problems. But many of the same children didn’t own a toothbrush.” When the couple looked at the facts from the World Health Organization, they realized that dental diseases are the most prevalent chronic diseases, with an estimated 5 billion people worldwide suffering from tooth decay. Globally, the prevalence of decay among school age children is reported at 60-90%, and in most developing countries, more than 90% of this decay goes untreated.
The Copes wanted to create a sustainable way to help children through establishing their own social enterprise, and set their sights on a simple, and practical solution: giving eco-friendly toothbrushes to children in need. In late 2011, they received their first shipment of Smile Squared toothbrushes. The brushes, which retail for $5.95 individually for both adult and child sizes, can also be donated in pairs for $5.95 total, or purchased in retail bundles at discounted prices.
The Copes began donating the brushes immediately, and by February 2012, they had given away over 7,400 Smile Squared toothbrushes to children in need, working with multiple charities including Buckner International, Save Their Smiles, Hand of Hope, and also International Justice Mission, who places Smile Squared toothbrushes in their after-care kits for children freed from sex trafficking, and bonded labor slavery.
Creating an environmentally responsible business was a priority for the Copes. After learning that 50 million pounds of toothbrushes are tossed into American landfills annually, Eric and Geri pledged to make a toothbrush that was different. Both adult and children’s size Smile Squared toothbrushes are made of eco-and health-friendly components, including a BPA-free, PVC-free, and Phthalate-free, biodegradable, sustainably-grown bamboo handle, and high quality DuPont™ Tynex® nylon bristles. Smile Squared brushes are packaged in recyclable paper boxes.
Smile Squared aims to give away one million
toothbrushes to children in need worldwide by 2015, with an ongoing goal of
repeating or exceeding that number every three years thereafter.
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