Yolanda uses various sustainable materials in her cloth, so we spoke to her about it...
Hi Yolanda, would you like to introduce yourself?
Hi, my name is Yolanda Drewell. I am a South African mum-of-four, living in Devon, UK, with my husband and kids.
I have a busy and full life, based around the lives of my children in the fabulous Steiner education system, and I am now developing my business interests, which are primarily focused on Buzzcloth
and incorporating coaching women in online entrepreneurship and confidence building, as well as managing a small property portfolio in South Africa. My background is in public relations.
Where did the idea of Buzzcloth come from?
Every morning I make sandwiches for my kids, and was really bothered by the fact that I needed to wrap the sandwiches in either cling film or foil to keep them fresher and intact in the lunchbox. I knew that every day I was contributing to landfill, having to throw away the nasty stuff - after a single use - which would take hundreds of years to decompose.
I looked for reusable alternatives. The washable fabric sandwich bags that you can buy are great but the size was always wrong for my needs. I needed a one-size-fits-all, easy to wash solution. While doing some research on the web for something else, I discovered the idea of combining beeswax and cloth for food storage. I loved that idea. After further research, and much trial-and-error with different waxes, oils and plant extracts, Buzzcloth was born.
Why is ethical entrepreneurship important to you?
It is so interesting to me that this is even a question. To me it's a given. How can you not do business ethically? As a parent in my forties, I am extremely worried about the future of my children and grand-children in the context of climate change, resource depletion and economic uncertainty. I just could not sleep at night if I knew that I was consciously adding to the problems. I try to set a good example to my children and in my community and do what I can for the greater good, in my own small way.
What is Buzzcloth made of and how do you source the raw materials?
Buzzcloth is made from delectable, sweet-smelling beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin, all infused onto organic cotton. The result is a scrunchy, malleable cling cloth that seals around your fresh food with the help of a hand hug.
The sourcing of the raw materials takes a lot of time, and I'm very particular about who I work with. Relationships are critical for me, and I like to work with nice people who also have a bigger picture in mind. I like to source local where possible, organic where possible, but because my product comes into contact with food, I am also careful that the ingredients are food safe. I also have a soft spot for small business so will support small suppliers where possible.
I am particularly excited about the source of my beeswax which is the main ingredient. The beeswax comes from backyard beekeepers in the UK and Africa. This means the bees are well taken of and not exploited, the bee keepers are earning a living wage, and the wax is just gorgeous - organic with a heavenly scent. Yum!
Why should people use Buzzcloth over foil or plastic?
People should use anything over foil and plastic. Anything reusable, washable or compostable is better. If we all aim to use something twice then we will already halve what we throw away.
Buzzcloth is compostable so it will not end up in landfill or in the sea. It can be used over and over again in the most delightful way which means it feels good to use. It is made from all natural materials so you don't need to worry about nasty chemicals going into your food. And it keeps food fresher.
What do you feel about the disposable culture we have in the UK?
My generation has grown up with disposable everything. Even in South Africa this was the case. This is a habit that we need to break. I am lucky in that I live in a community and area which has higher levels of consciousness about these things.
What should people do with Buzzcloth at the end of its life?
Tear it up into strips and throw it in the compost!
What do you think of landfills?
Unfortunately they are part of life, and a necessary evil, otherwise our rubbish would be all over the place. I love the fact that more of us are recycling, and hopefully that means our landfills are filling up less quickly.
Check out Buzzcloth's website here
, Facebook here
and Twitter here