Plastic Bottles Saved


Plastic Bottles Saved

How to run a successful Sustainable Brand

Sustainability is at the forefront of everything we do here at Proverb and while the world adjusts to a more sustainable lifestyle - smaller eco-brands are trying tirelessly to encourage large monopolies to do the same. However, the truth is - running a sustainable brand isn't easy, running a brand, in general, isn't easy - let alone when you are holding yourself accountable to being green. We sat down to chat with one of our favourite sustainable brands - La Pochette’s founder, Justine Rouch to talk all things entrepreneurial.

Who is La Pochette?

La Pochette is a British sustainable brand that creates fitness and travel accessories which help achieve your goals throughout the day, without compromise. La Pochette founder, Justine Rouch knew the traditional gym bag needed innovation, considered design with a dash of style - so that is exactly what they created. 

How to start a sustainable brand with La Pochette

What was your biggest motivator in creating a truly sustainable brand?

I never set out for La Pochette to be a sustainable brand. I was looking for a bag to put my clean or sweaty gym kit in into my handbag so I wouldn’t have to take a separate gym bag to the office. The only available options were either the plastic bags that they give out in the changing rooms, or something that looked like nappy bag.  Neither as you can imagine appealed.

When developing the fabric, it just made sense for it to be made from recycled products. This wasn’t for marketing purposes, but just an obvious choice from a personal perspective. 

It was a similar story when developing our “Anywhere Everywhere” pouches. The sweat bag was for gym kit, but you would also need a bag to put some post workout beauty products in. I used to travel a lot for work, and was tired and frustrated about having to decant my toiletries into a plastic bag at airport security.  Therefore, when developing the Anywhere Everywhere range we not only made it from sustainable materials that looked great, but we also made it cabin approved.

I think that is the key. Products shouldn’t be either stylish or sustainable.  They should be both.  It should just be a given.

What innovation are you most proud of?

I’m really proud that we have created products that look beautiful but also solve a problem.  The most common feedback we get is: “The bag that I never knew I needed, but now I can’t live without.”

The fact that we have also been able to eliminate the need for single use plastic in gyms, spas and airports is the icing on the cake.

What’s the one thing you wish the public could understand about sustainability?

That it’s not easy, and for a small brand it sometimes feels impossible.  For example, there are some amazing sustainable fabrics that come to market.  However, the manufacturers prioritise the major brands because understandably it makes more commercial sense for them.  Unfortunately, however, these brands are often using it on a small-scale project so that they can have a brand message of sustainability.

I would also say that there are a lot of hidden costs incurred to be sustainable that are probably not appreciated.  For example, the cost of using sustainable packaging such as recycled swing tickets or cotton bags is infinitely more expensive than using plastic bags.

What is the biggest challenge with being a growing sustainable business right now?

I think the challenge is the same as growing any business. However, as I mentioned, there are usually higher costs involved, and in a global cost of living crisis, this becomes even more difficult.

What are your sustainability goals for La Pochette?

We have a saying at La Pochette, that every time we do something it has to be better than what we have done before. This can relate to product design, material choices or packaging. 

La Pochette

Want to get your hands on a Proverb + La Pochette bundle worth over £300 - including the Anywhere Everywhere set in Pewter/ Grey and a year’s supply of Proverb Refillable Natural Deodorant and Proverb Refillable Body Wash. To enter, follow the link here.