Every week, we shine a spotlight on the best small brands we think are worth shouting about. We love our great British high street, but there are so many fantastic independent brands out there making clothes, accessories, homeware and more from a place of passion and love and we need to support them – now more than ever.
From fashion and beauty to homeware, accessories and food, we bring you the best small businesses you need on your radar. This week we chat with Dr Rhona Eskander, co-founder of PÄRLA toothpaste tabs.
How did the PÄRLA come about and where does the name come from?
As three influential dental professionals we were always bombarded by the big conglomerates to front their brands – whether it was an ambassador position or for promotion. However, as time went on, we became exposed to the hard truth about plastic toothpaste tubes.
Did you know that it takes 500 years for a single toothpaste tube to decompose? That means that every single toothpaste tube we have ever used exists somewhere on this planet!
As dentists, we believe toothpaste should first and foremost protect people’s oral health but not harm people, animals or our planet in the process. That’s why we created PÄRLA – to radically disrupt the toothpaste industry with clean ingredients and sustainable packaging.
PÄRLA toothpaste tabs are zero waste toothpaste tablets, sold in reusable glass jars, with refills coming in compostable bags. They contain only ethically sourced, animal cruelty-free and vegan ingredients but most importantly include the perfect dose of fluoride to protect against decay.
To use the tabs, simply pop a PÄRLA, chew for 5 seconds and then brush as normal. The water from your brush will convert the tabs into a paste in your mouth.
We know that most of the general public choose their toothpaste following advice from their dentist or hygienist. With our unique position as high profile individuals within the dental industry, we have a special opportunity to disrupt this market.
The name PÄRLA comes from the Swedish word ‘Pearl’. We love brands that have a Scandinavian feel and the word ‘Pearl’ also relates to ‘pearly teeth’ and Mother Pearl.
What 3 words would you use to describe PÄRLA?
Safe, innovative, sustainable
Who is the PÄRLA customer?
To be honest, for us it has to be anyone and everyone. We all need to make #onesmallchange. We have all watched Plastic Ocean and other documentaries that have stated that the world can not keep going the way that it is going. For those that want to protect our environment we should all be striving to make that switch.
In what ways is PÄRLA striving to be sustainable then?
PÄRLA is completely sustainable. We are sold in reusable glass jars, we also offer a subscription model where refills are delivered every four months in compostable bags. We thus reduced our carbon footprint and ensure that no harm is done to the environment. We are also totally vegan and zero waste, as well as cruelty-free, palm oil-free and SLS-free.
Which PÄRLA product is your favourite?
PÄRLA PRO, like the original, PÄRLA PRO remains totally vegan and zero waste, as well as cruelty-free, palm oil-free and SLS-free. What has changed, however, is that we have taken the original winning formula and added the most advanced, clean ingredients at the forefront of dental innovation.
The result? Toothpaste tabs that don’t just level-up in terms of cleaning power, but also present a revolutionary approach to whitening, fighting sensitivity and even boosting immunity.
We have an incredible ingredient hydroxyapatite the ‘next big thing’ in dentistry, which is what you’ll find in the new PÄRLA PRO formula.
It works by blocking all the open pores and smoothing the surface of the tooth, which – in tandem with PÄRLA’s four signature stain-removing ingredients – adds a high-gloss, whitening shine. A true multi-tasker, hydroxyapatite can also strengthen enamel, help re-mineralise early decay lesions and fight tooth sensitivity.
What has been your biggest PÄRLA highlight so far?
Dragons Den. We were head hunted to be on the show after we were featured during Plastic Free July in 2020 on This Morning. It was an incredible experience. Simon, my business partner, and I were offered two deals by Deborah Meaden and Tej Lavani. After a gruelling two hours we didn’t take the offer, however, since the show we have been confronted by potential investors and huge brand awareness. It’s been pretty life changing.
Anything BIG planned for PÄRLA this year?
Having launched successfully with Boots online we have also been confirmed with one of the biggest retailers in the country. Our vision of 3% of the population converting from tubes to tablets by 2023 is manifesting.