Young Entrepreneur Takes Sustainability into Her Own Hands
Returning to our roots in a sustainable way. That’s what Jaylah Koree wants to achieve with her work. The University of Virginia student and founder of Koree’s Kare, one of Cloverly’s newest partners, has been vegan and striving toward a zero waste lifestyle since 2018. When she realized that products found in stores didn’t align with her core values, she took matters into her own hands. That’s how Koree’s Kare, a small-batch brand for self-care items such as candles, whipped body butter, and lip balms, was born.
Read our interview with Jaylah about the link between business and the transition to a greener economy, an all-encompassing approach to achieving sustainability—and empowering consumers by supplying more sustainable alternatives and solutions.
What inspires you to act on sustainability?
The impact of climate change on my generation and those to come made a huge impression on me. Our current capitalist economy is shaped by businesses constantly valuing economic gain over the health of people and our one and only home—Earth. The reluctance of governments to take bold and quick action has made me believe that it will inevitably be the responsibility of businesses to provide consumers with sustainable alternatives. As companies increasingly choose to transition to a greener economy, I hope that sustainability will one day soon become the standard for all businesses.
“A sustainable future lies in the hands of entrepreneurs.”
What are the sustainability goals of Koree’s Kare?
We desire to one day become a 100% zero-waste brand. Currently, all Koree’s Kare products are wrapped in plastic-free packaging that can be either reused or composted, and we ship our products in recycled materials and 100% postconsumer content. However, many of our suppliers still ship our ingredients in plastic packaging, and while we reuse and recycle most of it, we’re on a mission to find suppliers that provide plastic-free shipping.
One of our goals for this year is to transition to a supplier that offers 100% recycled glass containers instead of our current metal ones. People are more likely to reuse glass containers in their own homes, so these are less likely to end up in landfills. For now, we offer a recycling program where customers can send their empty containers back to us to be sanitized and reused in exchange for a discount!
What do you think are the benefits and challenges of being a sustainable brand?
We consciously take the extra time and effort to value our impact over economic gain, which gives us a lot of pride in the products we offer! Plus, I meet a lot of people with the same values as me!
One challenge that we face is the extra amount of research that is required to assure customers that no greenwashing is involved. One thing I personally do to mitigate that is to constantly ask, “Would I buy this product for myself?” I’m very strict about the companies I support, and if they don’t meet my standards, I’ll find an alternative. At the same time, verifying our sustainability claims with certification can be very costly, as we’re still a very small business.
How does Cloverly fit into your sustainability goals?
Cloverly allows us to make our customers feel comfortable knowing that the shipping of their Koree’s Kare package has a very low impact on the planet they care so deeply about. We noticed a lot of people don’t really know where to start when it comes to combating climate change. Cloverly is a great step in empowering our customers. So far, it’s made a significant impact on our sustainability goals, by neutralizing our customers’ net impact and reducing our overall carbon footprint.
“Cloverly is a great step in empowering our customers.”
What is the one piece of advice you would offer to other brands or entrepreneurs seeking to create change?
The world needs you now more than ever, so keep pushing! I truly believe that a sustainable future lies in the hands of entrepreneurs. It is up to us to create groundbreaking technology and sustainable solutions in order for us to reduce the effects of climate change. Our future literally depends on entrepreneurial creativity. You will be successful!
As a black young female business owner, I want to encourage other women of color to connect with their entrepreneurial side. There isn’t a lot of representation for women like me in business, so with Koree’s Kare, I hope to make other women of color feel like they can also be a successful business owner! We are powerful, strong-willed women who have the drive to be just as successful as any man. Don’t be hesitant to pursue your dreams because you are capable of achieving that, and more!