finance

Hand sanitiser businesses go from zero to two million litres in weeks


Two Scottish firms formed only three months ago are producing two million litres of hand sanitiser between them.

Just Sanitise was founded in March in Craigellachie, Moray, by Aberdonian Nicola Harland with business partner Brent Bowie and has already secured a contract to stock around 300 Morrisons supermarkets UK-wide.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh business ClearWater Hygiene, set up by property developer Andrew Montague and his wife Rachel claims to have raked in revenue of £3 million within 12 weeks of the company’s launch.

Both companies are donating money to charities supporting the NHS from their proceeds.

Harland, who already owned GDPR software business iCAAS, says she was appalled by the price of sanitiser at the start of the outbreak. She used business contacts to build a 50-strong team manufacturing and bottling hand sanitiser within weeks, and a distribution fleet of 75 vehicles.

Nicola Harland of Just Sanitise

She said: “Our Just Sanitise range was established to help frontline and essential workers access personal protective equipment (PPE) that was both affordable and readily accessible, a response to the supply-and-demand impact we witnessed on pricing at the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

“In a short time, via our alliance and its strong network, we are supplying the public sector and also working with organisations to ensure their amenities are as hygienic as possible, facilitating safe re-opening as lockdown restrictions are eased and an ongoing adherence to public health and government guidelines.”

The Montagues say they founded ClearWater Hygiene because they too were concerned about inflated prices and an overreliance on imported supplies.

They have their hand sanitiser made at Deeside Gin Distillery in Banchory and bottled in Preston, Lancashire, and are now producing over 900,000 litres a week.

It contains 80% ethanol, making it suitable for use in hospitals, care homes and other health facilities, and sells for as low as £3 a litre for high volume containers.

Montague says the firm has lined up more than £30 million in revenue over multi-year contracts after securing contracts with clients including the Post Office, JD plc, O2 Retail, BP, and Aldi. The firm employs 12 full-time staff and eight contracted workers at its headquarters in Leith and in other parts of Scotland and the UK.

Montague said: “From a standing start 12 weeks ago, we have seen a huge surge in demand for ClearWater products across the UK.

“We are proud to be providing some much-needed support in the fight against Covid-19 by gifting our product to NHS charities while, at the same time, building a successful business.”

ClearWater Hygiene was advised by James Horton of law firm CMS, who said: “Andrew and Rachel have been phenomenal in the speed of their response to this public health crisis.

“In a few short weeks they have pulled together production, design and packaging providers in different parts of the UK and are well on their way to building a successful and sustainable business.”



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