The singer-songwriter and philanthropist comes clean on her ten-year job as a housekeeper, why she finds cleaning therapeutic, when she taught her daughter to do laundry and why she has teamed up with Tide purclean to launch its new eco-friendly detergent.
Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado grew up in the family business—the cleaning business. “I come from a housekeeping background. My mom ran a laundry and cleaning company, and from a young age, I would go along with her to help out on odd jobs,” says Furtado. For the Grammy-award winner, lending a hand with the housekeeping turned into her first decade-long job. “I was a professional housekeeper at a hotel for 10 years in Vancouver,” says Furtado.
So, when Tide approached Furtado to help launch purclean—their first bio-based detergent (65% of the ingredients are made using renewable energy sources, such as plants)—the decision was an easy one. This more eco-friendly option is also hypoallergenic, free of dyes, chlorine and phosphates, and is produced in an environmentally-friendly manufacturing site.
Along with using a more sustainable detergent, Furtado limits the amount of loads she does per week and uses energy-saving cold water. “Every little bit counts: I drive a hybrid car so I only have to fill up on gas once a month. I make my own cleaning products with vinegar and water. When I’m spring cleaning or moving, I donate everything from faucets and cabinets to furniture to Habitat for Humanity so they can reuse them instead of putting them in a landfill,” says Furtado.
Furtado taught her daughter, Nevis, who is now 13-years-old, how to do laundry when she was 10-years-old. “At the time, she was saving up to buy an iPad, so Furtado gave her a list of chores to do, including laundry, to save enough money for the big purchase. “I felt I was teaching her a really valuable skill that she’ll use into adulthood, but she already mastered it at a young age. She’s really good at folding, too,” says Furtado.
Along with raising a teenage daughter and managing a successful music career (she has sold 16 million albums), she is committed to her environmental and humanitarian philanthropic work. This year, she helped host We Day, an event that empowers kids to contribute to positive changes in their communities, as well as acknowledging many who do. She also remains very close to the organization, Free The Children—she has helped raise $1 million dollars for a new all-girls school in Narok in rural Kenya. This Christmas, Nelly will visit the girls at the school.
In March 2018, Furtado will release her seventh album, The Ride. Most of the songs were written outside the studio while doing other things, such as laundry or in a car ride in Kenya during one of her Free The Children missions.
These days, when she’s not travelling, Furtado continues to clean her own house as she finds it puts her in a meditative mood, giving her the opportunity to focus on her music. “It’s part of who I am,” says Furtado.