Anne Butterly, the new boss of Orb Distribution following its management buyout in June, is the inventor of Easydry, and it was with her that Jo Burgess and Gavin Hinton first brought the product to Australia, the first country outside of Ireland and the UK to champion the disposable towel. Her history is one of determinism and vision.
Living in Dublin, Ireland, with six other young women in the early 2000s, Anne had her Eureka! moment as she was standing over her bathtub staring at a pile of damp and stained towels left by one of her flatmates who had just dyed her hair. She thought there must be a better way, and the idea of super-absorbent disposable towels was born.
She knew it needed to be absorbent, but also environmentally friendly to avoid the kind of disaster associated with mass production of plastic carrier bags. She spent the next few years working on her design.
Finally, in 2005 Anne, launched Easydry. But it wasn’t easy convincing business owners to give up their cotton towels and adopt a completely new way to dry. She had to break through the taboo of disposable products and persuade everyone that Easydry was an efficient, convenient and environmentally sustainable way to dry.
Highly absorbent, super-light and offering clinical levels of hygiene, Easydry towels have been making steady inroads into the hair and beauty market ever since. The product was released in Australia in 2009, with the Australian arm of the business owned by Jo and Gavin morphing into Orb Distribution in 2012. Further expansion into the Middle East and the US took place in 2013.
Easydry and Anne Butterly have come along way since that day in the small Dublin bathroom. With big salons throughout the world now embracing Easydry, disposable towels have become part of the mainstream. Easydry has sold millions of its recyclable and biodegradable towels to businesses looking for a convenient alternative to cotton towels and desperate to break free from the relentless grind of laundering them. And on the way, Anne and the company she founded have also won a clutch of awards for business and environmental performance.