DECADES BEFORE the first Earth Day in 1970, there were discerning dreamers who urged their contemporaries to envision a g...
Our gardens should be helping the planet, not harming it
For generations, gardeners and growers have been using soils that are harmful to our planet. Formulated with peat moss, the average bag of potting soil has always been less than ideal for horticultural use. PittMoss has many advantages over any peat-based soil on the market today.
We are currently facing two major sustainability issues: land waste and CO2 emissions. 34% of landfills are filled with recyclable cellulose fiber materials such as newsprint, magazines, cardboard, and other paper products that don't really need to be landfilled. In addition, many seemingly environmentally friendly products, like peat-based potting soils, are producing massive CO2 emissions as soon as they are dug from the ground.
Peat bogs make up less than 3% of terrestrial land mass, but act as massive carbon sinks. They hold more carbon than all of the worlds forests combined and reducing peat mining is one of the top 10 carbon emissions initiatives from the UN.
Even though almost every soil mixture today includes peat moss, it simply doesn't make sense because peat is highly acidic (requiring lime to raise the pH), extremely dense (requiring perlite to be mined, heated, and added to peat-based soils) and actually repels water (requiring chemical wetting agents to hold water). Because we have been conditioned to consistently overwater our peat-based soils we are also wasting fresh water and causing massive amounts of fertilizer runoff which often turns into algae bloom problems in our lakes and oceans.
We need sustainable alternatives to peat-based soils.
PittMoss: The next generation of soils
PittMoss offers next-generation garden soils and amendments that are better for plants and for the planet. Made from the cellulose fiber material that we are currently taking to landfills, the revolutionary properties created by PittMoss' upcycled materials allow for more air, water, and nutrients to be delivered to plants. This encourages faster, stronger root development and top growth - resulting in bigger, healthier plants with more and larger blooms. The unique fiber structure of PittMoss creates physical, biological, and chemical properties that other soils simply cannot replicate. The PittMoss fiber structure is the secret (and protected) ingredient that can't be replicated by others and is much cleaner (organic, and pesticide free) than other soils.
Just what your plants (and the planet) need
PittMoss is made from recycled fibers specifically engineered to provide optimal management of applied resources, such as water and fertilizer. Not only does PittMoss increase the time between watering, it also manages the water more efficiently by allowing plants to uptake water when needed. This is much better for the planet than the constant over-watering that is required with peat-based soils. This makes for better use of resources by storing water and fertilizer more efficiently and delivering it to plants as they need it.
PittMoss absorbs and releases nutrients back into the root system to grow bigger and stronger plants in less time while reducing our dependency on peat-based products. In 2020, our PittMoss soil products prevented the emission of 811.11 metric tons of CO2.
How does a savings of 811.11 metric tons of CO2 emissions equate to other referenceable items? Here’s a few examples:
- 2,012,680 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle
- 893,732 pounds of coal burned
- 91,269 gallons of gasoline consumed
- 33,158 propane cylinders used
- 276 tons of waste recycled instead of landfilled
150+ stores across the US
In 2014 PittMoss appeared on Shark Tank, and secured an investment from Mark Cuban and a number of angel groups. In 2015 Pittmoss launched with a focus on selling its base material to nurseries and commercial growers as a soil amendment. Now, after continued interest from home gardeners, the company has developed multiple peat-free products for home gardening enthusiasts. Company revenue has grown by 40-50% annually, surpassing $900K+ in total revenue to date. The company also sells to more than 150 stores across 22 states in the US.
Doubling customer count each year
PittMoss clients all share one thing in common: they love to grow. PittMoss sells its products in three distinct channels. The company sells commercial bulk quantities to nurseries landscapers, and growers. In the wholesale channel, PittMoss sells to more than 150 garden centers. And via e-commerce, the company sells to individual garden enthusiasts. PittMoss customers love the products and are impressed by the moisture retention, growing capability, and overall strength of their plants. Not only is the company doubling its customer counts each year, it is also increasing the average sale per customer each year as well.
Hear from our customers:
Three huge revenue streams
PittMoss has three key revenue streams: commercial growers, wholesale distribution, and e-commerce. PittMoss retail products sell for $9.95 - $20.95 at the local garden center, depending on the SKU. As the company continues to scale its operations, cost of goods as a percentage of revenue will continue to decrease. Today the company has gross margins of about 45%.
At a glance:
$6B market potential
The estimated retail market for soils is worth $6B, $500M of which is raw, imported peat moss before it is processed and amended to become a soil mixture. By offering a much better, locally produced product, PittMoss has the potential to disrupt the entire $6B soil market, but to execute its business plan and produce an exit for investors, PittMoss only needs to generate revenue of $24M which is anticipated by 2025.
Planting the seed for a new kind of soil
PittMoss is disrupting the traditional peat-based soil market by offering a greener, more effective and sustainable solution to all growers. Not only is PittMoss better for the planet, it helps create strong, more nourished plants with significantly less water. In fact, independent growth trials bear results that are so good that trials are demonstrated using time-lapse photography to prove that PittMoss plants actually grow bigger every week compared to the competition.
Locally made soils in every major US market!
Why dig up peat and ship it half way across our country from Canada, when we can make much better soils from local waste materials instead?
By reaching its fundraising goal, PittMoss plans to expand its sales, marketing, distribution, and production efforts across all product lines. Of particular importance is the development of the cannabis and hemp markets which are two very fast growing segments of the economy.
The company has also identified six new opportunity areas for the future: equine bedding, groundwater management, chicken bedding, worm castings, specialty mixes, and compost starters. PittMoss has already begun entering into the animal bedding industry and plans to use the funds raised improve sales and marketing opportunities in several of the markets described.
Mont Handley wins investment on Shark Tank
Mont Handley developed the idea behind PittMoss in the 1990's and recently received the prestigious Tibbets Award from the EPA for developing and commercializing PittMoss. Mont turned over the operations of the company to a dedicated team of experienced business development and industry experts while he went home to care for his ailing father. Mont is still the largest individual shareholder and board member for the company.