Who Gives a Crap Makes TP Look & Feel Good
by Theresa Christine Johnson on 01/17/2018 | 5 Minute Read
Imagine rolls of designer toilet paper you’re tempted to even leave a few extras out on display in the bathroom. While that might sound a little ridiculous—after all, who wants rolls of tp on display?—it’s exactly what you get with Who Gives a Crap. These rolls are designed by various illustrators who, in turn, make the brand just as delightful as it is practical.
“We always start the process with a concept,” explained Danny Alexander, co-founder. “Our most recent holiday edition, for example, was ‘Naughty and Nice.’ For this, we looked for 6 typographers, and asked each of them to design one ‘Naughty’ roll and one ‘Nice’ roll. We tried to have a mix of artistic styles, ranging from the more illustrative styles of Timba Smits to the more typographic approach of Gemma O’Brien and Timothy Goodman.” From there, illustrators were given a color palette and a print template, but otherwise had free reign to create something amazing. The result? Funny and festive rolls of toilet paper that sold out during the holidays.
“Ultimately, we choose the artists we choose because we love their work, and want to trust in them to make something they’re proud of,” Danny continued. “The happier they are, generally, the happier our customers are!”
Of course, there are always challenges—but for Who Gives a Crap, it seems like their biggest one is a pretty good one at that. “The biggest challenge we usually face is keeping up with our own ambition! Every limited edition we put the pressure on ourselves to out-do our previous one, which is a hard pace to keep up. We’re always looking for new artists that will expand our visual range, and concepts that will surprise and delight our customers in new ways.”
When Who Gives a Crap started making lines of limited edition rolls, they used to keep the numbers small. Now they’re producing more, which also means earlier and more intensive planning to make sure distribution centers have enough in stock.
If limited edition rolls aren’t your thing, though, you can also order (or even have a subscription service) of their premium or recycled toilet paper. “Today, something like 98% of toilet paper is still made with virgin wood pulp, which is totally crazy,” Danny mentioned. “That’s why we’re committed to making our toilet paper as delightful as possible, without using trees.” Not only do they donate half of their profits to help build toilets (because they do, in fact, give a crap about it), but they want toilet paper to be inherently less wasteful. In fact, their first product, the 100% recycled toilet paper, continues to be their best seller.
They recognize what consumers want, though, and that’s soft, plush tp, which recycled rolls can’t really offer. “Recycled paper will never be as soft as the super-plush tree-killing brands, because every time paper is recycled the fibers are cut shorter and shorter,” he added. “So, while we think our recycled TP is super plush and lovely, there are some folks out there who demand something even softer. And if we wanted to get everyone to stop wiping with trees, we knew we needed another option.
“We found an amazing supplier of bamboo toilet paper, and worked with them to produce a premium, sustainable offering for these folks. It’s our softest product (softer than most virgin paper!) and we wanted to design the packaging to reflect the premium nature of the product.”
This premium line needed to be accessible and a little more luxe, so the packaging is a classy black and white pattern with gold accents—perfect for any bathroom.
Aside from truly listening to consumers, what also keeps this brand going strong is their ability to embrace humor. Even their successful limited editions got started as a joke amongst the team. “Our products are affordable, beautiful (if I do say so myself), and they make people smile,” Danny said. “Our brand name, the copywriting on the back of the package, and the design itself is all meant to be fun and engaging.”
By totally revamping the look of toilet paper and changing what goes into it, Who Gives a Crap has turned a relatively boring product into something enjoyable and eye-catching—while, of course, leaving plenty of room for potty humor.