The day that James Dutton’s son experienced a terrible reaction to an everyday, off-the-shelf wound care product, was a shock he never saw coming.
“He was uncomfortable and scratching at it within the hour,” recalls the Melbourne-based entrepreneur. “When I removed it, the dressing literally stripped his skin off, and left his stomach covered in blisters.”
When later attempts with other common strip bandage brands yielded pretty much the same results, James knew there had to be a better way.
Some market research led him to discover that this was a big problem, affecting one in four people. Another big problem? Once discarded, these dressings go straight to landfill.
Determined to find a solution that benefitted both people with sensitive skin and the environment, James developed Patch, a “100 per cent natural, bamboo fibre alternative”, which since its launch in 2017 can now be found in 42 countries worldwide.
“It’s a natural product and it’s naturally antimicrobial,” he explains. “There’s no need for latex, synthetics, or parabens, and our bamboo product is fully compostable.”
He also points out that Patch is sustainable, cruelty-free and vegan, and is a “completely toxin free and the most eco-natural wound care dressing in the world”.
This bold ambition and innovation was exactly what Amazon Australia was looking for when it selected the winners of this year’s Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants – worth more than $200,000 each.
“We’ve been selling on Amazon.com.au since 2019 and we’re excited to continue our e-commerce journey with Amazon Australia, says James. “This grant will help us expand on our customer touch points, ultimately making our brand bigger and better.”
He says applying for the grants was a “no-brainer”. “We knew this would be a great way to establish ourselves further into the Australian market and we jumped at the opportunity to be involved.”
Amazon Launchpad is Amazon’s program to help startups and entrepreneurs grow their business online. It helps with inventory management, order fulfilment, customer service, and marketing support, allowing brands to focus their efforts on the innovation that results in more unique products.
What he’s looking forward to most perhaps is the access to Amazon experts. “I believe that to succeed in e-commerce, it’s all about understanding the ethos behind it and the engine that drives it, so that opportunity to learn from Amazon and industry experts is going to really give us a clear edge,” he says.
In terms of the long game for the business, James says the vision is to be in every household around the world. “To do that, we’ll require as much reach as possible, and with Amazon’s help, it really puts that dream within reach,” he says confidently.
Another goal in the pipeline is to expand the product range with the launch of a natural bamboo sports tape and with a line of complementary balms and ointments to follow.
To think it all started with an everyday mishap, and one father’s commitment to creating a better solution — and world — for his young sons.
“For us it’s not just about building the brand moving forward,” says James, passionately.” It’s also about educating people on making cleaner and better choices, and doing our little bit to help make the world a better place.”
Check out Patch and other Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grant Winners at the Amazon Australia Shop Local store - here