Superheroes of Salcombe Josie and Juliette’s love for sparkling oceans and sandy beaches lead them to create their yoga wear brand, Planet Warrior. Having been awarded the Eco-Age Brandmark, these wonder women discuss what keeps them motivated in building an eco-business from the ground up.
What inspired you to launch Planet Warrior?
Growing up by the beach, we had become concerned with the growing amount of waste harming the oceans. After learning that a staggering 91% of plastic is not recycled, we wanted to make use of the waste plastic that is already out in the world. When we did our research, we learnt that there was an opportunity to use this waste in a variety of amazing ways. We both love fitness and yoga but found it impossible to get truly inspiring and stylish designs that didn’t arrive in plastic bags when you ordered them! The two ideas went hand in hand and our eco-yoga wear made from recycled plastic bottles with eco-packaging was born.
What are your sustainable priorities for the business?
We have launched Planet Warrior as a fully eco-business from the ground up, and our number one priority is to have sustainability considered at every level. Our priorities are to ensure we are reusing waste products where possible and anything newly produced must be bio-degradable or recyclable, down to our stickers and packaging paper! We are focusing on being a slow fashion brand, releasing considered collections which can be enjoyed for years to come.
How has your eco strategy developed as you have grown?
We are still less than 1 year old, but as we grow there are new challenges we face as an eco-friendly brand. For example, just this week we had to order signage for a pop up shop, which is a market saturated in plastic! We managed to find eco signage that was 100% recyclable which is amazing; yes it cost a little more and takes more time to source, but we are committed to making every element of the business sustainable as we grow.
How challenging has it been to maintain your eco principles?
As a small team we are lucky to both share the same values of looking after the planet, but as we grow we will have to work hard to ensure this is embedded in everyone who works with Planet Warrior. When considering collaborations and ambassadors we are careful to make sure they meet our same vision and will positively contribute to spreading the message to combat plastic waste.
What have been your biggest milestones and triumphs until now?
We have been overwhelmed by how many wonderful individuals have reached out and asked to be a part of our ambassador tribe. Individuals apply to be part of the tribe by letting us know what eco activities they are involved in and how they are helping the planet, once accepted into the tribe, we can all work together to spread the message. There is such a fantastic community who believe in looking after the planet from yoga teachers, to spin instructors, to Pilates enthusiasts and so many more. It is a joy to collaborate with them and share tips of living an eco-friendly lifestyle.
What have been the main prohibitors to your progress in building a sustainable business?
Finding effective eco-friendly packaging that would protect our gorgeous products was one of the most challenging parts of setting up the business. We are so proud to have found a fabulous selection of packaging materials such as 100% recycled cardboard, tissue paper made from 99% recycled pulp, packaging tape that’s bio-based without bleach and stickers that are dissolvable – all of these elements are recyclable after use!
Do you feel pressure from your customers to be more eco?
We are always keen to take on advice to become more sustainable, and we have a great dialogue with our customers who often provide fantastic tips.
What advice would you give to anyone hoping to launch a sustainable business?
Go for it! The more sustainable businesses out there the better. We would advise allowing a little longer for set up as sourcing sustainable options can take time. Top tip – don’t cut corners, you will find a sustainable option, just get creative!
Which other sustainable businesses have inspired you?
We met Rob one of the founders of Gandys flip flops at an event we attended quite a few years back and were inspired by his story, and the focus of his business being to do good in the world and benefit others. This was a real eye opener for us and made us want to create a business that had a positive impact on the world.