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Paper straws, composting and thrifting—three ways environmentally conscious consumers think about making their lives more Earth-friendly in personal, yet simple, ways.
But, in America, rarely do people consider their backyards—literally—as a space that can become greener and more environmentally friendly.
This is where Sunday, a direct-to-consumer startup, comes in. The DTC brand wants to help people have a less toxic—and cleaner—lawn. The company, which ran a beta test in 2018, officially rolled out in April this year to offer customers a lawn kit subscription customized to their specific lawn needs.
With $9.2 million in funding, Sunday is an environmentally friendly company that aims to reduce the number of pesticides people use on their lawns, using custom solutions with natural ingredients, versus the traditional one-size-fits-all approach typically found at big box retailers or supermarkets.
As Coulter Lewis, the founder and CEO of Sunday, puts it, with over 40 million acres of lawn across the U.S. and several lawsuits against some of the leading brands around lawn care and weed killers, such as Bayer’s Roundup, Sunday has arrived at an opportune time. The lawn care market is ripe for disruption.
Lewis declined to share any specifics around revenue or customers, but did say that currently, the company is seeing consumers in the continental U.S. and that Texas is currently its biggest customer base.
As it works now, Sunday offers a subscription of three boxes a year. That includes a custom lawn care kit staring at $129 a year. Customers send a sample of their soil, as well as identifying characteristics of where they live in the U.S. However, Lewis said, Sunday goes beyond just sending out the kits and offers educational guidance to its customers such as tips on how to manage a more self-sustaining lawn or how to handle watering a lawn during a drought. Since each kit is customized and the Sunday team knows where the customer lives, the company can offer more personalized tips and see what weather conditions could affect the lawn. The company also has a chief science officer, Dr. Frank Rossi, who specializes in turfgrass and is an associate professor at Cornell University.
“One of the challenges here [is] that if you go and Google this, it’s really difficult to understand what the right path is,” Lewis said. “The result is regional [and] a lot of the things online are wrong. We really pride ourselves on being a particular source of guidance.”
Unlike other DTC brands, Sunday is going after a demographic that goes beyond the usual coastal millennial. But, Lewis said some of the same core values still apply such as fast delivery, personalization and excellent customer service.
“The reality is that there’s 40 million acres of lawn across the U.S. [and] of the 90 million single-family homes in the U.S., 75% have a lawn,” Lewis said. “It’s a national pastime.”