KeepCup: Escalating “the demise of the disposable” coffee cup

KeepCup is on a mission to reduce the amount of disposable coffee cups that end up in landfill with its simple and ingenious range of resusable coffee cups.

The Australian based company was set up by mother of three, Abigail Forsyth, and her brother Jamie almost 10 years ago.

The sister and brother team started a café business called Bluebag in Melbourne in 1998. When they first started, takeaway cups were still uncommon. But as their business grew and changing habits of consumers, Abigail and Jamie Forsyth became increasingly concerned about the volume of packaging waste their business and their customers consumed.

They looked to purchase and sell reusable cups as an alternative to disposable, but observed that not only were existing options unsuitable for specialty coffee, they hadn’t won the hearts of consumers.

Abigail Forsyth says: “KeepCup’s mission is to encourage the use of reusable cups.  We do this by delivering sustainably made products that are fit for purpose in the context of a positive global campaign that strives to make a difference to how we think about convenience culture.

“We want to create a global brand and to be one of the organisations that kick started the demise of the disposable.”

The Melbourne-based business, which now has offices in London and LA, has extended its range of reusable coffee cups over the years to include non-toxic plastic cups as well as glass cups, all in various sizes.

KeepCup manufactures and sells reusable coffee cups produced via sustainable methods using less plastic and resulting in less waste. Aiming to drive change in consumer behaviour, KeepCup sells its environmentally friendly coffee cups wholesale to café operators, as well as direct to consumers via its website and retail outlets.

In the below video, Abigail Forsyth talks about setting up a sustainable business and staying true to their roots.

KeepCup has been so successful that it has had to fend off counterfeit products from competitors that look similar but aren’t manufactured to the same environmentally-friendly standards.

Yet the business almost didn’t happen. While prototyping the reusable cup, a designer described the product as “the stupidest idea I have ever seen”.

Undeterred, the brother and sister team pursued the business in 2009 and today, KeepCup has grown to become one of the most well-known reusable coffee cup brands in Australia and is now gaining momentum worldwide.

Since June 2009, over three million KeepCups users have diverted billions of disposable cups from landfill.

Abigail Forsyth adds: “We [KeepCup] think of ourselves as a campaign supported by a product, where the best reusable is the one you use. Many small acts will make a phenomenal difference.”


Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea

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