One day, as I was scrolling my Instagram I noticed something different.
Influencer Steph Elswood announced the imminent launch of her first product brand, Sasstainable – and the name instantly drew me in. Since more and more creatives in the field have branched out, I was excited to see Steph doing the same with a very unique edge.
“I’ve always loved a pun and it is a hidden talent that I pull out every now and again! I knew that I wanted to launch a brand and the vision for it, I knew what I wanted the products to be and look like. I just didn’t have a name. When describing the idea to someone I said I wanted to make sustainability ‘sassy and cool’ so that people get involved without thinking about it. Then the name ‘Sasstainable’ popped into my head”
The vision is to help the world embrace sustainable living at home and on the go. By creating sustainable, environmentally friendly products they want to better serve customers while also caring for the environment.
The main aim of the company to help people adopt a mindset of sustainable living that influences their daily decisions, which does not surprise since Steph Elswood relied on the support of her loyal followers to get the brand of the ground: “I have so much to thank social media for! Without it, it would have been so hard to get this off the ground. I feel so lucky to have a community and audience that trust and support my vision. They help to spread the word and that has really encouraged sales!”
The incredible success from her social media campaign was definitely unexpected, so much so that she ended up not ordering enough stock when she launched: “I really underestimated the support from people online. I genuinely believed that I had enough stock to last me until Christmas but we sold out after 2 weeks!”
Living and breathing your products
How does she know whether a product is fit for the brand, she tries every product herself first : “I arrange for samples to be sent to me before I order stock. I trial them out to make sure I like the look and feel of them. I also order enough for my mum and boyfriend to use too.”
The aim of Sustainable is to transform common practical products into more ethical versions of themselves that can be reused a lot longer than their plastic counterparts:
“Everywhere I look in London, I see commuters with a coffee cup and a water bottle. I feel like that habit is finally getting drilled into everyone that there are very good alternatives to single use plastic. However, I still saw people running around with plastic knives and forks from Pret. I wanted to make something easy and convenient to carry around with you at all times. That’s how the cutlery sets were born”
To be true to the vision of the brand even their packaging is sustainable since they’ve adapted to the growing popularity of online shopping and the negative effect disposable packaging has is having on the world.
The products will help consumers embrace sustainable living at home and on the go. This will include non-toxic, chemical-free materials that are reliably sourced. Each order contributes and donates to the plantation which provides us with Bamboo ensuring that it is grown and farmed in the most sustainable way possible.
Lessons from running a small business
“Do background research on your factories and the places that source your materials. Be sure that the workers are treated fairly and paid well. Research your competition. Believe in yourself and your product!”
However, setting up a business after mainly working on collaborations through her Instagram presence, meant Elswood had to face a whole new set of challenges: “I think the most challenging thing was imposter syndrome. Telling myself that I am good and capable enough of being a businesswoman and owning my own business! I have a habit of downplaying my abilities and not backing myself.”
Time seems to also be one of the major issues, it’s hard to plan how demanding everything would be. Some days you feel like I’ve been working on the brand non-stop for days with no major improvements.
Then suddenly, a week later, so much has happened: “I am currently running the social media, fulfillment and customer service all myself! I have a little help from my Mum but I am so determined to make this brand great that I am scared to pass the reigns over to someone else. It is a lot to juggle at once but I’m looking in to getting some more help now!”
Starting with bamboo cutlery and biodegradable toothbrushes, our vision is to expand our catalogue to offer a wide variety of products that are designed to be practical, beautiful, sustainable, and sassy.
“The toothbrush idea came from something that my Dad has always taught me.” recalls Elswood “Whenever I get poorly, he tells me to change my toothbrush to get rid of the germs! I felt like that was such a waste of plastic too so wanted to create a bamboo alternative with a cute case to travel with!”
Widespread change doesn’t come from one person enforcing colossal revolutions, but instead from seven billion people supporting small ones.
Sasstainable’s mission is to provide eye-catching products that are handy, ethically made, and environmentally friendly. She prides herself for really looking at every stage of the production line: “Do background research on your factories and the places that source your materials. Be sure that the workers are treated fairly and paid well.”
They aim to rebuild and conserve the earth’s natural resources by replacing eco-destructive products with attractive and sustainable alternatives: “I want to continue to educate my audience on how they can make small changes to leading more sustainable lifestyles with the release of more ethical products that they can incorporate into their day-to-day routines.”
Steph is a social media influencer, formerly known as Healthy Chef Steph and is now the founder of sustainable product company Sasstainable.