How did Green Glass start?
In 2009 I had to create a little "company" for a course at University where over the summer we had to make $2000, a friend asked me if I could cut a glass bottle and make it into a drinking glass, so I tried and succeeded. I suggested to my course mates that we could do this as a project and they told me I was crazy, so I was kicked off the team and the teacher failed me on the course. Eventually I managed to get another team and had another chance where we started cutting bottles and selling them as drinking glasses. That is how Green Glass was born!
What is the business model for Green Glass?
It's based on producing and selling drinking glasses made from reclaimed bottles from the streets that were collected by trash collectors.
What are some of Green Glass’s goals in the near future?
We want to double our sales in all our Channels, I would like to find a Partner for Green Glass in Chile and then work on finding partners in other countries to start a mini franchise of Green Glass. One day in the future we would also like to have our own store.
What are some of the biggest challenges in running a business?
Calculating and creating processes that are scalable, building a solid team, creating a brand that people will love and follow, and building a sustainable company in social, environmental and business aspects.
What are the key roles in your company and what do they do?
Sales and Client support: The face of Green Glass in touch of clients, this one is key, if there are no sales there is no company.
Production Manager: Keep up with production and making the process work.
Soul Manager: In charge of creating alliances, thinking of new products, processes and machines. Thinking how to take Green Glass to other level.
How many people do you work with?
We are 7 full time and 2 part time.
What is a B Corp?
A certified company which complies with high environmental and social standards. Companies with purpose that aim to impact society in a positive way.
What are the environmental and social standards that Green Glass hold?
We source our main material from bottles saved from trash that we pay to waste pickers. Cleaning the streets and trying to get better conditions for trash collectors. Our product aims to demonstrate glass is not garbage, recognise and value the work of trash collectors (thats why we try to source mainly from them). So far we have upcycled approximately 120.000 glass bottles.
What advice would you give to people in University?
Study less, do more. Doing is the new studying. You won’t die if you fail the course, but don’t be lazy in your life, think of projects bigger than yourself. Now you have time, probably not money, and in the future you will probably have money but no time – be wise.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?
Never give up and never stop learning.
What are your top tips for business?
Play your game and invite people to join.
What are your sales channels and percentages of each?
40% Corporate gifts
10% Restaurant’s & Bars
What are the core values of Green Glass?
We want to demonstrate that glass is not trash and to value the work of trash collectors. We won’t stop until each glass of the world is a Green Glass! The most important thing for Green Glass is it’s purpose and Why we are doing it, our project has a purpose bigger than ourselves. Check out our post on How to Create a Brand the World will Love to learn more about how found our core values in Green Glass.
What production goes into making a Green Glass?
After the bottles are collected off the streets by trash collectors they go to a local recycling center that that washes the bottles and takes all the labels off. We buy around 10000 bottles each month and they come to our workshop where they go through a process of being cut (with fire), grinded (a process of 6 different grinding plates), silk screened, the top edge fired, and then the glasses finally eneeled before being washed, packed, and sold.
How do you lead your team?
What software and apps do you use for Green Glass?
Check out my list of Sexiest Apps & Software for E-commerce
Who do you admire?
Guys like Casey Neistat, Tim Ferris, Elon Musk, and other super entrepreneurs, the list is long.
What are the top books and websites that you recommend?
Here you can my list of Top Marketing Blogs to Follow, and a list of the best books to learn from.
How do you support the trash collectors?
We aim to get better prices for them in their industry. Promote their work, tell their stories and making them visible to people and society. We managed to collect some funds for buying the ones we work clothes and working equipment. But we want to link directly the sales of our products to them, but that is a future project.
Do you have time for an Interview in person?
This year we need to focus on big goals so we don’t have time for many interviews, we hope that you can find all the answers to your questions here! But maybe you can persuade me by grabbing some beers from Beervana ;)