February 2019 Amber Grant Awarded to LimeLoop
Last Monday, we announced five February Amber Grant finalists. Today, we’re excited to share the recipient and the qualifier for our $25,000 year-end Amber Grant.
Congratulations to the all-women team at LimeLoop. Co-Founder Chantal Emmanuel discusses LimeLoop’s mission, quantifies the company’s environmental impact and shares much more in our interview.
WN: Share the genesis of LimeLoop and the world-wide issue you’re tackling.
CE: LimeLoop was founded a little over a year ago, but the idea came about many years before when our CEO, Ashley, was looking for a sustainable way to ship her own packages. At the time, she couldn’t find any. She asked her sister to sew a fabric pouch which unknowingly became the first prototype of a LimeLoop shipper.
Today, using recycled billboard vinyl, we’ve designed lightweight, durable, and returnable shippers to reduce our reliance on single-use cardboard and polybags, and get us one step closer to making e-commerce a zero-waste, circular economy.
WN: What advantages do you have over competitors in the space?
CE: Besides the huge environmental gains (for every 10,000 shipments, you’ll save about 70 trees, 90k gallons of waters, and 200 gallons of oil, compared to conventional packaging; not to mention the process of returning our shippers to fulfillment centers save 80% on emissions compared to overseas recycle processing) by pairing our shippers with the data platform, we’re offering great logistical benefits as well. Remember, shipping logistics were designed for a 50 year old retail economy.
Limeloop is able to alleviate the pressures of figuring out the logistics of the brands’ sustainability packaging process, so that the retailers can focus on all the other things needed to keep their business running. While e-commerce seems so ubiquitous with the way that we live our lives these days, it’s important to remember that it’s still pretty much in its infancy. It’s only 15% of the way that we shop these days. So these problems that we’re seeing as far as keeping up with the demand and the environmental impact are just the tip of the iceberg.
WN: How does the cost of shipping via LimeLoop compare with traditional methods?
CE: Our shippers are rented by the brands at a per shipper per month basis, so the specific saving will be based on the brand’s partnership with their current packaging company.
That being said, considering brands are generally able to get two round trips out of a shipper each month while also gaining access to our digital platform, we’re seeing that the cost is generally comparable, if not less.
WN: Have you had conversations with major players USPS, UPS and FedEx?
CE: We’re actively seeking partnerships with the major couriers. We would be happy to support them in their efforts to be more sustainable and we know that in working together we can continue to improve the overall experience for both our brands and their end consumers.
WN: What advice would you give to an aspiring female entrepreneur?
CE: The quicker you can shed any fear or nervousness you have around seeking guidance, gathering advice, and asking for help from those both in and out of your network, the better you and your company will be. Just remember to pay it forward when the time comes.