Hartberg, May 2019. Where does moist toilet paper end up? In the toilet bowl, of course. But these moist wipes have drawbacks: they don’t break down well in the drains, they harm the environment and their disposal costs a lot of money. RINGANA has set itself the mission of developing products in synergy with the environment – in this case, an eco-friendly alternative to moist toilet wipes – and came up with FRESH stay fresh.
Although moist wipes may leave us feeling clean, these products have a dirty journey ahead of them. They often contain plastic which means they are not biodegradable. In addition, most of these wipes are tear-resistant and don’t dissolve in water. And then there’s what is known as the “fat-berg”: moist wipes merge with food waste into big “clumps of fat” and clog up drainpipes until they are completely blocked. The consequences: blocked waste pipes and pumps that cost billions to clear. Nonetheless, annual sales of moist wipes continue to rise. According to a WWF study, annual per capita consumption of toilet paper in the EU is 13 kilos!
The RINGANA founders, Ulla Wannemacher and Andreas Wilfinger, had long been pondering this subject, and have now developed an eco-friendly alternative to moist wipes. The idea: a gentle cleansing foam that transforms any toilet paper into moist toilet paper. “If we moisten normal toilet paper with water, we have the problem that it softens and crumbles. Liquid cleansing products and gels have the same effect. That’s why we have developed a fine-pored foam which is simply perfect in terms of application and effect,” explains Andreas Wilfinger, RINGANA founder and Managing Director.
The gentle cleansing foam FRESH stay fresh (50 ml – £ 8,01) transforms any toilet paper into moist toilet paper without harming the environment. The foam is simply applied to dry toilet paper – just 1–2 pumps are enough. FRESH stay fresh does not need to be rinsed off, so it’s ideal when you’re out and about. It also has a moisturising, cooling and soothing effect. In keeping with RINGANA’s philosophy, the product naturally contains no synthetic preservatives, or questionable substances such as parabens or mineral oils. Extracts of globularia and cherry bud care for and soothe sensitive, irritated skin. FRESH stay fresh is COSMOS-certified as a natural, organic skin care product.
ANDREAS WILFINGER & ULLA WANNEMACHER
ABOUT THE IDEA FOR FRESH STAY FRESH …
Care for our bottoms. How do you come up with an idea like that?
Ulla Wannemacher: We’d been thinking about this for quite a while. Most people in the world use water after going to the toilet – and that’s not a bad idea at all. Here in Europe, on the other hand, we use dry toilet paper. When you really think about it, that’s pretty unhygienic. Or imagine: instead of taking a shower, would you simply rub yourself down with paper? Exactly! With FRESH stay fresh, we’ve created a bidet that can fit in a handbag.
Andreas Wilfinger: Wet wipes are a standard alternative but they can block pipes, as well as damaging sewage plants and the environment. In addition, ready-packaged moist toilet paper often contains perfume and additives that can irritate the genital area. If you moisten normal toilet paper with water, the paper will go soft and break up. Liquid and gel cleansers cause the same problem. That’s why the RINGANA solution is a fine-pored foam which is simply perfect in terms of application and effect. The gentle formulation even contains more ectoin than many an anti-aging cream.
How is FRESH stay fresh used?
Ulla Wannemacher: FRESH stay fresh comes in a pump dispenser. The product is pumped onto dry toilet paper and used for final cleaning and care. FRESH stay fresh is a leave-on product which means it doesn’t need to be rinsed off. It is mild and nurturing.
How successful do you think this invention will be?
Andreas Wilfinger: With this product we’ve once again set a trend. Exactly as was the case with our FRESH tooth oil or our FRESH deodorant, we have managed to create a product that not only meets our sustainability standards but even far exceeds them.
RINGANA – THE STORY
The founding duo, Andreas Wilfinger & Ulla Wannemacher came up with the idea of fresh skin care in 1993, thanks to their son. Little Michael came home one day from kindergarten with a tube of toothpaste. His parents took a good look at the product and discovered all kinds of questionable substances that they didn’t want their son to be exposed to. They also constantly encountered dubious ingredients in skin care products. “We want to do it better” was the thought behind a visionary business idea: fresh, effective products which would be made entirely without artificial preservatives or animal-derived ingredients.
THE RINGANA FRESH CONCEPT
Freshness means opportunities. ”Artificial preservatives, mineral oils and the like are not only questionable – most importantly, they are irrelevant in terms of effect,” says founder Andreas Wilfinger. Leaving them out creates space for a unique concentration of active ingredients: sensitive, highly antioxidant substances whose use is not even possible in conventional skin care, can be used in high doses at RINGANA.
Freshness means efficacy. So that these substances reach the customer as freshly and quickly as possible, all processes in the areas of procurement, processing, packaging and logistics have been optimised. Why is that so important? Andreas Wilfinger: “The reason is almost ironic: that which is best at keeping us young loses its effect fastest.”
Freshness means devotion. To guarantee this unique freshness and efficacy, small batches are produced on an ongoing basis. Long warehousing or sale in retail outlets are out of the question. The carefully selected raw materials are processed immediately. In order to protect the products before they reach the customer’s skin, new containers have been developed and designed. “It is only in this way that the high-quality substances in our very complex formulations can be protected naturally, and positive synergy effects be created,” Wilfinger explains.
OVERVIEW OF THE RINGANA PRODUCT CATEGORIES
FRESH Certified fresh skin, hair and tooth care products.
DRINKS Drinks for more power, inner balance and a figure-conscious lifestyle.
PACKS Powdered plant power in portion-size sachets for everyday use.
CAPS Powdered plant power in capsule form for every life situation.
RINGANA SPORT Fitness food (anti-doping tested) and care for optimum performance.
FOR THE LOVE OF THE ENVIRONMENT
Sustainability has been close to RINGANA’s heart right from the start. That is why neither the fresh skin care nor the food supplements contain microplastic or any other ingredients that harm the environment or our health. The fresh skin care packaging consists mainly of glass (recyclable bottles) or organic plastic derived from sugar cane. Instead of being placed in a cardboard box, the products are wrapped in an organic cotton hand towel. A paper adhesive tape is used to fasten the packages, while the fill material is made of corn starch. Sustainability was also key with regard to the company’s building – the RINGANA “Fresh Factory”: solar collectors over an area of 950 square metres provide electricity; fresh water is processed and reused. The company has already received several awards for its efforts in this area. Ulla Wannemacher: “Conserving resources and the preservation of a livable environment are RINGANA’s top priority. After all, nature is the basis for our work and everything we believe in.”
AN AUSTRIAN SUCCESS STORY
The products are manufactured in the Styrian town of Hartberg. These natural, untreated products are sent at top speed directly from the high-tech production line at the RINGANA “Fresh Factory” to customers all over the world. The company has 250 employees and generated turnover of 80 million euros in 2018. Numerous international awards and reorder rates of 70 per cent for first-time customers prove that the company is on the right track.