Fill out the form to reach out with any questions or comments about our all-purpose cleaner, closed-loop systems, and environmental impact.
Veles is an all-purpose household cleaner composed of water and common organic chemical compounds scientifically derived from food waste.
The water and active ingredients (acetic acid, lactic acid and alcohol) that make up the base of the product are entirely derived from food waste. Only 3% of the product is comprised of essential oils and a non-petroleum-based fragrance stabilizer.
Resource negative is a term we coined to describe products that avoid the use of raw material inputs in their manufacturing by using renewable or waste materials instead. The water and active ingredients that make up the base of the product are 100% derived from food waste. By doing this, we protect resources that would have been processed to make a comparable product. This goes for both petrochemical and plant-based ingredients. When treating waste as a resource you can both reduce overconsumption of resources and greenhouse gas emissions from landfills. A double negative, if you will.
We use a mixture of lavender, peppermint and bergamot low-impact essential oils as our fragrance. The solubilizer (which is added to mix ingredients with fragrance) is naturally derived; this distinguishes us from the vast majority of companies that
use petrochemical based solubilizers.
The most common, Polysorbate-20, is used in 635 personal care products and 94 household products in EWG’s databases. Many clean and natural brands use it as a surfactant, emulsifier, or fragrance ingredient. It’s derived from sorbitan, a dehydrated sugar alcohol with the addition of lauric acid (most commonly found in coconuts), which are natural, creating some gray area around how its classified. It gets tricky when this base is treated with 20 parts ethylene oxide, a petrochemical, to make the final ingredient. The inclusion of ethylene oxide is potentially highly carcinogenic if contaminated with 1,4-dioxane. We scoured the industry for a completely safe and natural alternative. It was difficult.
Veles is cruelty-free; the product and its ingredients were not tested on animals.
Great question! Our active ingredients are derived from mixed food waste, which might include animal products. We are committed to being a scalable food waste solution and not just a product made using food waste.
We are named after an ancient, shape-shifting god of water, earth, the underworld, and magic.
There are two ways to clean viruses and bacteria on a surface: by killing or removing them. Washing your hands with soap and water removes, but doesn't kill. Hand sanitizer kills, but doesn't remove. Same with surface cleaners and disinfectants.
We’re proven in lab tests to remove germs, grease, and dirt on a variety of surfaces. We’ve worked with the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI), an EPA recognized lab for cleaning product standards. TURI simulates the worst cleaning challenges, like Huckers Soil, a stand-in for fecal matter.
We don't claim to kill microbes and are not a disinfectant. Disinfectants are antimicrobial pesticides that must be registered with the U.S. EPA. There are drawbacks to using a disinfectant on a surface that hasn't been cleaned, because you're not getting in contact with the viruses and bacteria underneath. Cleaners such as ours remove these germs, in addition to other debris and contaminants that disinfectants don't. To make sure you're truly cleaning and getting rid of surface contaminants, let sit for a minute after spraying before wiping away, then follow-up with a disinfectant if desired.
Veles is made using natural or naturally-derived products. It does not contain common household chemicals that may cause allergic reactions.
Veles is safe for general health when used as directed; however, common sense precaution is recommended.
We use a small amount of peppermint, lavender, and bergamot essential oils for fragrance at low quantities (-0.5%) that will not harm pets when used for cleaning.
Veles is third-party tested and proven to be effective when cleaning a range of surfaces, including: ceramics, glass, fiberglass, chrome, painted metal, stainless steel, and plastic/acrylic. We were in the process of conducting efficacy and safety tests on marble, wood and laminate, but don't know when we'll get results back due to the COVID-19 shutdown. For now, we recommend testing a hidden portion first.
Veles is made in New Jersey.
In the last several years, many states and cities have mandated organic waste recycling for businesses. Meanwhile, there aren’t many options to divert it from landfills. We partner with commercial waste haulers, who collect separated food waste from their clients. Rather than drive hours to a landfill or compost facility, they deliver it to our local biorefineries. Not only does this save money, but it takes heavy duty trucks off the road. At the moment, food waste at our demo facility is coming primarily from Google’s office in Manhattan. As we scale up, we will source from other businesses as well as municipalities just like a typical recycling facility.
Food is made of organic compounds, and on average is primarily water. Our biorefining process, developed over six years, stabilizes and sterilizes food waste to be separated into these base components, which we can further refine and derive into organic chemicals. This means the base of Veles is made with water and active ingredients purified from food waste.
Under a closed-loop system, the same materials are used over and over again to create new products. Instead of raw materials moving in a straight line from collection to manufacturing to purchase to the landfill, it’s a loop. The materials are always moving through this loop, never reaching an endpoint.
A circular economy is a system that aims to eliminate waste and the continual use of resources. It entails gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources, and designing waste out of the system.
A circular economy is based on three principles:
Design out waste and pollution
Keep products and materials in use
Regenerate natural systems
Veles is the new frontier of the circular economy.
Veles is packaged in a recyclable aluminum spray bottle that’s sourced from a US-based overstock supplier. Aluminum is a sustainable metal that is 100% recyclable and can be back on store shelves within 60 days. While the spray component of the bottle is plastic, it does not have metal parts that would render it unrecyclable. We chose to use transparent plastic for the trigger because it has the highest material value and can be dyed more easily than white or colored plastics.
Despite the name, bioplastics are not necessarily better for the environment. Depending on the type of polymer used to make it, discarded bioplastic must either be sent to a landfill, recycled like many petroleum-based plastics, or sent to an industrial compost site.
Industrial composting is necessary to heat the bioplastic to a high enough temperature that allows microbes to break it down. Without that intense heat, bioplastics won't degrade on their own in a meaningful timeframe, either in landfills or even your home compost heap. If they end up in marine environments, they'll function similarly to petroleum-based plastic: breaking down into micro-sized pieces, lasting for decades, and presenting a danger to marine life.
While concentrates do cut down packaging, they waste tap water. The carbon footprint currently associated with moving, treating and heating water in the U.S. is at least 290 million metric tons a year. The CO2 embedded in the nation’s water represents 5% of all U.S. carbon emissions and is equivalent to the emissions of over 62 coal fired power plants.
The shipping benefits are not as straightforward as has been advertised. Yes, concentrates are lighter and therefore cheaper to ship, but you’re still moving a tiny object across a long distance. It’s almost more wasteful if you view it that way. Especially when you’re adding energy-intensive potable water after it’s delivered.
From an effectiveness standpoint, tap water differs depending where you live, which will change the chemistry of the cleaner you’re using and could affect its performance and/or safety. Studies have shown that concentrated cleaners mixed with hard water leave streaks behind. So, rather than make a concentrate only solving a fraction of the problem, we’ve made a more renewable and responsible cleaner overall.
Our goal was to keep Veles’s journey as local as possible. Our fulfillment center, co-packer, and printer are all based locally. Our bottles are all surplus or overstock and purchased from a U.S.-based company. We are exploring the options to purchase carbon offsets for each shipping order.
We were aiming for April 2020, but due to the slowdowns related to COVID-19, it could be more like May 2020.
The process of finding sustainable packaging at a low price point for you, that's suitable to house a cleaning product has been a challenge that could fill a book. We're testing out a few different container types for shelf life.
We're really hoping we'll stick with metal materials, as they're the most circular option in our present recycling system. This comes with challenges, including price and reactivity with our product. Our focus right now is on finding a suitable 32 oz container which would give you two refills.
Yes! We sell wholesale through Faire. Create an account and place your order at veles.faire.com
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