Fireside chat: Building a more sustainable brand

September 21, 2022
Event

Building a more sustainable brand doesn’t happen overnight.

Building a more sustainable brand doesn’t happen overnight. It takes cross-team collaboration, stakeholder buy-in, and hours of iterative work.

We’ll hear from several practitioners working across mobility (SUPER73), apparel (Turtle Fur), and food and beverage (Mother Kombucha) who have helped build sustainability programs for their products, brands, and organizations. Hosted by Sustain.Life’s chief sustainability officer, Alyssa Rade, we’ll unpack how these companies have started and evolved their sustainability programs and why you don’t have to be an expert to get your own program off the ground.

About the panelists and their companies

Alix Ferté Armour is a French-American entrepreneur based in Amsterdam. Industrial Design and Mandarin studies at California State Long Beach led her to cofound two companies, including SUPER73 in 2016. She moved to Europe in 2018 to start and manage European business operations for the company and is now focusing on environmental impact as global head of sustainability and European compliance.

SUPER73 is an American lifestyle adventure brand and manufacturer of electric bicycles based in Irvine, California. It is best known for its product line of motorcycle styled electric bicycles, custom bicycle builds for celebrities, and high profile e-bike collaborations.

Meghan Ksiazek is the vice president and head of product design at Turtle Fur and has been in the outdoor industry for almost 20 years. As an avid outdoor enthusiast, she values and wants to protect what the natural world provides for all its inhabitants. Her background in product has helped her champion sustainability’s ability to affect business, especially the supply chain. She works to improve processes, target reductions, and strengthen partnerships to create positive impact. Meghan regularly partners with organizations like OIA Climate Action Corps, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance, Sustain Life, and is in the process of certifying Turtle Fur as a B Corp.

Since 1982 Turtle Fur® has been a leading headwear and accessories brand in the outdoor, snow sports, and lifestyle markets. Its mission is to inspire an outdoor lifestyle by promoting socially and environmentally conscious living and creating comfortable products for every adventure(r). Turtle Fur prides itself on holding true to its pillars of adventure, community, comfort, and quality. For more information, visit www.turtlefur.com

John van Keppel, Ed.D is the CSR/ESG lead at Mother Kombucha and develops systems and initiatives that take the company’s sustainability to the next level. Spending most of his career in the non-profit sector in community development efforts in Guatemala, Dr. van Keppel’s work reflects the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. He has worked closely with businesses and corporations to create partnerships that enable commitments to sustainability and climate action.

Mother Kombucha creates delicious products to nurture a better world. The women-owned and led, St. Petersburg, Florida-based beverage company has always focused on social and environmental issues—from composting all pre-consumer products and recycling to ensuring its staff earns a living wage. With the help of Sustain.Life, Mother Kombucha is evolving its program by measuring its GHG emissions and developing initiatives to reduce its emissions.

Alyssa Rade is the chief sustainability officer at Sustain.Life. With a decade-plus of corporate sustainability experience, she guides the platform’s customer program recommendations, emissions tracking, third-party certifications, and more. Before Sustain.Life, Alyssa directed the sustainability program at Vornado Realty Trust, where she managed green building certifications, waste and recycling, energy efficiency, and health and wellness for 30 million square feet of commercial office space. Alyssa is accredited as a LEED and WELL AP. She holds an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University and a BA in Environmental Studies from Washington University in St. Louis.

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The takeaway

Super 73, Mother Kombucha, and Turtle Fur share how the incorporate sustainable practices into their businesses.