With the spread of plastic straw bans, businesses like The Other Straw have emerged to provide environmentally friendly solutions. We were particularly inspired by co-founder, Jamie-Lee Kay’s story of the inception of The Other Straw, and delighted to interview her for our Aussie Business series:

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1. Tell us a bit about your business and how you got to where you are now?

The Other Straw is a social enterprise replacing single-use plastic straws with reusable, ethically sourced bamboo straws.

Since launching in late 2018, we’ve diverted over 9 million plastic straws from entering our landfills, waterways and oceans.

After some early traction with our straws, we took the leap to extend our product range to other sustainable, ethical alternatives to plastic items. Including bamboo toothbrushes, bamboo cutlery and coconut bowls.

Our mission is to make the world a more sustainable place. We want to make it as easy as possible for individuals, and businesses to live a less wasteful lifestyle.

2. What do you love most about your business – how is it unique?

I love our why and purpose of our business. We started this business with the goal to eliminate single-use plastics, and this is our biggest motivation.

The pillars in which our business was built on are our personal values and ethos. And this shines through everything we do. Every decision we make is made with passion, meaning and intention. We put our purpose and people above our profits, always.

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3. What’s your life mantra?

Create a life you are proud and passionate about.

Your daily choices, decisions and actions are what makes up your life. If you are not proud of them, do something about it. Live a life that you are content and passionate about. Build a legacy and purpose that you can be proud of.

4. What else would you be doing if you didn’t do what you do?

I probably would be in marketing (as this is what I studied). In 2018, after graduating with a Commerce Degree (major in Marketing), I turned down the corporate career path to start The Other Straw.

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5. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

The best gift I received was from my partner’s Mother. She gave me some veja sneakers. For those who don’t know veja, they are an ethical, sustainable and fair-trade sneaker company. I wear them pretty much everyday, so I couldn’t have asked for a more practical and better gift.

6. What’s the best gift you’ve ever bought someone?

When my partner and co-founder Lennart moved to Australia from the Netherlands I bought him a bike. The Dutch love their bikes. Although it wasn’t the bike he had in mind, he loved the gesture haha.

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