Making it Work

Easydry compostable towel offers a sustainable solution for towel-hungry industries

The Dundalk-based business is targeting the beauty, fitness and healthcare sectors with its environmentally friendly alternative to cotton towels and traditional laundry

Anne Butterly: the company now has 15 staff and has its products in over 30 countries including Australia, Britain, Germany and the US. Picture: Arthur Carron Photography

Founded in 2003, the idea for Easydry came when Anne Butterly was sharing a house with five others in Dublin. The business, based in Dundalk, Co Louth, creates disposable towels that are wholly compostable, primarily for hair salons.

“The towels are designed to be totally sustainable, replacing cotton towels and traditional laundry that would use a lot of water. It’s a new-generation textile based in wood pulp that is absorbent, durable and compostable,” Butterly told the Business Post.

“When I was sharing a house, we had lots of beauty products and there were stained towels everywhere. I was wondering if there was anything that could be used to avoid staining all the towels.”

Butterly initially just wanted to find a solution on the market to buy for personal use. When she found no adequate product existed, she decided to start Easydry to address the challenge.

“I was working in marketing at the time. You can’t use tissues for thicker hair as it would break down. I was intrigued and realised there was a market opportunity,” she said.

“My father set up his own business and my brother and sister are also entrepreneurs. I’ve been encouraged from a young age in that regard. I always wanted to work for myself, but didn’t have an idea I liked until I came up with this.”

The company now has 15 staff and has its products in over 30 countries including Australia, Britain, Germany and the US.

“I decided that I wanted the product to be environmentally friendly. That has been a key driver of the business from the start. I didn’t want to develop a product that would go to landfill,” Butterly said.

“As we’ve developed other products, our goal is always to develop innovative and sustainable solutions. We’re targeting towel-hungry industries. Anywhere a business needs a huge supply of towels, we are designing products for it.”

The core towel product breaks down in 12 weeks. Easydry has also developed products for hospitality, gyms and healthcare covering robes, gowns, and bath towels among other products. All of these are compostable.

“It gives businesses a sustainable option that outperforms what’s on the market while keeping their costs down.”

Easydry’s growth has been supported by Enterprise Ireland and Butterly said this proved particularly helpful with entering international markets.

“From the start they’ve been helpful in generating interest from different markets through their international offices. They’ve been very good on the research side of things and we’ve sent our team on their sales and marketing workshops,” she said.

“Each year we send members on their courses to make sure we’re constantly upskilling our staff.”

Butterly said the move towards more sustainable goods has generated interest from more sectors, with the healthcare and fitness sectors in particular showing increased appetite for its products in recent times.

“We can help Irish and international companies to drive the green agenda. Everyone’s looking for ways to reduce CO2 and water usage. We’re focusing on breaking into more sectors in the year to come.”