An Uncharted Path
“Remember why you started.”
- Just a friendly heads up. If you haven’t read last week’s posting it should help explain what we’re talking about today.
Sail bags; it’s not a new idea but it was an avenue for the Florida State University Sailing Club to fundraise during our new pandemic life. After volunteering to be the fundraising director for the club, I decided that I was going to do things differently. And reaching out to family members and alumni to beg for money to keep the club financially fueled was not a part of my plan.
I thought we could use entrepreneurship to solve our problem! As usual, I was over-optimistic and I thought that we would be able to cheaply launch a business that would be a cash cow and put us all in matching Rolex’s. I can assure you now, five months later, that none of that has happened. What has happened? I have learned more in these few months than I’ve learned in my 2.5 years of attending university (no shade to FSU).
My business partner, Jon, and I knew that we wanted to start a sustainable business, one that did not harm the very place that we love. Both of us come from backgrounds close to the sea. Jon is an avid surfer and I am a sailor and fisherman. It’s a well-known problem that trash is going into the ocean at an alarming rate. But how could we run an environmentally sustainable business, that also solves this growing problem, while making money? To be honest I’m still trying to figure that out. . But what I do know is that every step of the way you have to commit to your triple bottom line; profit, people, and the planet. And, it’s really difficult to do. If you look at how many businesses have a triple bottom line, you’ll find that the list is very small when compared to companies with no social objectives. But, there are some great ones out there. 4Ocean, Patagonia, and Method home are some you might recognize and are doing an awesome job.
I am the co-founder at Dunsel sail bags and I can ensure you that we are trying as hard as we can to have the smallest environmental impact possible. We have run into issues over the last few months since we have started. Supply chain is a massive obstacle since there’s no consistent stream of used sails, shipping will continue to be an obstacle as we continue to primarily sell on an e-commerce platform, and even trying to find a use for the leftover scraps leftover is difficult.
While we may not be selling sail bags in the near future we have an overarching goal. We want to prove to young entrepreneurs that you don’t have to disregard your environmental footprint in order to start a business. This is the 21st century. We have a responsibility to not continue to fuel the monster we created with the industrial revolution. I strongly believe that my generation will alter the path of exploitative capitalism that has destroyed people, communities, and our environment over the past 100 years. I don’t have a choice, and neither do you.
Thanks for reading!
Do you have a good use for old sails? Let us know in the comments.Our Valentines day sale is coming to an end. Make sure to pickup some awesome Dunsel items while they are 25 percent off.
*Triple bottom line (TBL), in economics, believes that companies should commit to focusing as much on social and environmental concerns as they do on profits.