Kempii is an online eco shop created for people who want to reduce their waste, but aren’t sure where to start. Their mission is to inspire as many people as possible to reduce their waste, by showing them how to do easily. The ecoshop was named after Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys Kempii), the smallest and rarest species of Atlantic sea turtle and one of thousands of ocean species threatened by plastic waste. By 2050, it is estimated that the ocean will contain more plastic than fish by weight.
In the hope that Kempii will inspire people to create a better future for Lepidochelys Kempii and other endangered wildlife, we decided to contact them for an interview.
Why did you decide to start this business?
I first heard about the idea of zero waste movement back in 2016, before it was mainstream. At the start, I thought that drastically reducing waste was an unachievable goal. I cared about ethical and environmental issues, but also had a busy lifestyle and couldn’t make huge commitments. However, I found that just a few simple swaps could make a huge difference. I started Kempii to help others to do the same.
Before Kempii I had always lived the convenient disposable lifestyle, leaving behind a trail of waste – from coffee cups to takeaway containers.
After waking up to the global waste issue, I decided to make a change. Reducing waste would mean committing to huge lifestyle changes, but once I started out, I discovered it actually didn’t.
Guided by the 5 Rs, we at Kempii were able to drastically reduce our waste just by picking up some new habits and switching to reusable eco-friendly products. We realised that more and more people were waking up to waste. So we created Kempii eco shop in 2018 to demystify the idea that reducing waste demands effort.
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Was it difficult to start this business?
I’m a total beginner entrepreneur, so yes – the learning curve on Kempii has been huge. My background is in finance, but I’ve had to learn everything else from scratch – from social media marketing, to SEO, content marketing, legal policies, website design, coding, branding, google analytics, the list goes on!
We work with independent brands who share our vision of a waste-free world, and most of them are based in the UK. I’m proud to showcase these small eco-friendly brands on our eco shop and social media, and help them grow. At Kempii we are always on the lookout for new eco brands with a mission to reduce waste, so if we’ve missed any, feel free to get in touch.
What is your mission?
My mission is to inspire as many people as possible to reduce their waste, by showing them how easy it is! The website blog has a detailed, room-by-room guide to explain how to reduce waste, with links to all the products you’ll need.
Why should people start buying your products?
It’s simple – all of products on Kempii will help reduce your waste impact (i.e. what you send to landfill). The way in which each product can reduce waste is explained in every product description. They tend to fall into a few categories, like: Reusables to replace disposables (e.g. a stainless-steel bottle to replace plastic bottled water). Consumables with less packaging (e.g. Shampoo bars to replace shampoo bottles) or other helpful items to reduce waste (e.g. composting bin to reduce food waste going to landfill).That said, many zero waste swaps need no investment at all – like cutting up old sheets to make cleaning rags or using an old jam jar as a coffee cup – which is fine with me!
Will it be possible to find your products in supermarkets in the future?
I really hope so! Small businesses have a role in pushing mainstream supermarkets to become more eco-friendly. Just today, I noticed Sainsbury’s is now stocking eco-friendly period products like menstrual cups, and reusable tampon applicators. I hadn’t seen that even 2 years ago.
What are your goals for the future?
World domination! (just kidding). My website is still new – but we hope to expand our product range to sell from more sustainable UK small businesses, and hopefully soon we’ll be able to expand further abroad!
What would you suggest to people who want to be more environmentally consious?
Try not to get overwhelmed. Just start with a few small changes, and you’ll soon start to see benefits and really enjoy the journey. It’s also useful to remember to the 5 Rs of zero waste – refuse reduce, reuse, recycle, rot – a great mantra that we explain on our blog.