We know that, just like us, there are hundreds of other projects wanting to do more for the planet. We went to them to find out more about what drives them and what we can expect from them. Once a week, one startup, one interview, five questions.
In one site, you find brands that support sustainable production, that support the circular economy, that somehow provide the reuse of products over and over again, often for years, without generating any further production or use of raw materials.
What problem is your startup solving?
As we were interested in becoming more sustainable consumers, we felt that there was a gap in the Portuguese market, a site that aggregated and made known the DNA of sustainable brands so that we could make decisions based on the values of each one. Therefore, we decided to create Eco Mind where brands gain protagonism. We ally ourselves with entrepreneurial people who join the will to make their brands grow and be born, but never forgetting that the planet has exhaustible resources, so we want to create a positive synergy between them. We also know that brands with this kind of responsibility or using often Portuguese resources tend to be more expensive, so we have put these two factors together in a site that we hope will be trustworthy for the consumer. Here you can find brands with some sustainable component and with associated discounts through the code ECOMIND1 in the purchase of products in the sites of partner brands.
In which countries are you present?
Currently we still only have Portuguese brands, but in the medium term the goal is to enter the Spanish market.
Why the sustainability area to start a business?
Because it is an issue that has both an urgent and an imperative. It is imperative to make people think, imperative to make them think in a more sustainable way about their everyday purchases. We believe in the potential of the Portuguese market in this segment and identify ourselves with the values of sustainability, so it would not make sense for us to start a project that was not in this area.
What are the biggest obstacles of working in this area?
Having a sustainable conscience is already starting to be more present in the Portuguese consumer, however, there is still a long way to go. It is still a challenge to present the Eco Mind site as a first solution when a consumer needs to buy, but we believe that time will be the key. In addition, the Portuguese market is very much looking for promotion and, naturally, these more sustainable brands with a more conscious production and with a smaller scale avoiding surplus, because there is a whole ecosystem intrinsic to sustainability, leads to products that end up being a little more expensive. However, at the end of the day we want to make consumers think that, for example, they can buy a detergent on promotion, 80 doses for 8€, but in a more sustainable way, maybe they can also buy a detergent for the same purpose for 60 doses for 10€, sustainable, with reuse of oils, etc. We know that purchasing power is not high for the most part, but that while a few years ago this market was a niche, today it is starting to be an emerging area and it is urgent to act and raise awareness among consumers.
What achievement are you most proud of as the leader of this startup?
Each brand that joins Eco Mind, each promotional code that is used, each e-mail and phone call that we receive from brands saying that they are satisfied with the results is an achievement that we are proud of as leaders of this project. In addition, we have already started to have some followers of our page who end up interacting and staying with us day after day, and this fills us with pride with such a recent project. Having followers who believe in our value, follow us, interact and make the project grow is very positive.
What is the next step?
Our goal will always be that consumers have a wider range of brand options that they can trust and choose from as a substitute for products that do not excel in ecological and sustainable values, fair production, national as well as brands that identify with our company and with what we communicate. And at the end of the day, if the Portuguese consumer tries to invest in the Portuguese economy, automatically there will be more and more Portuguese companies and it’s a snowball. In essence, it is to boost the economy with a view toward sustainability and responsibility.