How can you teach your kids to take sustainability seriously when you’re wrapping their school lunch in plastic cling wrap? Bee Eco, a family business based on an off-the-grid farm outside Noosa, Queensland, has a sustainable, plastic-free solution for eco-conscious parents.
Geraldine and Matt Devine launched Bee Eco five years ago. Determined to enjoy a sustainable lifestyle, they started exploring making food storage wraps out of hemp and organic cotton infused with jojoba oil, tree resin and beeswax.
Wrapping food in beeswax-infused cotton is an ancient storage method. The warmth of your hands makes the beeswax pliable, so the cloth wraps tight around the storage items. Once placed in a cool location, the beeswax hardens, sealing in the goodness. Fruit and veges spring from the fridge crisp, fresh and still alive!
Bee Eco wraps are washable, compostable, and beautiful to boot. From the early days of the company, Geraldine and Matt collaborated with local artists to create stunning, colourful designs for their wraps. The Bee Eco Beeswax Wrap was born.
The moment Bee Eco put its nose out of the door, customers came running. Word really got out with rapid increase across the board of their wholesale, online and market sales. Customer demand was high and every day became an all-hands-on-deck situation, with friends and family pitching in to get products out of the door.
Over the years, the Devine’s have passed up several opportunities to grow the company. They decided to keep Bee Eco as a family business to maintain their values, life vision and authenticity.
Matt’s philosophical streak comes out when he reflects on this decision: ‘It’s really necessary to keep life, business, and the children’s education and family life in line with your values’, he told me. The Bee Eco brand is based on a symbiotic connection to nature. ‘We have to bring ourselves back to nature, to stay grounded and remain proactive in creating a sustainable future’. It’s the beginning and end of everything that matters.
Remarkably, Bee Eco has never invested in traditional marketing. The company has relied on robust social media coverage for all of its sales and marketing. Initially, Bee Eco promoted its products on Facebook. Now it’s mainly Instagram, where a growing community of eco-influencers warmly embrace the brand.
Bee Eco’s ultimate goal is to partner with and be inspired by sustainable brands like Patagonia and with eco-campaigns like Sea Shepherd. Right now, the company is cultivating relationships with artists worldwide and influencers like musician Ziggy Alberts, who has added Bee Eco to his ethical merchandise line.
Bee Eco epitomises the new generation of grassroots SMEs that are changing the world one ethical product at a time. Every day is a challenge, but rich with rewards.
Matt experiences a sense of tremendous gratitude when he reflects on Bee Eco’s journey to date. ‘Everything that we’re going through, with the farm and the business - it is all first world problems’, he says. ‘We need to take a look at the big picture and put things in perspective.’
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