16 Oct, 2019
Strucket: the innovative household product that helps you reuse
When Kelly Lavery found herself constantly soaking onesies, bibs and items covered with bodily fluids from baby number three, little did she know that the experience would ultimately transform households across the country.
Tired of putting her hands in unhygienic soaking water, Kelly set out to find a product that would allow her to soak messy items hands-free.
Turns out, there was nothing on the market that suited her needs. While she found a plethora of bucket options and plenty of strainers, no product existed that combined the two functions.
“When I had my third child, it seemed I was always in the laundry,” Kelly said. I’d look at stuff soaking in a bucket and think ‘that is disgusting, I don’t want to put my hands in that’. I’m not precious about putting my hands into stuff but surely in the 21st century, there had to be something that fixes this and there wasn’t. We found a gap in the market.”
A strainer and bucket in one
That was in 2015. Fast-forward to today and Strucket, Kelly’s innovative strainer plus bucket, is taking households by storm. The Strucket consists of a bucket on the bottom and strainer on top. An interlocking mechanism inside allows the strainer to elevate above the base vessel to drain. A handy tap positioned at the side means dirty water can be easily released.
Three years in the making, Kelly spent hours talking to friends who all confirmed exactly what she had experienced - the dread of facing yet another messy bucket of soapy soaking water. A patent lawyer confirmed that there was nothing like this on the market and Kelly and husband Alistair embarked on an expensive industrial design process to develop a prototype.
A $100,000 grant from the Queensland Government Ignite Ideas Fund was a game-changer, providing funds to keep the project going and giving Kelly and Alistair confidence in the potential of the product.
Launched late last year, Strucket has already scooped some impressive awards, picking up a Good Design Australia Award, the AusMumpreneur Gold award for Product Innovation and a Bronze Stevie Award in the startup category at the International Business Awards. Closer to home, the Buderim Mum of three was recently awarded Sustainable Business Woman of the Year Award by the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network.
Choosing to reuse? Strucket is your ideal companion
While Strucket came to life in the laundry, it quickly became evident that the uses were far and wide - from soaking clothing and dry pailing modern cloth nappies to sterilising toys and camping. There is even interest from the aged care and disability sector.
During her initial research, Kelly found that busy parents would often report throwing away messy items because, well, they were disgusting and they didn’t have the time or energy to soak. In our throw-away society, Kelly wanted to provide parents with an option that was more sustainable.
“We have to do what we can to look after the planet. In Australia and New Zealand, we send over 3.75 billion disposable nappies to landfill every year. My kids are way out of nappies now but we wanted to support the reusable industry by making it easier for parents to use modern cloth nappies or reusable baby wipes,” Kelly explained.
“A lot of eco-friendly or reusable items require cleaning afterwards. Strucket allows you to soak, separate and drain without ever having to touch the dirty water.”
Strucket is an ideal companion for cleaning just about anything that’s reusable - baby wipes, cloth nappy inserts, clothing, menstrual products. And the good news is that there is a smaller model on the way designed specifically for reusable sanitary products which are growing in popularity.
“Our high consumption society is not just bad for the environment - it is bad for our bank accounts,” says Kelly. “You have to wake up in the morning and make a choice. If we all just made one change, take a reusable cup to buy coffee, stop buying clothing we don’t need or choose reusable modern cloth nappes, we can live more simply and reduce our impact on the planet.”
Strucket is manufactured in Brisbane from recyclable plastic. Get yours online, or in store at Howard’s Storage a baby supply store or a Sunshine Coast IGA.
Kelly was a guest speaker at the 2019 Living Smart Spring into Sustainability Changemakers Lunch. To discover more creative solutions from our local changemakers and find out more about keynote speaker, 1 Million Women founder Natalie Isaacs, check out An appetite for change: the power of 1 Million Women.
Watch the Kelly’s interview with Robyn Cook on Stories on the Red Couch.