[BC Interview] Behind the brands - ULAT
There are over 20 brands that Borderless Creations are sourcing from. We’ve introduced the brands and their products but who are the people behind the brands? What are their thoughts?
We asked the same 10 questions to all the brands so that you can get a better understanding of the brands and their stories.
Today we interviewed Ms. Jennifer LeBrun, the Founder of ULAT.
Q1) What triggered you to tackle ethical and sustainable issues?
A1) We began our venture in 2011, while I was working full time, had a one year old daughter and needed to cut costs. Social media was just taking off and sourcing Canadian materials was a challenge. So we decided to take the approach of connecting, developing and sourcing from like minded organizations to propel our innovation. Rather than one trigger, it simply felt like the responsible way for our business and practices to be conducted. It’s great to see that many are following suit and that consumers are seeking out and supporting high quality products that enhance our world, not hinder it. As the creator of the wool dryer ball category, we are very pleased to lead in quality, ethics and sustainability.
Q2) What has changed from when the brand started and now?
A2) The world has changed since we started our brand. We still have a long way to go but it is wonderful to see a more conscious lifestyle being mainstream and responsible conduct being an expectation for all business sectors. These matters are not a business trend for ULAT Dryer Balls. Rather these are fundamentals we began our business with and are happy that as we grow our organization and expand our product reach, we continue to empower communities one dryer load at a time.
Q3) What was the hardest part of developing your brand? On the contrary, what was the best thing about continuing the brand?
A3) As the creator of wool dryer balls, we began with an idea and had to construct our own path. Infrastructure development and deployment of our innovation took courage and persistence. It has been exciting, frustrating, exhilarating, disappoint and know that these emotions were sometimes felt all on the same day. But what is important is that we never gave up nor did we ever back down from our values or purpose for embarking on this journey. We are pleased so many enjoy ULAT Dryer Balls and look forward to expanding our reach in Japan with the fantastic team at Borderless Creations Japan.
Q4) Tell us about someone that you know who are working on being sustainable. What kind of activity/initiative is this person doing?
A4) Sustainability means and contributes to different things, to different people. The world is taking note on the broadness of topic and its implications on all who inhibit earth. I am hopeful these positive progression will take greater hold and allow our world to be health, inclusive and sustainable for generations.
Q5) What is your favorite quote? And why do you like it?
A5) I really enjoy Maya Angelou’s words... here are a couple I live by everyday...
- I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
- My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
Q6) Tell us about any books or movies that have had a great influence in your life!
A6) Book: The Purple Cow by Seth Godin, this is a quick enjoyable read that is insightful and thought provoking.
Q7) If you can eat ANYTHING now, what would it be?
A7) Japanese sweets, any day, at any time.... so tasty, lovely to look at and so many varieties to choose from.
Q8) If you can go ANYWHERE now, where would you like to go?
A8) The world is not what it was three months ago nor is it what we expected to be this week. So much has occurred, developed, transpired. At this particular moment, with travel restrictions and the global response to supporting suppressed communities, the best place for me to be today is where I am and to continue how we have always operated. Ensuring we positively support/love/engage with all communities, of all race/religion from around the world. Zerowaste lifestyle for our family is not only what we produce and consume, it is also how we treat each other and how we embark on this journey.
Q9) Any other country or city you want to live?
A9) Currently, I am living in Canada but a few years ago, I lived in Japan. I consider Tokyo it to me one of my “hometowns” and am very grateful to have had the opportunity and experience. In many ways it has shaped the way I live my life today.
I had the opportunity to travel to France many years ago and still today, I would love to spend more time in that country.
Q10) What are you most mindful of when you think of your lifestyle?
A10) Professionally and personally, our family really instills the value to not let our decisions become someone else’s problem.
The ULAT Dryer Ball started in 2011, while the founder, Jennifer, was creating gifts from fibre for friend and family. Here is their story:
"I have always enjoyed making fibre form gifts for friends and family at Christmas time. Our family needed to cut costs and so I did a little research on what I could make with my existing materials. One thing led to another and after several prototypes, we developed our own formula for wool dryer balls. We were pleased to create a unique and personal gift and in the process, we discovered our gift had a cost savings beneficial that we were able to pass along to our loved ones. This was truly the most appealing part of this process.
This journey has been amazing. Since launching since November 2011, we have developed some wonderful relationships and hope to continue providing a little smile to all who do laundry with ULAT Dryer Balls.
We can't take the chore of laundry away, but we can assist in making the process a little less tedious, decrease energy costs for our consumer, provide a completely hypoallergenic solution, and support local resources. This is one task that can be on your own terms and everyone can feel good about it."
Take the Second Hand September challenge! Make your pledge to shop second hand for 30 days.
In our last post about our ten days spent in New York City, we introduce you to "A SUSTAINABLE VILLAGE" Zero Waste Shop & Refillery, which opened in 2021.
This time our New York research is about food. Here are just a few of the things we saw and places we enjoyed during our 10-day stay.