‘We’re here to make sustainability cool, fun and accessible.’
“Peter and I knew each other growing up playing tennis tournaments in our teenage years. We committed at the same time to play at Williams College, where we’re seniors. We’d walk to tennis practice and see Solo cups littered on streets and across campus, and they’re not easily recyclable. Williams is by no means a party school, but we’d see [cups everywhere] and we’d think how big of an issue this must be at other college campuses.
“We started the company Earth Brands about two years ago. We launched with our first product called Earth Caps, hats made from recycled plastic bottles and organic cotton. We wanted to give back and make it something meaningful. We’re surrounded by mountains [in college] and we appreciate nature. But we were also seeing climate change and pollution from plastic. So, for every hat that we sell, we donate $5 to environmental organizations. Make A Change World installs trash barriers in rivers in Indonesia to stop trash outflow into oceans. The Bondh E Shams organization uses solar panels to pump water from aquifers to places around the world that need fresh water. We’ve donated over $15,000. Then we came up the idea of Earth Cups, which is our focus. We’re here to make sustainability cool, fun and accessible.
This summer, we’ll be producing all our products here in the United States. We’re really excited about that. It’s a big leap, but we know it’s the right thing to do.
“We thought there must be a better solution, and we did research and landed on Earth Cups, 16-ounce plant-based biodegradable and compostable cups. They can turn into soil in about 90 days. We launched that last April. It’s been awesome to see the growth on college campuses, to see the movement we’ve been building in our generation. We have about 2,000 college ambassadors who help us build up our brand.
“Last summer, we started to focus on breweries, bars, stadiums and festivals across the U.S. This summer, we’ll be producing all our products here in the United States. We’re really excited about that. It’s a big leap, but we know it’s the right thing to do. We’re hiring people and expanding into new products and materials, looking into seaweed and algae as an alternative to plastic. It’s crazy how interested companies are and how much demand is out there. From coffee shops to restaurants to big stadiums, this is definitely on everybody’s mind, and we’re happy that it is.”
Interviewed by Rachel O’Brien – Morano