With climate change rapidly affecting our day-to-day lives, companies – including small businesses and non-profit organizations – have been taking drastic measures to reform their means of production and take steps to keep the global crisis from growing. Here are some new-age initiatives taking a stand against climate change through their products and services.
Community and guilt-free coffee
Ghanem Binyousef, the founder of Coyard coffee shop in Riyadh, is looking to change the game for the Kingdom’s caffeine addicts by taking an all-time Saudi favorite chill spot and turning it into an eco-friendly hub. Coyard does not provide plastic straws or bottled waters – there is a water fountain with clean glasses for drinking – and it sells 100% organic tote bags and high-quality, reusable, to-go coffee cups.
With all the precautions Ghanem is taking towards running a sustainable business, he is still having trouble when it comes to replacing single-use plastic cups. “We are researching cost-effective ways to replace them. This will be the coffee shop’s next step; we are serious about this initiative.”
Coyard has started multiple campaigns; the most famous one was Make A Difference, which encourages customers to bring their own reusable to-go cups by discounting their drinks. “We love educating people through our campaigns by getting them involved and excited about the process,” Ghanem says.
Ghanem hopes to see many more conscious businesses and advises everyone to do their research before starting, as there are plenty of resources available to run a sustainable business.
Location: King Abdul Aziz Branch Rd., King Abdul Aziz Dist., Riyadh
Upcycling luxury closets
NSara and Mansoor are Saudi- British couple introducing an improved method of buying luxury items in the Kingdom. The couple started Amused, an Instagram retail buy-and-sell page with valuable luxury pieces, from YSL shoes to Hermès handbags. The idea began when Sara started selling her items online and realized that there is a market for selling second-hand items in Saudi.
“We found that Saudi Arabia has the second-highest closet value in the world after Italy,” Sara says, noting that pieces coming from people in the Kingdom are often in great condition. “However, the fashion industry is also the world’s second-highest contributor to environmental pollution, and some of the best-known fashion labels burn past season merchandise so they are not discounted and resold.” This is the main reason the couple strives to purchase good quality items and find them a new home, where they won’t contribute to the growing landfills.
With Amused, people can buy and sell their luxury items with ultimate transparency. “We are selective about our inventory, taking time to authenticate every item with layers of verification offered for our customers’ protection.”
Awareness platform turned online retailer
Nouf Bannan started an online eco-awareness Instagram page where she discusses the importance of sustainability, recycling, and reusing, as well as tips on how to lead an efficiently green lifestyle. She would always recommend different reusable products people can buy and realized that many don’t know how or where to shop for such items.
She decided to start distributing reusable products on the same platform, such as bamboo products and washable cotton pads that can easily be delivered to people’s houses. She wanted to encourage people to get their hands on affordable eco-friendly products. “I wanted the price to be as low as possible, so I’m selling it at the same price I purchase the products. My platform is non-profit – the only thing I’m gaining is that people are finally using sustainable products.”
Nouf also created her own product – reusable tote bags with interesting local designs. A popular one has an Arabic recipe for Shakshuka printed on the bag. “Ever since starting this business, I realized how much people want to be sustainable and how much they are actually excited for these products.”