In this inaugural installment of Tech Ideas For Good’s Ask Campaign Anything Series - we take a closer look at 2021’s most funded crowdfunding campaign - LOMI from Pela. This isn't the first time Pela has garnered significant attention. Their previous campaign, the world’s first biodegradable phone case, has been featured every where from Buzzfeed to 'The Ellen Degeneres Show' and even CNN. This time they’re looking to change composting and mitigate food waste with LOMI. We sit down with team Pela to better understand their business model, how they manufacture their products, and attempt to clarify claims made on LOMI’s campaign page.

Company Level

Describe Pela’s business model.

Pela is primarily an ecommerce business that sells everyday products directly to consumers. We manufacture our products in our owned facilities, using our trademarked compostable Flaxstic material. We sell primarily direct to consumer because that allows us to keep our prices reasonable and to invest more in materials science and our charitable causes.

Is Pela a certified B-Corp?

Yes. You can see our profile here.

Are a portion of the funds going to a charitable organization? If so - which one?

As a member of 1% for the Planet, a portion of all sales go to NPOs doing better for our planet. This budget is allocated through various campaigns that align with our mission to create a more sustainable future for all. To date, we have donated $536,196 USD to charitable organizations like charity:water, Save the Waves, Support + Feed, Women’s Earth Alliance, Take 3 for the Sea, Surfrider, Oceana, and more.

Describe any partnerships that contribute back to the greater good.

From charitable partnerships to influencers and other brands, all of our partnerships are carefully selected to ensure brand alignment and a positive impact. To name a few— We partnered with Tentree for the launch of our Earth Month Collection, where we planted ten trees for every case sold, resulting in over 92,0000 trees planted in one week! In a 48 hour Instagram Campaign with Take 3, we picked up 25 pieces of plastic for every share of our post, resulting in 125,000 pieces of plastic removed from our earth! Recently, we threw our latest virtual event of our series Project Human Nature, where we gathered leaders and influencers in sustainability to have an open conversation on how to take action in saving our planet with the tools and platforms at your disposal. For the past few months, we have been working alongside Drag Queen and Environmentalist Pattie Gonia on a Pride Campaign for June, where we will not only celebrate Queer Artists through our collaboration collection, but will support Queer Writers, Queer-Owned Brands, and LGBTQIA2+ Youth through our financial contribution to Brave Trails.

Is Pela a carbon neutral company?

Yes. We are Certified Carbon Neutral. You can see our profile here.

Manufacturing Level

Where is LOMI manufactured?

China.

Have you personally toured the space?

Yes, our team regularly visits the factory.

If so - what are the working conditions like?

The factory complies with local and international quality and ethical standards. Working conditions and standards are in good care.

Did the factory adhere to international labour standards?

Factory is certified for International standard such as ISO9001 standard and SEDEX standard - ISO9001 is aimed for quality processing standard for product and workplace; SEDEX is an international standard that covers factory quality and ethical standard. Labour standard such as working hours; minimum age (anti child labour); hourly wages and workplace safety etc are under the ethical standard of SEDEX.

Product Level

What are the environmental benefits of Lomi?

Lomi democratizes waste management and turns food waste into compost in your kitchen, reducing GHG emissions and storing carbon in soil. Food waste rotting in landfill generates 7% of the world’s Greenhouse Gas emissions. Lomi is a kitchen compost machine that turns food waste into compost, preventing food waste from producing GHG emissions in landfill and improving soil health which helps to store carbon.

List any 3rd party certifications (fair trade, etc).

BCorp Member, 1% for the Planet Member, Climate Neutral Certified

Does your product contain any chemicals recognized by any entity as carcinogenic or otherwise harmful to the environment?

No.

What shipping provider does Pela use for LOMI?

When Lomi is ready to ship, it will do so through a variety of carriers as we ship to many countries. We only work with the most eco-friendly carriers on the market.

Will LOMI’s carbon footprint due to shipping be offset as well?

Yes, as part of our ongoing Climate Neutral Certification.

Campaign Page

The page cites the number a few times - how did you arrive at the Lomi can help you reduce 50% of your waste number?

Project Drawdown defines composting as: the conversion of biodegradable waste to a useful soil amendment, while avoiding emissions from landfills. This solution replaces the disposal of biodegradable waste in landfills. Organic wastes account for 46% of global solid waste and contribute, on average, 469 tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gases per million metric tons of organic solid waste due to anaerobic breakdown resulting in methane emissions. Composting is a flexible, scalable approach that reduces those emissions by more than 50%.

How exactly does LOMI speed up the decomposition process and break down organic waste?

Lomi uses heat, abrasion, and oxygen to speed up the breakdown of organic waste into smaller fragments - similar to how earthworms break down and mix plant tissue into soil, except Lomi does this without the smell and mess! Fragmented waste provides more surface area for microbes to accelerate the composting process. The end result is a natural source of soil nutrients that increase the organic content of soil, helping boost plant growth and soil enrichment.

Will bioplastics break down if placed in the wrong mode?

The bioplastics mode creates the most optimal environment to break down the compostable bioplastics. Although the other modes might lead to some breakdown of such bioplastics as well, we recommend our customers to only use Bioplastics mode in this case.

Three modes - how do these modes affect the nutrients in the final product?

The end product from the Eco mode is the most mature compost out of all three settings - it’s rich in microbial cultures and organic matter that provides nutrients to the soil. Express and Bioplastics modes produce young compost that, when added to soil, interacts with microorganisms and provides soil macro and micro nutrients.

How long between the refills of the activated charcoal?

Lomi filters will last between 3-6 months with regular use! You will know when to change your filter when the handy “Change Filter” light comes on.