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Q&A

entry of not having to remember a cup, as you can always get one and take back your reusable cups at another time. Remembering a cup is often something people struggle with when going out for a coffee. The idea of the program is that they can always pick up a reusable cup and return it when they are ready.” Supporting Australian jobs and manufacturing seems to be a key component to the business structure of Uppercup. How do you ensure that all your suppliers work within a 25km radius of your head office? What suppliers does this include? “Printing, packaging, raw material, employees, warehousing, distribution and manufacturing. We are lucky enough to work within a metro Victorian business hub, where most of our supporting suppliers have been around for over 35 years. We find small choices around using local suppliers, make a big difference to our local community. For example, one job we did directly hired over 25 people and that doesn’t take into account our suppliers of materials. Supporting local suppliers really impacts the community and Australia’s economy, as every business pays taxes here.” Tell us more about the female leaders of Uppercup who are pioneering such responsible and ethical business procedures that make Uppercup more than just a business. “We are passionate young women who are striving to make a difference, not just within the sustainability goods sector but also within manufacturing in Australia. We want to be a part of the revolution of reusable product systems being implemented and made locally in Australia over the next 10 to 20 years. We see a fantastic opportunity for responsible and ethical business to be located in Australia. Our focus, resilience and determination to build a sustainable, ethical, but strong business is the backbone of everything we do. We are continually evolving and build upon initiatives and new ideas as opportunities are presented.”

How do you manage and juggle running a business with personal and family commitments? “The constant juggle is most definitely how we would describe our lives. For us, we wouldn’t have it any other way. But we have become strong in owning a life that works for our family. An example of this choice is that my husband and I choose to co-parent, which means we strive to have 50 per cent of the work done by each of us. When we had our daughter, we had the opportunity to both take primary carer parental leave of three months each. We found this was an excellent opportunity for both parents to bond plus it allowed me to step out of my business briefly and integrate back in sooner.” What does it mean to Uppercup to be involved in a circular economy? “All good things must come to an end and this includes our cups. The question was, what is happening to our reusable cups once people are finished with them? We are committed to lowering any impact we have on the environment and this includes the post-purchase environmental effects we are having with our products. So we came up with Uppercup Plus–a cup made out of recycled Uppercups. This is a circular-economy solution–we offer a return program to any client and use those returned cups to recreate or repurpose and recycle our products, meaning nothing ends up in landfill. The best part about this is all can be done locally, creating more jobs and cutting down the waste that goes into our local ecosystem.” November 2020  7

Profile for The Intermedia Group

Giftguide ECO November 2020  

Giftguide magazine is an award-winning bi-annual publication that is regarded by retailers as the ‘Bible’ of the gift and homewares industry...

Giftguide ECO November 2020  

Giftguide magazine is an award-winning bi-annual publication that is regarded by retailers as the ‘Bible’ of the gift and homewares industry...