Tell us a bit about yourself
I was born in Canada, years after my parents immigrated during the Vietnam War. My career started in Marketing, specializing in Consumer Packaged goods. I have over 10 years of brand management experience at companies including Unilever, Bacardi, LG Electronics and Spin Master. About a year and a half ago, I started EQUO as a sole female founder to try to build a better, more sustainable world for my nephew. Some of my passions include spending time with my nephew, volleyball, and video games!
What made you start your company?
With the inspiration of trying to bridge the gap between Vietnam and the rest of the world, building a sustainable future for my nephew, working to support local economic growth and job creation from my parent’s hometown, and the desire to raise Vietnam’s profile as a global leader in sustainability and innovation, I decided to venture on my own to bring to the world truly eco-friendly solutions through the sustainable brand, EQUO. EQUO helps to address the UN Sustainable Development Goal #12 – ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. My goal is to drive educational awareness about the plastic pollution problem locally in Vietnam and to give people a reason to care about a generally overlooked category by building a bright, attention-grabbing brand. My aim is to make plastic-alternatives widely available with firstly drinking straws and utensils, in order to force production to slow down and eventually be eliminated altogether for single-use plastics. Approximately 90% of all the plastic produced on the planet is used only once – if the world starts to replace these with sustainable alternatives, these small solutions can have a big impact.
Tell me about your product and brand?
EQUO delivers 100% plastic-free and compostable solutions to replace single-use plastic. We’re starting off with drinking straws made out of natural materials you can actually spell: grass, rice, coconut, sugarcane and coffee. Our products decompose in months, not centuries. They are so easy to use and so convenient to switch to. You don’t have to change your lifestyle or behavior – no washing, no carrying around. And they help to promote a circular economy by diverting waste from landfills in order to produce them. Now you can use it once, throw it away – without any of the worries and none of the guilt. Not only are our products innovative, but we’re also doing something different. We’re saying YES, you can have a choice, even in a traditionally homogenous category like straws where you only got to choose plastic and now paper. You have the power to choose a straw that suits your preferences. Do you want a straw that matches the color of your drink for that perfect Instagram shot? Or do you want a straw that never gets soggy for your extra-large iced coffee? How about a straw you can snack on mid-drink when you get hangry? We’ve got you covered. We’re launching into this white space, and disrupting the category. Shaking things up by branding something typically commoditized and saying “pay attention to this category” and pay attention to your choice in straw or fork. things you never thought twice about. We’re bright, colorful and quirky!