Podcast: Womenled

92: Zero Grocery – Plastic-Free Grocery Delivery

Zuleyka Strasner, founder of Zero Grocery moved from East London to San Francisco to work for Facebook. She saw the need to for a plastic – free grocery. To learn about customers needs and habits she started by delivering first in plastic containers and then in plastic-free containers. She soon learned that most of the customers were willing to try new products curated by her delivered in a sustainable packaging. She raised half a million dollars from venture capitalists within 4 months of starting the business. Pandemic with its mixed blessing brought exponential growth to Zero. They initially had a monthly subscription of $25 for unlimited delivery but as of Jan 1st they have done away with the subscription and have a guaranteed 2 hour delivery. Zuleyka talks about her experience in raising funds and how women should approach from a position of power and not weakness. Listen to this fascinating journey in this episode.
#sustainablegrocery, zerowaste, #plasticfree, #USA, #mindfulbusinesses, #zerogrocery,
https://zerogrocery.com/
https://www.mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/

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Food
Food
92: Zero Grocery - Plastic-Free Grocery Delivery
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83: Rebel Nell – One of No Other Kind

This episode has two parts – in part one, we talk with Amy Peterson, the co-founder of Rebel Nell about her inspiration and motivation to start Rebel Nell. While living next to a homeless shelter in Detroit, MI, she got to learn up-close the women who lived there and their challenges. One day out on a jog she finds a piece of graffiti that she envisioned could be repurposed into meaningful wearable art. A fusion of these two ideas gave birth to Rebel Nell. Amy with her co-founder Diana Roginson started Rebel Nell in 2013 with the mission to provide employment, equitable opportunity, and wraparound support for women with barriers to employment. They seek to embolden women, to embrace their infinite strength, and to define their own future.

They partner with local organizations to seek out women who have struggled to find and retain employment. Their goal is to help the women move from a life of dependence to one of self-reliance, overcoming barriers to employment through the fruits of their own labor. Rebel Nell’s product line starts with repurposing graffiti, after it has fallen off the walls.

These are women who when hired have no background in jewelry become creative designers who make incredibly intricate and unique piece each one more beautiful than the next. In the part two we chat with one such woman – Ethel Rucker, Production Lead at Rebel Nell.

In addition to on-the-job training and guidance on how to make jewelry, Rebel Nell also provides them with life management, financial training and business education to make sure they have the confidence and knowledge that will enable them to leave homelessness/dependence behind permanently and move forward as strong independent women. Listen to this powerful story in this episode.

https://www.rebelnell.com/
To hire Ethel Rucker for your next photoshoot contact her via her website https://harteclectic.com/

https://www.mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/

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Design and Innovation
Design and Innovation
83: Rebel Nell - One of No Other Kind
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75: Kudos – Natural Disposable Diapers

In this episode, we talk with Amrita Saigal, founder of Kudos, natural disposable diapers – the only disposable diaper that has 100% cotton touching baby’s bum all day. Kudos is the only disposable diaper to have earned the cotton natural™ seal for being lined with 100% cotton instead of plastic. Kudos have also been certified to the strictest safety standard, OEKO-TEX® Standard 100. Designed by a team of MIT-trained engineers (and moms!), the patent-pending DoubleDry™ tech handles moisture and provides overnight-level reliability with two layers of protection instead of one. Amrita talks about her journey, setting up Sathi – a plant-based material maxi pads, to Google X, some sibling bonding time working at Thunkable, her brother’s startup, and finally landing to launch Kudos. It has been a journey where with hard work and perseverance Kudos had received 2.4 million in seed funding from investors like Foundation Capital, XFund, PJC, Precursor Ventures, Liquid 2 Ventures, SV Angel, Underscore VC, Alpha Bridge Ventures, April Underwood among others. Learn now in this episode.

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Sustainable Materials
Sustainable Materials
75: Kudos - Natural Disposable Diapers
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72: Tahmina – To Be Brave (Donate for Afghanistan)

Want to join us in making a difference? We are raising money to benefit Education Foundation for Afghanistan Inc, and any donation will help make an impact. Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to me.

A little bit about Education Foundation for Afghanistan (EFFA), – founded by Prof. Zarjon Baha, Purdue University, an octogenarian who emigrated to the United States in 1982 as a refugee after the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan. He founded EFFA with the mission to promote education in Afghanistan. As a long-time educator, he believes that only education can help empower women. 100% of your donations will go to educate girls. The past two weeks’ turmoil has made his mission even more difficult. Like Michelle Obama said “When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous,”  The need is immediate and urgent.  Please don’t look away. Donate by clicking on the link
https://gofund.me/ea4e1401
We talk with Sarah Jackson (whose name has been changed due to security reasons), founder and CEO of Tahmina. Tahmina is an international brand with a vision to export transformational products from different conflict regions of the world. Their maiden project is saffron and saffron-infused teas from Afghanistan. Learn more about their work through this podcast.

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Food
Food
72: Tahmina - To Be Brave (Donate for Afghanistan)
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70: Let’s Goat Buffalo – Changing the Landscape, One Bite At a Time

Let’s Goat Buffalo employs rescued goats to eat unwanted vegetation growth! Whether it’s a residential yard that needs clearing, a commercial property that has become overgrown and high-risk, or a park or highway that has become less accessible to the public, their herds are prepared to help! We chat with the bubbly Jennifer Zeitler – Founder and CEO of Let’s Goat Buffalo, on how she transitioned from Human Resources to goatscaping. The term “goatscaping” means grazing goats to manage vegetation growth in an environmentally sound manner. Goatscaping greatly reduces the use of toxic herbicides, and because the goat digestive process effectively sterilizes seeds and reproductive plant matter, they are an ideal treatment for invasive plants. Let’s Goat Buffalo offers grazing services within suburban, urban and rural environments. By choosing natural treatment, Let’s Goat customers are choosing healthier soil, increased biodiversity, and a greener future. Jennifer Zeitler collaborated with a goat dairy farm Alpine Maid and rescued the goats to bring a sustainable solution to remove overgrown brush and weeds. She was also made a How I Built This, fellow, in 2021 by NPR. Come listen now to her journey.

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Agriculture & Farming
Agriculture & Farming
70: Let’s Goat Buffalo - Changing the Landscape, One Bite At a Time
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68: Beejom Farm – Animal Sanctuary and Sustainable Regenerative Agriculture

Beejom is an animal sanctuary and sustainable agricultural farm located in Western Uttar Pradesh. They use natural farming techniques to grow food. The agricultural practices at Beejom are farm animal-centric. We talk to the passionate and energetic Aparna Rajagopal, a lawyer turned conservationist, animal rescuer, and educator. While trying to rescue a horse, she leased farmland to board the horse, and while trying to improve its soil she bought some cows and bulls for their manure – about 150 of them. But they do not use them for dairy. These cattle generate 1000 kgs of dung at the farm on average. Beejom utilizes this dung is to make lovely dung pots and partners with local nurseries in the hope that they stop using plastic covers and start using these beautiful pots for their seedlings. When the seedling outgrows this pot, one can transplant the seedling into the ground along with the pot which is nothing but cow dung manure. A beautiful sustainability project that is great for the environment and an additional income source for the farmer. They have a cow dung log machine and make dung logs that can replicate wood. The logs can be used in crematoriums, bonfires or Havans (religious fires). Come join us on Aparna’s journey on Beejom Farm.

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Agriculture & Farming
Agriculture & Farming
68: Beejom Farm - Animal Sanctuary and Sustainable Regenerative Agriculture
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63: TOPUP TRUCK – Mobile Zero-Waste Shop

With a vision to shop plastic-free, Ella Shone (founder of TOPUP TRUCK) drives a milk float around Hackney, East London, refilling consumables that her customers pre-order. Ella and I chatted virtually over a cup of tea – she had her classic English Breakfast with oat milk and I had an African Rooibos. She recounts her journey with laughter and enthusiasm about founding TOPUP TRUCK – the refill store that floats to your door.

When she was furloughed at the beginning of the pandemic, Ella volunteered at the local food pantry. She found it very fulfilling as she biked around Hackney during the lockdown dropping meals to those who couldn’t come to the community kitchens to pick up their meals. With a head full of various business ideas, Ella came up with the idea of the TOPUP TRUCK. She wanted to reach out to the reluctant environmentalists and make it easier for them to shop plastic-free. She partnered with Re-Stor, a local refill store, and started TOPUP TRUCK.

Learn more about her journey right here on Mindful Businesses podcast.

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Europe
Europe
63: TOPUP TRUCK - Mobile Zero-Waste Shop
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59: Amazi Foods – Snack on Purpose

Renee Dunn, Founder of Amazi Foods, studied abroad and did her thesis research in Uganda. While living there, she was blown away by their organic tropical fruits, bursting with flavors unlike back at home in the US. But stand after stand, people traded fruits raw or looked for cheap ways of processing or exporting. She had heard stories about cocoa farmers never saw a chocolate bar. Those at the heart of the resources were completely separate from the opportunity and innovation that existed in the global market —resulting in high unemployment and food waste. This sums up a lot about our supply chains as a whole.

Meanwhile, back at home, consumers look for products that serve a higher purpose. She realized there was a huge opportunity missed not only for local industry and job creation but also to satisfy a growing need for US consumers. Amazi Foods source directly from farmers and keep production in-country by partnering with Ugandan businesses. By creating over 150 jobs and paying 2-3x the local wages, paying farmers up to 67% above market price, prioritizing women and smallholder farmers, and committing to contribute over $13 million to the Ugandan economy over the next 4 years, they bring 100% made-in-Uganda products to the US markets. Listen now only on Mindful Businesses podcast.

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Africa
Africa
59: Amazi Foods - Snack on Purpose
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53: The Grandad Company – Unisex Circular Street Clothing

Hand-made in The Grandad Company’s London home studio; The Grandad Company is a closed-loop streetwear brand whose mission is to breathe life into reclaimed vintage menswear for a new unisex generation. An upcycling brand, with being environmentally conscious at its core. “Wear your grandads’ clothes!” Don’t let your grandads’ clothes go in the bin!” – says Jess Grech, the founder of The Grandad Company. Hear about her sustainable passion to create an upcycled unisex street clothing brand – made one piece at a time.

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Design and Innovation
Design and Innovation
53: The Grandad Company - Unisex Circular Street Clothing
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51: Clean and Proud – Creating Sustainable Fashion from Plastic Waste

Clean & Proud kicks off in 2018, when two environment and ecology enthusiasts George Berthon and Beatrice Engström, living in Malawi sit together to once again talk about the problem of plastic waste littering the streets and the nature of this country they love so much. It was that evening that they decided to act against pollution. With a small amount of cash they had on hand and the help of a partially successful crowdfunding campaign, Beatrice and George set out to create machines to recycle all that plastic polluting Malawi. But they fail to operate these machines to their full potential. It was at this moment that they came across this simple and effective technique on the internet to heat-seal single-use plastic waste (such as packaging and plastic bags) together to create a durable and practical material. Since then, Clean & Proud has strived to create and produce wonderful eco-friendly and ethical products, handmade with always a little African touch to warm the hearts.

Learn more about their passion for bringing environmental change and their love for the East African nation, Malawi.

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Africa
Africa
51: Clean and Proud - Creating Sustainable Fashion from Plastic Waste
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