Quebec-based company Life Without Plastic was born in 2006, shortly after the birth of the co-founders’ son, Jyoti. Today, as business partners Chantal Plamondon and Jay Sinha head an international team of eco-warriors whose primary goal is to connect consumers with non-plastic essentials, beauty products, and personal items. In working towards their shared vision of “a world without fossil-fuel derived plastic,” Jay and Chantal have built a business with over 450 plastic-free products on offer, plus subscription boxes.
Here’s what they had to say when Mandy Gardner got in touch!
Your business got its start when Jyoti was born, and the two of you started selling plastic-free baby bottles and food containers. At that point, did you think the company’s future was going to be primarily child-focused?
No, we always thought we would focus on a broad, across-the-board spectrum of products for living with less plastic. The company definitely began with products that we needed ourselves, and Jyoti was definitely a catalyst, but we always knew it would be much more than just children’s products.
Do you have a favourite product?
Yes! My favourite product is our stainless steel folding spork. I carry one with me everywhere and use it for all kinds of things. When we were still travelling, it was super handy and has no problem getting through airport security. Love it.
Was it challenging to keep your environmental/ethical standards and move forward with putting a business together?
Not at all – the business and those standards are the same. The business’s whole foundation is safe, high-quality, ethically sourced and Earth-friendly products – these elements are baked into the business DNA. As we have grown and evolved, the importance of those standards has become even clearer.
In what way has the current pandemic affected Life Without Plastic?
We initially saw a massive drop in sales, over 30%, and this hit us hard, but we pivoted and innovated. We were among the first to make and sell organic cotton reusable masks and did so through a neat initiative we created where we hired [sewers] all over North America. Many of [those workers] had also lost work, and we paid them well to make the masks to our specs.
What do you have planned for the future?
We always have new products in the pipeline. The latest we just launched is our own water bottle, something we have wanted to do for over a decade. Our book was an absolute labour of love, and we continue to love promoting and doing talks, and are always so humbled and thrilled when people tell us how the book changed their life. Our whole team – and we have a fantastic team (all women except for me!) – is having a ton of fun with our seasonal subscription box service and constantly coming up with new ideas for that.
The plastic issue is not going away. It is only getting worse – especially with the pandemic and the massive increase in the use of single-use PPE (masks, gloves), much of which eventually ends up in landfills or as pollution. Sadly, research is showing that already there are tons of such waste in the oceans.
There’s a lot of work to do!
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Author: Mandy Gardner, Content Writer, Toronto, Canada. If you have any stories or comments, kindly email: –[email protected]