As many of you hopefully remember, International Women’s Day was at the start of this month – a day that celebrates all the wonderful things we as women do and are capable of doing. A prime example of this is Anna Bordignon; an entrepreneur, a CEO, and a mother, who has built a business whose products not only support a brighter environmental future, but is run entirely by Kiwi mums.
Like many parents, Anna was shocked to see how much more rubbish was going into the bin each week after having children. So, she decided it was to do something about it, and began developing the Munch Cupboard brand back in 2014. Her goal was to create products that help people reduce their waste, and to ensure that women were front and center of that operation. Munch, and her other brand Nil, produce a whole range of sustainable products including the ever-popular beeswax food wraps, glass water bottles, cloth snack pouches, and loads more.
Since then, Anna’s eco-friendly social enterprise has gone from strength to strength; in 2016, her Nil food wraps were chosen to be in the gift bags at the Emmy Awards – the actual Emmy’s. Along with many other awards for her products and business, Anna herself has been chosen as one of this year’s EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women. This program chooses “high-potential women entrepreneurs whose businesses show real potential – and then helps them do it”. A huge opportunity for Anna, and a fantastic example of women supporting women.
“I understand this program arouse due to the fact that statistically women (again) are under-represented in this area. I am just not sure why I always end up in sectors where representation at the top end is terrible i.e. law and now the entrepreneurial world.”
As Anna says, it’s invaluable that programs like these exist, but they only exist because the number of women in positions of power is still wildly disproportionate to men. But in 2018, more and more women are business owners, and managers, and entrepreneurs, and in doing so, we’re paving a brighter future for our children. Munch’s business model consists of three keys aspects: 1. Sustainable ‘motherhood’ workforce, 2. Eco-friendly, unique products with strong design elements, and 3. Strong advocates for our children.
“We are role models for our children through what we accomplish through Munch.”
Women are at the forefront of all of Anna’s business operations – she wanted to hire women who needed to work, but who needed their work to fit around their children, and not the other way around. That’s why many Munch and Nil products are made by Kiwi mothers in their own homes, and that’s why Anna’s Sales Manager, Logistics Manager, Graphic Designer, Sewer, and entire Production Team are all women. Anna’s “sustainable ‘motherhood’ workforce’ consists of mainly of mothers from South Auckland, as well as Wellington, and Christchurch. This ‘outwork model’ allows these mothers to financially contribute to their families, positively impact the business world, and make a difference both their children’s future and the future of the environment.
It was also fundamentally important to Anna that her creations have a wider purpose and help raise an environmental issue. For example, their Munch Litter-less lunchwraps encourage kids and parents to have waste free lunchboxes and in turn, help them think about the wider issue of single-use plastics. They’re not just products for the sake of profit. Their Nil beeswax food wraps have a completely zero waste production, as the off-cuts get turned into their organic fire-starters. And if their products aren’t fully biodegradable, or natural, they’re all at least reusable. She also wanted her products to look great, so that people who weren’t as far into this zero waste lifestyle might be attracted to her products purely for their design and functionality – after all, these sandwich bags look a whole lot cuter than plastic wrap.
You can check out more of Munch’s awesome eco-friendly products here.