einhorn condoms -

einhorn condoms - : Fairstainable (fair, vegan, sustainable, sexy) condoms

Berlin, GermanyMalaysia
Year Founded:
2015
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

What is the problem with condoms? a) condoms are normally boring & many people are embarrassed when buying them b) rubber- the main ingredient of condoms- has a huge socio-environmental impact but hasn't gotten a lot of attention. Solution: condoms as a lifestyle product which are doing good.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if: businesses would distribute the wealth fairly within its supply chains and would give sometihing back to the environment instead of just taking?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In comparison to other commodities (palm oil, cotton, cocoa) the impact of rubber hasn't gotten a lot of attention. There is no sustainability scheme for rubber. Nevertheless, the socio-environmental aspects here are wide. Rubber normally grows in monocultures where there was rain forest before. The use of agrochemicals pollute the soil & the groundwater. The water consumption is high and those working the hardest don't earn enough for a living.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We want to integrate fairstainability aspects in the whole lifecycle of a condom. In cooperation with scientist we will increase the biodiversity on the plantation by planting biodiversity islands & train local farmers in ecological farming practices. Agro-chemical shall be substituted by ecological alternatives. We want to pay all employees involved a living wage and train local employers/ employees in employees' rights and capacity training. We know that realizing these targets will take years. We see transparency as the foundation for our mission. On our webpage, we inform what we have achieved & what not. We will reinvest 50% of our profits in realizing these targets. Moreover, we want to create awareness about rubber & its impact.

Awards

We are in the finals of the StartGreen Award, which will be awarded the 19th of November.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

In cooperation with University of Hohenheim who has been researching sustainable rubber cultivation practices for years, we will research what sustainable rubber cultivation means for the rubber plantation in our supply chain, how the biodiversity can be increased & how agrochemicals are substitutes by sustainable alternatives. With the condom manufacturer we are researching ways to reduce the waste throughout condom production. In our office we are trying to include fairstainability aspects in all areas: form sustainable packaging and choosing an ecological electricity provider to climate-neutral shipping to the customers and choosing fairstainable business partners (e.g. a studio for disabled people, who support us with many tasks).

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We already have good transparency in our supply chain. We know the main partners in all supply chain steps. We are further in contact with them (Rubber plantation, rubber processing firm, condom manufacturer) as well as the Malaysia rubber board and the Malaysia local government and are working together to integrate fairstainability aspects on the rubber plantation and the rubber processing industries. We also agreed with University of Hohenheim to start implementing sustainable cultivation practices on a plantation of our supply chain. In July 2016 we will send 4 students to do the field research and to develop the fairstainability roadmap with the partners in the supply chain.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The long-term goal is to integrate fairstainability criteria in all aspects of a condom lifecycle. In the coming years we will focus our strategy on a mixture between impact (where can we have the biggest socio-environmental impact) and quick fits (what can we achieve quickly). That means that we will focus on driving change on the plantation even though it needs a lot of effort but it certainly has the biggest impact. In the other supply chain steps we will focus on quick fits where we can have an "easy" change (Health Safety equipment & training, switching packaging material).
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

In the initial phase we got funding (around 104.000€) through crowdfunding via startnext (https://www.startnext.com/einhorn). Since end of June we are selling through our Online-Shop and through retailers. Until now (Nov. 2015) we have a turnover of more than 130.000€. The margins in condom business are relatively high (comparable to luxury goods) and with our fairstainability mission we will still be able to offer condoms to a competitive price.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are some condom brands offering vegan condoms. There is no standard for fair and sustainable rubber. There is no renowned, established brand for fair condoms. There is a brand paying a fair trade premium. Nevertheless, there is no brand focusing on increasing the biodiversity/ecologically grown rubber. Moreover, there is no condom brand trying to get condoms out of the boring corner and give them a new lifestyle image.
Team

Founding Story

Philip & Waldemar are both entrepreneurs and have already successfully founded. The 2 founders had the idea to found a fair & sustainable company in a good design for some time. They wanted to prove that it is possible to be fair, sustainable, profitable and have a good design. The ultimate idea for doing this with condoms came when buying condoms. Philip was depressed that all condom brands are boring and not fun, even though it has to do with sex. Moreover, the condom buying was somehow embarrassing and didn't anticipated the upcoming. At that time Waldemar was backpacking in Southamerica and saw the massive monocultures and how our decisions in Europe have an impact on other parts.

Team

We have a team of seven people. Sandra Bayer, http://sandra-bayer.de/ - Half-time, responsible for design. Elizabeth von Wagenhoff - freelancer, Art Director and also working for Vivian Westwood. Elisa Naranjo, Head of Fairstainability - full-time, responsible for all fairstainability aspects, degree in Business & development studies, worked previously on CSR in global value chains at Zalando, Oxfam, Copenhagen Business School. Fracesca Pallentin, fulltime, Accountant worked previously at Biocompany, a German Bio Retailer. David Lathan, Logistics, fulltime, has a degree in logistics.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

I can't remeber but it appears a lot when working in the sustainability world.

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

I am Elisa Naranjo - Head of Fairstainability - and filled out the account on behalf of Waldemar Zeiler, founder of einhorn.

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

Both founders are also the initiators of the entrepreneur's pledge (http://www.entrepreneurspledge.org/). In comparison to Warren Buffets pledge to donate half of its fortune, the signatories of the entrepreneur's pledge - all successful entrepreneur's - commit themselves to once in a lifetime found a fairstainable business where have of the profits are invested in fair/sustainable projects and which is also targeting the business' supply chain.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

Advisory board: Professor Nick Lin-Hi, researcher for sustainability. Dr Gerhard Langenberger, researcher for sustainable rubber (https://surumer.uni-hohenheim.de/). Klaus Richter, our condom manufacturer and one of the big condom manufacturer. Nicole, former president form Condomia.