Not too long ago, over a snack served in disposable dishware, Stephanie Bernstein decided enough was enough.
Bernstein decided to make it easy for people to eat conveniently without contributing to the ever-growing pile of plastic trash produced by our disposable society.
To-Go Ware was born, a company offering environmentally friendly alternatives to plastics with a line of bamboo cutlery, stainless steel food carriers, and reclaimed cotton carrying bags.
More than just a company promoting a litterless lunch, To-Go Ware has easily taken the lead in the ethical business realm by forming partnerships with companies and organizations around the globe with similar commitments to environmental security, human rights, and sustainable economics.
The Products: Reclaimed, Recycled, and Renewable Materials
By offering products made from reclaimed, recycled, or renewable materials, To-Go Ware reduces its energy consumption. It requires a lot more energy to produce items from virgin materials than by reclaiming or reusing what’s already here.
For example, the bamboo cutlery was designed for its durability and versatility. The bamboo plant renews easily. requiring no replacement planting like other hardwoods. To-Go’s bamboo cutlery comes in either a woven cotton wrap or a recycled plastic cover, both durable and environmentally friendly. The cotton carrier bags are made by craftsman using reclaimed cotton. The stainless steel food carriers are made with food-grade stainless steel, specific for safely storing food. These food carriers are 100% recyclable.
Stephanie Bernstein shares:
Every choice you make has its consequences. The things in our lives came from somewhere, and the things in our lives go somewhere when you’re done using them. Our products are fashioned to take all that in account. It is up to you to use them and make that change go further. It is a simple idea that has a simple function, and they are something you can use everyday …
Creating a Sustainable Business Using Sustainable Relationships
Relationships are key for To-Go Ware’s business ethics and success—relationships with other companies and organizations, and with the planet. By acknowledging the interconnectedness between society, the economy, social justice, and environmental sustainability, To-Go Ware creates solid partnerships with like-minded organizations.
To-Go Ware has a strong commitment to human rights, and forms relationships with business and organizations that share the same ideas. To-Go Ware pledges human rights for both its American employees and the workers who are employed overseas.
Another key relationship is with the environment. The company partners with other organizations with shared ideas and commitments to sustainability. All products To-Go Ware offers are made with sustainable and recyclable materials.
To-Go Ware believes in strengthening local economies by sourcing products from small businesses. By doing so, these businesses become empowered to create smaller, more local economic relationships, thus creating a sustainable economy benefiting the entire community.
One organization To-Go Ware partners with is CONSERVE, a waste-control non-governmental organization based in India.
CONSERVE has over three hundred employees committed to the same cause: what can be done with all the garbage, specifically the millions of plastic bags littering the streets of New Dehli?
The solution? “Rag pickers” from the streets are paid to collect these bags. This opportunity allows them to provide food and shelter for their families. After picking plastic bags off the streets, the men and women bring them back to the CONSERVE factory where the bags are then weighed, trimmed, and washed. After the bags are dried, they are sorted into piles, heated, and compressed into new sheets of plastic.
These newly formed plastic sheets are used by craftsmen to produce bags and other goods.
To-Go Ware uses CONSERVE recycled plastic cutlery wraps as a major feature of its reusable lunch line. In fact, over one million plastic bags are used per year in the CONSERVE wraps sold by To-Go Ware.
Another major partner in To-Go Ware’s line of sustainable products is WEAVE.
Founded in 1990 as a way to empower women into exercising their human rights and to give them an opportunity for self-sustainability, WEAVE—Women’s Education for Advancement and Empowerment, educates and trains indigenous women in social, economic, and political ways.
By providing leadership and educational opportunities to these women, WEAVE is determined to promote social and community development.
To-Go Ware distributes the cotton utensil holders made by the women of the WEAVE organization. Specifically, the cotton utensil holders are made by the Burmese refugee women living in the refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border.
A Company Like No Other
To-Go Ware is a revolutionary company that is not encouraging customers to ditch the to-go culture convenience, but rather encourages customers to change the nature of that convenience.
Instead of following the worn footsteps of inter-global business relationships, To-Go Ware decided to make its own path based on its passion for social, economic, and environmental progress. This journey will be just the beginning.
To learn more:
Watch this short video as Stephanie Bernstein shares the vision of To-Go Ware and the company’s alliance with CONSERVE and WEAVE.
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