July 18, 2018 Product

Eco-friendly products.

Plastic bags are on the way out. That’s good news for all of us. It’s especially good news for Briody McKenzie and her business. Major Australian supermarkets have taken action now that government plans to ban non-reusable bags are becoming clearer. Over the past couple of years the tide has turned and we now stop to think about the number of plastic bags that end up in the environment. More and more people began looking for an alternative. Briody was one of them. 

In teaching her young son, Briody found they were both learning about the devastating effects plastic was having on the planet and particularly the threat of single-use plastic bags to our oceans and marine life. She was frustrated with the limited choice, design and materials for purchasing, transporting and storing fresh produce. “I searched high and low for environmentally friendly reusable produce bags, but found that most bags for sale still contained plastic.”

Briody had been toying with the idea of making and selling her own reusable produce bags for some time. When she mentioned the idea to her Job Network provider, the NEIS program was recommended. Briody went along to a NEIS information session. This confirmed the potential in the idea and Briody was excited to start her training with Sarina Russo Job Access in Southport, on the Gold Coast.

“The number one thing I learned during my NEIS training, was the importance of researching the market for my product. Then the business plan helped me think through all the details of exactly how to get the best products I could to that market. The support and knowledge from the teachers and mentors was fantastic!”

The time was right. People were looking for products like this and Briody’s business Love My Planet took off. The produce bags are made from 100% natural materials; they are reusable, biodegradable and of the highest quality. Using all means available, Briody gets the word out about the benefits of using reusable alternatives to plastic bags. She harnesses the power of Facebook and Instagram brilliantly to build growing support for her commonsense approach and positive attitude. Feedback from happy customers about the quality and ample size of the bags helps to generate more sales. Briody sells her range at Community Markets and Farmer’s Markets and loves engaging with her customers. The online side of the business (through the Etsy store and website) has also had great success, including international orders. Love My Planet products can be seen in New York, Hollywood, Croatia, Sweden, New Zealand and Canada! 

Briody has such joy and pride in what she has achieved so far, with many more people turning to her reusable products. Her range now includes fresh mesh produce bags, cotton bags, bamboo fibre coffee cups, reusable straws and bamboo toothbrushes. We don’t need to assume things like cling wrap can’t be avoided. Love my planet has a vegan, plastic-free alternative! Each wrap is handmade with 100% Cotton, Candelilla Wax, Pine Resin, Jojoba Oil and a dash of love. The warmth of your hands is used to mold the wrap around any item you would usually cover with plastic cling wrap. The plant-based wax creates a protective layer, and the pine resin gives the wrap its ‘stickiness’. The wraps can be simply rinsed off under cold water with a little mild detergent. This great idea allows people to eliminate a little more plastic that would end up in the environment. 

The concept behind the range of Love My Planet products is strong, simple and positive. Through the training Briody received with NEIS, her idea could be applied to quality products and brought to a growing community actively looking for solutions.

Do you have a great business idea? Take the first step to becoming self-employed with free NEIS training. Use the postcode search tool to locate your nearest NEIS provider for a chat. 

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