Forbes: What was the impetus to start your brand?
Westervelt: HEX didn’t start as a laundry product. The initial vision was a product to clean and protect athletic facilities from MRSA and Staph infections. This idea led us to search for new and innovative cleaning technologies that were capable of deep cleaning and protecting regrowth on a number of surfaces like synthetic or plastics, rubbers, metals, and textiles.
While working on a commercial product, an “aha” moment hit me. I realized that activewear is plastic and I may have uncovered a solution for my sports laundry as a pro athlete…. Like we hear from our customers, I tried the HEX solution on my activewear, and it just worked.
Meet the founder: Drew Westervelt
From Athlete to Entrepreneur
As a 9-year professional lacrosse player, Drew Westervelt has traveled the world competing and performing at the highest level, discovering first-hand the challenge of washing performance wear and athletic gear.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Drew has deep roots in his hometown. After graduating from UMBC, it was only natural to build HEX in the city he loved.
Drew’s rejection of the status quo and his experience in team management both on and off the field led to the development of HEX products that are changing what clean means for laundry today.
Forbes: Why don’t traditional detergents work on synthetic materials?
Westervelt: Synthetic materials don’t like to be suffocated, but traditional laundry products (especially softeners and dryer sheets) leave a coating that traps things like sweat and bacteria. The laundry aisle is comprised of the same kinds of products with different packaging and forms… But they’re all the same basic formula which hasn’t changed in over 50 years. They tried to modify existing products (that weren’t made to clean synthetics) by adding heavy fragrances to hide the odor problem. They should have developed something new that’s made to do the job right.
Forbes: What makes your detergent unique?
Westervelt: Since HEX didn’t start as an idea for laundry detergent, we didn’t start from an existing laundry detergent formula. The key component of HEX products is the HEX Molecule, a technology new to the laundry category. It’s a bonded, eco-friendly, odorless, non-corrosive, charged, hydrophobic nanotechnology that happens to be biodegradable. How does it work? Just like laundry, there are two stages: wash and dry.
Meet the HEX Molecule
HEX is built with sustainable ingredients and a technology new to the laundry category: the HEX Molecule. The hypoallergenic, biodegradable component allows HEX to deliver a host of benefits all in one bottle.
So while other detergents have been talking stains for decades, HEX is working on today’s laundry problems. It penetrates stink and grime to clean each individual fiber – giving you an enhanced clean that’s still green and gentle.
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