This isn’t the first time that disruptor Miki Agrawal has set out with the intention of challenging the status quo and fundamentally changing American culture. The acclaimed social entrepreneur began her journey with WILD, a farm-to-table, gluten-free pizza restaurant – the first of its kind in New York City. Next, she founded THINX, a company that creates reusable underwear for periods and also donates pads to Ugandan schoolgirls. Her most recent project is TUSHY, which makes affordable, modern bidet attachments for toilets, as well as other sustainable bathroom products. Together, Agrawal’s businesses are valued at over $200 million.
TUSHY helps ease environmental strife and fight the global sanitation crisis. Agrawal founded the company because wiping with toilet paper is not only ineffective but contributes to health issues like UTIs, hemorrhoids, yeast infections, anal fissures, and anal itching. Not to mention the fact that old-fashioned TP is an environmental disaster. Making toilet paper kills 15 million trees per year in America alone. Because of the Covid-19 toilet paper shortage in March 2020, the company saw its revenue jump 10 times over what was projected. TUSHY even broke $1 million in sales on a single day.
The TUSHY bidet can be attached to your toilet in just 10 minutes, saving toilet paper.
Aside from running her highly successful businesses based on breaking taboos, Agrawal also has written two bestselling books, Do Cool Sh*t and DisruptHer. In addition, she is a wife, mother, and identical twin sister to Daybreaker founder Radha Agrawal. She has been named among Fast Company’s Most Creative People, the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders, and Inc. magazine’s Most Impressive Women Entrepreneurs.
“I always loved questioning the things that didn’t make sense around me,” says Agrawal. Recently, she began asking herself: “Why are we wiping our butts with dry toilet paper? It doesn’t actually clean us, so it hurts our health and hygiene. It kills millions of trees per year. Yet we continue to waste money on it.”
Her solution was a simple attachable bidet that clips onto your toilet. TUSHY takes just 10 minutes to install and costs less than $100. Consumers are paid back within just three months by reducing their toilet paper consumption. And it definitely helps the planet. “It’s a no-brainer,” says Agrawal. “I love love love being able to question something and then provide a tangible solution to solve for it. To date, TUSHY has helped over 5 million trees from getting killed for toilet paper consumption.”
Furthermore, TUSHY has helped over 60,000 families gain access to clean toilets in India. The global sanitation crisis affects over three billion people globally and is one of the greatest human killers of our time.
Naturally, as a disruptor, Agrawal must confront naysayers all the time. “Skeptics who don’t get it want to hate on it and say stuff like, ‘We don’t want poopy water flying everywhere!’ or “Toilet bowl water? No thanks!’ But neither are true,” she says. “The water used for TUSHY is pulled from the wall, the same water you brush your teeth with, not from the tank or the bowl.”
Although initially, it was a big challenge to get people to try TUSHY, now close to one million customers are spreading the word. The pandemic also had a huge impact on business due to nationwide toilet paper shortages. People began to realize that bidets are better economically and environmentally – and also leave them clean, too.
“I think it's safe to say that TUSHY is playing a big role in converting America into a nation of bidet lovers and clean-butt enthusiasts,” Agrawal says. “If every American started using a TUSHY, there would be 15 million more trees in the world. It takes just 1 pint of water to properly wash with TUSHY, whereas it takes 437 billion gallons of water and 253,000 tons of bleach to make toilet paper annually. Chronic use of wet wipes leads to significant skin breakdown and increased sensitivity, irritation, cracking and fissures. Not to mention they also clog up your plumbing system.”
To aspiring changemakers, Agrawal offers this advice. “There will always be tasks that feel tedious in every position, but those practices are important in building the muscle memory of a new skill set. It’s not always just fun fun fun when creating. It often takes a while for a skill to really engrain itself into the person, along with multitasking at a high level, so learning to be patient is as important as being hungry for more. It’s a balancing act between wanting to learn as much as possible while building a deeper skill set in some of the more tedious aspects of the job while finding patience.”
This article was first published here