Meeting with Mathieu Simard, Sylvie Langlois, and Naomi Berg of The Future is Bamboo
Imagine that what you love to do is what you do for work, that it aligns with your personal values and contributes to the protection of the environment... Well, that is exactly what Mathieu Simard, Sylvie Langlois, and Naomi Berg do for a living as founders and owners of The Future is Bamboo, a family business born in Sherbrooke, QC in 2017.
With awareness for environmental issues on the rise across the planet, these three entrepreneurs decided to do more than just talk about it: they decided to get to work.
Mathieu L. Simard and Naomi Berg are siblings. Their mother and associate, Sylvie Langlois, also a shareholder in the business, instilled in them core values such as respect for the environment and animals. These values have led them to pursue concrete ways to put an end to their use of plastic in their everyday lives.
And that is how this lovely family came to develop eco-friendly products made of bamboo. Having experience in the import-export sector, the company has developed a range that includes toothbrushes, straws, cotton swabs, and utensil kits in this 100% natural and biodegradable raw material.
AFFORDABLE… FINANCIALLY AND PHYSICALLY
You may think there is nothing innovative about bamboo products… Aren’t there plenty of companies promoting bamboo products on the web these days?
True, The Future is Bamboo is not the first business to tap into this natural resource.
It is however one of the first Canadian companies to give families easy access to these products.
In our discussion, I am most impressed by their desire to help everybody make green choices, regardless of their income. Let’s be honest, sadly but all too often, eco-friendly products cost more than non-eco-friendly products, which end up polluting more. That is exactly why The Future is Bamboo’s first priority is to be AFFORDABLE!
So, the business chose to focus its energy on the retail market through mass merchants such as drug stores and grocery chains.
Our young entrepreneurs wanted consumers to see and touch their products while shopping, so their first objective was for their products to be physically available.
Their second objective is that their products be no more expensive than similar non-eco-friendly products. Being present in mass merchants helps them attain these two objectives.
Naomi, clearly passionate about her work, explains: “If we want people to stop using plastic, they need to be able to afford it. Not everyone can afford to buy a bamboo toothbrush on the internet and is willing to pay $5 for shipping for such a small item. But if they can find the bamboo product at their drug store or in their neighbourhood grocery store, it’s accessible and helps to develop better consuming habits.”
BUT, WHY BAMBOO?
Actually, bamboo is a really fascinating natural resource. First off, it is completely biodegradable. And it can grow up to 91 cm a day! Bamboo also has antimicrobial properties and prevents bacteria from reproducing.
The Future is Bamboo only works with MOSO bamboo growers. This type of bamboo is not consumed by pandas, so consumption of this plant is not harmful to animals.
On top of this, the business holds numerous certifications, one of which is with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), and is registered with Health Canada and the FDA (USA).
The Future is Bamboo products are vegan, cruelty-free, ethical, and healthy. That is not to say that all businesses selling bamboo products are equal and have the same certifications and accolades. No, and sadly, consumers who really want to make environmentally-friendly purchases are often fooled on the Internet.
Clearly, Mathieu, Sylvie, and Naomi are motivated by ethical values in their business decisions. They really strive to bring about change for the future!
As if all these ethical and environmental certifications were not enough, the company is proud to partner up with a great cause that resonates with their whole brand’s philosophy: the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.
The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a national conservation program that provides Canadians the opportunity to take action in their communities wherever water meets land, one bit of trash at a time.
Since 1994, there have been 21,300 cleanups that have collected more than 1.3 million kg of trash across Canada’s shorelines.
By buying The Future is Bamboo products, we all contribute to this cause! If it’s good for the planet, it’s good for us too!
THE DRAGON’S DEN ADVENTURE
The more I learn about this business, the more fascinated I am with its founders. Not even 3 years old, they are already in Canada’s largest retail stores, sell online, donate to a national conservation program, and have received more accolades than many of their competitors. And this is only the beginning…
In May 2019, Mathieu and Naomi entered the Dragon’s Den on CBC to convince these successful yet demanding entrepreneurs to invest their own money in the project and they were able to obtain a major investment for a 15% stake in the business.
They did not come unprepared to make an impression though. Being a Back to the Future fan myself, I just love how they used a DeLorean to introduce their business, as though coming from the future with their bamboo products.
A sure way to get the Dragons’ attention who went on challenging our two entrepreneurs with specific questions to which they convincingly answered, which led to the offer they finally accepted. This episode aired on November 7 on CBC and its streaming service, CBC Gem. Here is the link to watch their pitch.
This adventure has been a truly enriching experience for Mathieu and Naomi who are proud – and rightly so – of all the work they’ve accomplished in so little time.
“We are very proud to have created exciting jobs for ourselves. We still do product development but now merchants are coming to us, not the other way around. We’ve entered the NHL of business!”, says Mathieu.
Naomi’s greatest pride though, beyond her entrepreneurial success, is the satisfaction of knowing that her products are actually making a difference for the planet and in people’s daily lives. “The single greatest compliment one can give me, she says, is people thanking us for helping them make better choices.”
THE INTRODUCTION OF BUSTER FETCHER
Needless to say, Buster Fetcher is just as proud to collaborate with such an innovative and dynamic business.
Our team contacted Mathieu and he signed up on the spot. Actually, he had already read some of the entrepreneur portraits posted on our blog and was already intrigued, having heard of the possibility of carriers reimbursing their clients for late deliveries at a conference in Las Vegas, but wasn’t aware this service was available here.
Buster Fetcher became an amazing asset for this vibrant business since signing up is totally risk-free and generates significant revenues for all late deliveries.
That is why Mathieu now recommends Buster Fetcher without hesitation to the businesses he works with.
All businesses deal with late deliveries, sometimes without even knowing it… Take the time to find out more about us by contacting our team and we will be glad to tell you how you can be reimbursed and generate income like The Future is Bamboo does.
A FORWARD-THINKING BUSINESS
The Future is Bamboo is helping to change people’s mindset and little by little to abandon plastic.
As for me, I am sure we will hear a lot more about this business as they continue to develop their product offering and get involved in our communities. Indeed, they keep growing in Canada and the world is theirs to conquer… to make it a better place!
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