Plastic Pollution Challenge
By 2050 The oceans will contain more plastic than fish! By simply reducing our use of single-use plastics, we could save entire species from extinction, millions of human lives, and reduce CO2 emissions. Big brands are taking action and consumers have been supporting sustainable consumption across the globe.
Worldwide governments have banned single-use plastics across 80 countries. The governments of the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and more have imposed penalties on single-use plastics items to force the food service & food retail industries to shift from plastics to eco-friendly products. The US account for 80% of global drinking straw consumption (500 mil straws/day), Canada with 9% and Germany with 4%. During the pandemic, 30% more waste was produced than previous years. This issue has become even more serious!
EQUO helps address UN SDG#12 – ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Our goal is to drive educational awareness about the plastic pollution problem globally and to give people a reason to care about a generally overlooked category by building a bright, attention-grabbing brand. EQUO is a sustainable brand with the mission to provide a variety of truly eco-friendly solutions for everyday items through providing products that are 100% natural, plastic-free, chemical-free, biodegradable & compostable.
EQUO: derived from the words ECO, meaning not harmful to the environment, and STATUS QUO, meaning an existing state or condition, EQUO stands for the ideal of creating products with minimal impact on the environment. Our 1st product is drinking straws made from grass, rice, sugarcane, coffee, and coconut. Our other products are utensils, dishware, and stationery.
Our packages include retail and wholesale designs that fit B2C & B2B demands. Our brand is disruptive that helps increase brand awareness on both online and offline sales channels. We also offer various corporate gift sets to promote the green living style across the companies and attract attention at several points of display such as hotels, restaurants, cafeterias etc. Our stationery with beautiful artworks related to earth protection and pencils that can be planted to grow a tree after use have appealed to a lot of consumers, especially moms and kids for its meaningful message.
Approximately 50% of all the plastic produced on the planet is used only once – if the world starts to replace these single-use plastics with sustainable alternatives, these small changes will have a big impact. Our aim is to make plastic alternatives widely available firstly with drinking straws and utensils, in order to force production of single-use plastics to slow down and eventually be eliminated altogether.
- COMMUNITY SUPPORT: our materials are sourced from regions that support local farming initiatives. We strive to support the community as much as we can.
- ZERO-NET IMPACT: we deliver products that are directly from the raw power of mother nature. We believe that truly eco-friendly solutions will leave the Earth as naturally as they came in. Our products are 100% biodegradable and compostable.
- TO HAVE FUN: while we believe that preserving the environment is serious business, we also believe in having fun. We don’t focus on the negatives and take ourselves too seriously.
- SMALL ACTIONS: we believe every action, no matter how small, is a step forwards in helping preserve the Earth. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and restoring the environment to the way it once was won’t happen overnight.
- BRIGHTER FUTURE: with the inspiration of trying to bridge the gap between Vietnam and the rest of the world, building a sustainable future for the next generations, working to support local economic growth and job creation across Vietnam and Southeast Asia, and the desire to raise Vietnam’s profile as a global leader in sustainability and innovation.
- STARTUP ECOSYSTEM: we really want to accelerate the world startup ecosystem with high social impact, aiming for sustainability and global scale. We hope with the strong support from the governments, NGOs, local communities together we can help others to develop faster within the country and go global to contribute to GDP growth and help our Earth be greener every day with small solutions which have a big impact.
Our B2B drives huge volume through global sales agents while B2C is more for brand awareness. We sell both online & offline. B2B Distribution is distributors, resellers, retailers. B2B Consumption is purchase by businesses for their customers’ use such as hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, airlines etc. Our customers are CGV, GS25, Samsung, Prada US, Faire Price, Takashimaya, We Work, WWF, Raising Earth, Change Vietnam, Spin Master and many more. We have our presence & registered trademark across several countries: the US, Canada, Australia, Vietnam, Singapore & Japan. We will enter the EU & UK, and expand across Asia & Oceania with DKSH’s support from a sustainability perspective.
Traction & Key Metrics
Within 11 months this year, despite Covid, we have achieved USD 165k and a 40% month-on-month growth rate. This year, our target is USD 200k and we are getting closer. Next year, the target is USD 1.5M, which we aim to double year on year, up to USD 3M-6M-15M. We aim for USD 26M within 5 years. High margins from 50% (2021) to 70%+ (2023). Our hero products are sugarcane, coffee, and coconut drinking straws. The most promising lines are the sugarcane & coffee utensils and the sugarcane dishware. Currently, we export 80% of our products and aim to increaseup to 95% in coming years. This year, we focus on sales & operations set up, get things stable. Next year, we aim for efficiency and then go mass in 2023 to be ready for the replicable model in 2024 and integrated in 2025.
We provide a convenient and easy way to be more eco-friendly without compromising our consumers lifestyle or behavior, or extra effort from our consumers.
More than 50% of consumers are open to another type of straw. Consumers who are aware of their environmental impact are 2 times more willing to pay for an eco-friendly straw. Consumers are willing to pay extra for a brand that they recognize and trust. We believe the pandemic has created an irreversible trend of single-use behavior. Reusable is not an option in an open and scaled environment, at-home use is fine. Business clients will need to opt for single-use products versus the previous trend of reusable products.
We have raised thus far USD 220k including USD 120k on a SAFE and USD 100k on a convertible note. We aim to raise USD 500k in Seed round at USD 3M pre-money valuation cap on a SAFE (20% discount).
We will spend the investment capital: 55% on Growth, 25% on Assets, and 20% on Inventory. This will help enable us to build a strong foundation and grow quickly.
- 55% on GROWTH: Personnel, distribution, sales, advertising, and marketing to drive our product availability and awareness for purchase.
- 25% on ASSETS: Investing in certifications, additional protective trademarks, production, manufacturing, and R&D assets.
- 20% on INVENTORY: Securing inventory for sales and ample stock for key markets we are in, to mitigate long lead production timelines.
- 2022: Continue to grow the business and invest in key operational areas to drive profitability and maximize the value chain.
- 2023: Get to a steady growth rate with a focus on driving product availability both in retail and B2B.
- 2024: Efficiency with business growth, strong expanded line of products, and high margins (70%+) for a replicable business model for future innovations.
- 2025: Look at integration/ expansion opportunities of team and structure to maximise internal efficiency.