Back To Basics: Ditch the plastic and make the switch!

This pandemic has rendered us feeling powerless in one way or another. Everything has taken a back seat to the flattening of the curve, enforcing physical distancing, wearing of face masks and shields. As life has come to almost a complete stop and worthy causes like environmentalism seem almost secondary.

The Women behind the brand

In the tradition of Japanese Taskforce Rangers, Back to Basics Ecostore (BtB) is composed of a team of five. No Yellow and Pink Rangers here, they’re all very capable women, and they’re all Green. And they are not going to slow down in the battle against solid waste and single use packaging. The call to, “Do your part,” has never been louder. And beyond masks and face shields, there is more for us to do individually in these trying times.

From left to right the ladies behind Back to Basics Ecostore, Abigail Aguilar, Lia Esquillo, Kate Galido, Tanya Conlu, and Laarnie Cancio

Weeks of lockdowns and quarantine surprised us, at how much cleaner the air got. But on the downside millions of relief packages later, it was becoming evident that the garbage problem was also worsening. It had a lot to do with single use packaging. Packets of instant noodles, bags of repacked rice and so on. In a country of retail sales, something had to be done, and BtB has the solution.

Ditch Sigle Use… Go for Reusables!

More than just a refillery

BtB is a refillery business that was launched in July of 2019, to coincide with Plastics Free Month. They started with a clear plan of action, beginning with the people who are already of the same mind, those who believe in the elimination of single use packaging for less waste and more sustainability. They began by offering household consumables, toyo, suka, patis, for refill and spread the gospel of the 3 Ps. Refilling is good for your Pocket, the Planet, and its People. 

It’s good for the Pocket because according to BtB, the cost of the packaging is an add on cost and the bigger the size you buy the more the cost of packaging becomes apparent. It is obviously better for the planet. Less to throw away and less to clean up. And finally it becomes better for people overall, as there is less plastic and therefore less microplastic that shows up in the ocean that ends up in the fish we eat.

Hello Refillables! Toyo, Suka, and much much more!

 

Soon these efforts were followed by pop up events. Where they show up on schedule to do their refilling for their customers. All was going well till — 2020 happened. The pandemic affected operations substantially, BtB could no longer do their pop ups, and people were restricted in their movements. 

 

Collaboration to propel growth

BtB turned to logistics providers to help them with their business. But pivoted TVNS and other movers could not give them the support they needed. To keep their efforts sustainable, they needed a partner who would be willing to take on the challenging orders of picking up the reusable containers from their customers and send them back refilled. No one was willing to take them on. Everyone said pick up and delivery should be done in two separate bookings. This was a waste of time that BtB would not stand for. 

Much like how their business began with networking, they found their solution through networking. Through good friends, they heard about, Drive Logistics. And Drive founder Mike Miranda heard their story and listened. Drive flexed its logistics muscles and worked with BtB to come up with a smooth pick up and delivery system all in one booking per customer. That meant convenience and less waste of time and effort. And we already know less waste is what these ladies stand for.

Back To Basics X Drive

 

This is not a vanity project, this is an advocacy

BtB is not some trendy yuppie vanity project. The advocacy of the project to reduce waste permeates the business through and through. This includes the selection of their suppliers. BtB holds their suppliers accountable by making sure they are working within an ethical framework such as: all raw materials are from environmentally friendly practices, no exploitative labor practices, and most of all, the business must also be willing to do drop off and exchange of repacking containers for future reuse. There have been those who have offered to to deliver the containers but in the end do not take them back. This ends up being wasteful as well.

 

As the business was picking up, BtB was looking into having a physical store. But when COVID-19 hit working with Drive Logistics has proven to be a serendipitous partnership. What was initially eyed to be simply a Quezon City business, grew further and wider with the reach that Drive’s network of riders and drivers have provided. They now have customers from Pasig, Marikina and as far as Parañaque.

BtB holds their suppliers accountable by making sure they are working within an ethical framework such as: all raw materials are from environmentally friendly practices, no exploitative labor practices, and most of all, the business must also be willing to do drop off and exchange of repacking containers for future reuse.

Beyond Refilling

Beyond refilling, BtB has also been looking into shampoo bars and the like and sourcing their supplies from smaller community run businesses. And they are continuously looking to add more choices, more brands in their selections, brands that meet their standards, and brands, like Drive Logistics, that work to help them fulfill their vision. “Where there’s a will to reduce waste there’s a way to repurpose, and reuse single-use plastics through Back to Basics Ecostore.”

BTB is continuously looking to add more choices, more brands in their selections,,,

 

Learn more about Back to Basics on their facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/BTBEcostore/

 

Special thanks to the women behind the brand:

 

Kate Mana-Galido

Co-founder, BtB Ecostore

NGO worker

Environment and indigenous people’s rights advocate

 

Laarnie Cancio

Co-founder, BtB Ecostore

Owner, Simply Green and Natural Ecoshop

 

Abigail Aguilar

Co-founder, BtB Ecostore

Campaign Coordinator for an environmental NGO

IP rights advocate

 

Tanya Conlu

Co-founder, BtB Ecostore

Cave conservationist and indigenous people’s rights advocate

 

Lia Jasmin Esquillo

Co-founder, BTB Ecostore

Environmentalist & social activist

 

And if you are inspired by this story and are looking for a helping hand:

 

Drive is here to help you grow your business!

DRIVE, is a peer-to-peer car rental platform, has pivoted its car rental fleet to cope with the new needs of transport and logistic services. DRIVE Logistics, by far, has the BEST rate across all service delivery apps in the country. Its motorcycle delivery fee starts at  ₱50 plus ₱6 per extra kilometer. And for the bulkier items, sedan, AUV, and van are also available. And the promising feature is multi-drop deliveries! 

For more details visit https://www.facebook.com/drivelogisticsph so we can cater to your exact needs.

Drive Logistics Rate Card. We help you grow your business!

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *