Mi Terro is an LA-based company that produced eco-friendly and recyclable bags from cork and recycled plastic. Find out how this company is helping to make the planet green again and eliminate fashion waste in their interview below. Also, make sure to shop their eco-friendly materials and products.
What drove you to start your business?
I have been an environmental activist for many years. I care about the environment from deep down in my heart. I believe that my generation, millennials, and the generation after us, care deeply about global climate change. I thought fashion would be an ideal industry to get into and change from within because fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world. I wanted my products to be sustainable, environmentally friendly and cruelty-free.
Who are your employees or your artisans?
I have a co-founder named Eesen. He is in charge of operation and retail outreach. I am responsible for product design, supply chain management, customer service, marketing, and sales. Our products are manufactured in China. Our cork material is sourced from Portugal. Our recycled PET is sourced from China.
How did you find them?
Eesen and I were classmates at USC Marshall School of Business. I found my manufacturer through Alibaba and through connections of friends. I visited 20 manufacturers and 10 suppliers, eventually came down to one of each.
What do they mean to you?
I have strong faith in my co-founder because we know each other’s working style. My manufacturer and supplier are important to my brand because they determine the quality of our products.
What made you decide to start producing ethically?
Ethical manufacturing is extremely important to me. My grandmother always tells me to treat people like the way I want to be treated. I want to provide jobs and living wage to people who work hard for their families. At the same time, I want to inspire these people to live a green lifestyle. If I can inspire people at the top of the chain to go green, then everyone else will more likely to follow.
What impact has your business had on your community?
We are partnering with One Tree Planted, a nonprofit organization that supports global reforestation. Mi Terro will plant a tree for every bag purchased. If customers ever want to get rid of the bag, Mi Terro will send them a mailing label to return it for recycling and throw in a coupon for a discount on their next order.
What was the most difficult part of starting and running your business?
The most difficult part is finding the right people to work with. Startups are usually bootstrapped, so it is difficult to pay people to work in the beginning. Thus, it requires time and effort to find people who share the same vision, mission, and commitment as I do.
What has been the most rewarding outcome of your business?
I learned so much about the fashion industry and the trend of going green. I also met mentors who are really supportive of my vision. Most importantly, I am planting trees and reducing fashion waste to make Earth green again.
What is your company’s mission?
Our mission is to create products of the future, better than leather. Our vision is to make Earth green again. Our goal is to recycle, reuse, and reduce fashion waste to zero.