As part of our founder interview series, we speak with the founders of Neon Kactus, Neil Tombs and Charlotte Gornall, to learn more about the story behind their range of sustainable reusable coffee cups, and their mission to fight single-use plastics.
What were you doing before you launched Neon Kactus? What inspired you to create the perfect reusable coffee cup?
We founded Neon Kactus in 2018. With over 20 years working in the food and drink industry and experiencing first-hand the environmental impact of single use plastic, we knew they had to create a positive change.
Combining two of our great passions; our love for the planet and great tasting coffee, we embarked on this journey. After trialling several reusable coffee cups we realised the solution was to design and make our own, to create a cup that mirrored the coffee shop experience with no compromise on taste.
We knew it would be important to create a reusable cup that encapsulated, style, design and performance in order to encourage others to ditch the disposable.
The result was the Neon Kactus glass coffee cup. A modern and stylish product deigned to mirror the convenience and drinking pleasure of the coffee shop eradicate the need for single use cups.
Why did you decide to partner with Less Plastic, and how does Neon Kactus support their mission?
Less Plastic are a UK charity founded in 2015 to raise awareness of the issues caused by ocean plastic and to provide easy-to-action solutions to significantly reduce the amount of plastic in our lives.
Less Plastic offer inspiration, tools and strategies to enable individuals, businesses, schools and organisations of all sizes to use less plastic.
For each product you buy online, Neon Kactus donates a proportion of the profits to Less Plastic.
Neon Kactus cups are BPA-Free. What does this mean and why is it a good thing?
BPA stands for Bisphenol-A which can be used to produce reusable plastic products. These types of chemicals have reportedly had health effects on humans, especially youngsters. The problem with BPA is that it can leach from containers into beverages and foods and pose a potential health risk.
All Neon Kactus products are BPA free, eliminating any risk of harmful chemical leaching and guaranteeing the purest of drinking experiences.
What steps do you take to ensure that Neon Kactus is produced in a way that reflects your company values?
Product quality and end to end supply chain excellence are at the heart of everything we do. We invest an unwavering focus to ensure Neon Kactus partners with only the most advanced producers. All of our manufacturing sites are audited to the highest Sedex standards, who stringently govern workers rights, ethical practices and social responsibility. All Neon Kactus products also comply with globally recognised ISO9001 quality standards.
Which colour Neon Kactus cup is your favourite, and where are we most likely to see you using it.
Our favourite product is our new insulated coffee cups. Perfect for our on the go lifestyle and keeps our drink hot for over 6 hours. Our insulated range is both lightweight, durable and fits perfectly under our coffee machine. Over the coming few months we plan to release the product in our customer favourite pastel blue. The pantone is extremely popular with both male and females and perfect for our 18-35-year olds.
What is the meaning behind the name Neon Kactus?
We wanted our name to reflect the personality and purpose of the brand. Neon Kactus, is a vibrant and stylish brand focused on doing great things for our planet. We chose Neon for its vibrancy and flare and Kactus, because Cacti live sparingly and maximise their resources to limit their impact on the environment.
Ethical fashion is an extremely broad topic. What is your definition of ‘ethical’ fashion’?
To us, ethical fashion is about stopping and thinking before you buy. Placing a value on the choices you make and how the end to end product life-cycle has positively impacted our environment, the people who have helped make it the and its longevity beyond purchase.
Neon Kactus are committed to Creating A Better tomorrow by eliminating 500 million single use disposables from going to landfill by 2025.
What do you look for in other brands you support?
We are big supporters of small, up and coming brands who at their heart are commuted to creating positive change, expressing this through the way they do business and their brand personality.
We admire founders who have taken a risk to pursue their passion and are always on the look out for new, innovative products to get behind.
How do you try and cut out plastic in other areas of your life?
We believe that big changes begin with small steps! Like many we began reducing our plastic consumption in the most obvious areas; removing plastic bags for our grocery shopping, using a reusable water bottle and refusing to drink from plastic straws. As we educated ourselves further and discovered new products, we have now cut single use plastic out altogether.
Our challenge to you…for one week only, try cutting all single use plastic out of your life. You will be surprised how easy it can be with an ever-increasing choice of great products to support a more sustainable lifestyle.
How would you like to see Neon Kactus grow in the future?
Our mission is simple….to Create A Better Tomorrow!
We aim to do this by creating reusable products for an on the go lifestyle with unrivalled style and performance that will decrease the need for plastic production.
Today Neon Kactus products are used by thousands of people in over 30 countries around the world diverting millions of disposable products from landfill every year.
In the pursuit of our mission we aim to continue to inspire others to Create A Better Tomorrow by developing more products that will accelerate the everyday use of reusables.