Sabrina, Founder of KUFU, France
The story of Sabrina is also available in PDF in French - click here!
To describe what we do in a few words, KUFU creates durable, reusable, hand-made products from biological cotton and upcycled textiles for a zero-waste daily use.
The trigger to start KUFU came from watching the movie Tomorrow (French documentary film directed by Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent in 2015) or reading books such as L’Art de la Simplicité - How to Live More With Less from Dominique Loreau. I also wanted to combine aspects of my previous job, graphic design, with sewing!
I was a graphic designer for 10 years, and I worked in France, in New-York and in London, so I could travel quite a lot in the past! I also had a taste of entrepreneurship working with a magazine, and I also freelanced in a PR agency for a while.
As for our team, there is Marion, who is currently looking to change career path after studying sewing; Marie, freshly graduated from a business school in which she studied entrepreneurship; and Louise, who is currently enrolled in a business school and who specializes in social innovation and corporate social responsibility.
Our products are hand-made in Lyon and the city’s surroundings. We collect un-used textile pieces from individuals and professionals and we recycle them then to design our products. Everyone could become our customer, from people who already have a certain understanding of sustainability concepts such as zero waste, to others who are doing their first steps towards a more responsible lifestyle. We know however already that 90% of our customers are women whose age ranges between 25 and 35.
At the moment, our best-selling items are the pouch with washable, re-usable cottons for make-up removal as well as our small bags to shop in bulk; both are generally the first items to get when you engage into zero waste practices.
Apart from the production of our bags, we know we cannot neglect our communication, either! And with no funding to start a project, it is critical to work even harder. But the lack of funding should also not become an obstacle.
This was for instance the hardest part for me when I started KUFU. But it wasn’t especially a bad thing: it obliged me to launch the project and progress in a way that all had to work properly, immediately. And in the middle of September we will launch a crowdfunding campaign to further expand our activities, so do not hesitate to have a look and share the information around!
Our products’ design comes from my imagination. I wanted to create items that would be as minimalistic as possible in terms of design but also in terms of colours. I tried to create a certain unity between the entire range of products we have. Even our labels are made by us!
Some companies and brands also want to support their communications by purchasing ethical and sustainable packaging, so they come to us. To customize our designs, a serigraph designs and applies the requested brand’s image or logo on the chosen items.
And of course, we do not miss a chance to share updates regarding our activities with these brands on our social media platforms: we are very proud of these partnerships which align with our values and commitments. We are also fully aware about the influence bloggers can have nowadays online, and we are always happy if some talk about KUFU and what is best for our planet. We mostly use Instagram, it is of course a nice window to push for change.
KUFU is well positioned at the centre of concepts such as circular economy, CSR and responsible consumption! What we offer is a proper replacement to products that will be discarded after one use only: we sell items that are re-usable for ever!
Recycling is the key driver of our activities, and we work with local stakeholders only. Between the design, production and unlimited usage, KUFU invites people to live a more committed life daily.
Lyon is such a great place to create and develop projects such as KUFU: the city has been committed to sustainable development for many years already. In general, the Zero Waste Lyon association has been very active, there is even another association dedicated espeially to zero waste entrepreneurs…Lyon is really at the forefront of such topics!
Find KUFU online:
Website : https://www.kufu.fr