© Valerie Abbott/Polar Bears International
10/30/2020 6:19:14 PM
By Janet Stringer, Manager of Donor Relations
Angela Shen of Cloversoft signs her emails “Eco Advocate, CEO”—which says a lot about where her heart is. Her Singapore-based firm creates safe and eco-friendly products, including tissues, wipes, and paper towels made from unbleached bamboo pulp.
When Angela reached out to us about becoming a sponsor of Polar Bears International, she mentioned her deep concern for polar bears and commitment to a healthy environment. We caught up with her to talk about her motivation and the role that companies can play in supporting a shift to sustainable societies.
Q: What inspired you to start a non-toxic, eco-friendly tissue product brand?
A: I know that the environment we are living in is getting worse day by day. Yet, to a large extent, we are not able to cut down usage as the world population grows and customers crave convenience. I personally avoid buying non-sustainable items and was motivated to create a brand that produces non-toxic and eco-friendly products. At the same time, I wanted to provide premium and luxurious goods, while keeping prices affordable. This is why Cloversoft plays close attention to packaging and design as well as providing the best experience for consumers.
A: Can you describe more about Cloversoft’s environmental initiatives? Do you have any examples of how Cloversoft is making a difference?
A: When we founded Cloversoft, we researched eco-friendly alternatives to traditional tissue products. We discovered that unbleached bamboo pulp is a truly sustainable choice. It has a smaller carbon footprint than cutting down trees and doesn’t emit harmful gases to the atmosphere during the bleaching process. We also avoid the extensive use of plastic. For example, our chief marketing officer, Lynn, came up with the idea of utilizing zero plastic in the packaging for our tissues and coreless toilet paper rolls. Also, our wipes, which other companies make from plastic, are made from unbleached bamboo.
This conservation ethic extends to our office, with our entire team trying our best to reduce waste by repurposing supplies, recycling, and turning off the lights and air conditioning when no one is in the office.
Q: Businesses are not required to give back to charity—why have you made this decision?
A: The ability to give back is a simple way to derive purpose. This is not hard to start with. Many who know me personally know that a large part of the assets that I will accumulate in the future are meant for charitable organizations. We chose Polar Bears International due to a personal experience. I was on a business trip and came across a documentary about the journey of a polar bear. The documentary showed various scenes of the trials polar bears face as the climate warms, with the Arctic sea ice melting earlier and earlier. I felt heartbroken and immediately told Lynn that we will need to make it part of our mission to help save the polar bears. We did some research and came across Polar Bears International and a few other organizations. While delving deeper into what PBI does, we were heartened by your efforts and found the initiatives you take on extremely inspiring. We felt that perhaps we could bite the bullet and start donating even though we knew, as a new company, founded in 2014, we were going to have losses at first. We are so thankful that your team agreed to partner with us. Even though we had losses at the onset, we did not want to give up donating as we felt it was an important part of Cloversoft and we believe so strongly in the mission.
Q: Where can people find Cloversoft products? Are they sold internationally?
A: Our products can be found in Singapore, where our headquarters is located, and in Malaysia and Cambodia. We will soon be in Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Myanmar as well and are looking to expand to Canada and Europe.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share about your brand and your commitment to a healthy planet?
A: We are committed to remain dynamic in the way we run our business, and are determined to move forward with greater innovations in product creation that can fit the needs of consumers while sticking to our brand values. In addition to Cloversoft, we have founded Edible Plastic, where we are embarking on R&Ds to create packaging materials that can reduce waste or reduce the need for virgin or new materials by leveraging the use of repurposed, reused, or recycled materials and following the principles of a circular, or closed loop, economy.