Sustainable voices

Matt Kennedy

Matt Kennedy

Who, What, Where?

Matt Kennedy, CEO and Co-Founder at fussy.

What was your a-ha moment that made you become engaged in sustainability?

Honestly it’s been was less of a-ha and more aaaa-haaaaaaaaa. I wasn’t born a sustainability warrior, it’s been a journey, growing up, educating myself and having time to reflect. Travelling (back when that was a thing) has definitely given me lots of causes for reflection. One moment in particular stands out. I was fortunate enough to spend sometime with the Iban people in Sarawak, Malaysia. Their main source of food and income is the Sarawak river and all the smaller estuaries running off it. Yet it’s terribly polluted and mostly with plastic. Coke bottles, sweet wrappers, stuff like that. Western brands in a far off corner of the planet making people sick and damaging their way of life. I think sometimes we’re in danger of thinking because we might throw our waste into a recycling bin that things are all good. But we’re a very small piece of the puzzle. The problem isn’t always easy to see. And the UK in fact is still shipping over 300 tonnes of plastic to poorer countries every day. At the time I was also working in advertising. Working for some of the main culprits and witnessing first hand the failure of these brands to address the problems we face. I guess eventually I thought I might be able to do better myself. And along with my co-founder Eddie, fussy was born.

What is your single best tip for someone who wants to do more for the environment on a personal level?

I would say the easiest thing to do is read, watch and listen. It doesn’t cost anything and you’ll learn loads! And focus on small everyday behavioral changes that might make a difference. But don’t beat yourself up. No one is perfect and often there is no perfect solution, so just focus on what you can do within your own personal situation.

What do you think will be the legacy of your generation?

To make sustainability the norm. You only have to look at the huge number of sustainability focussed start-ups at the moment to see that we are taking action and setting new standards for how companies operate. But honestly, this isn’t a generational thing. We’re in this together and the only way out of it is together.

What is the most critical technological breakthrough that needs to happen for the world to reach the 1,5 degree goal?

If I knew that I wouldn’t be selling a refillable deodorant! OK but a guess I think we need to move to a fully green economy. I unfortunately don’t think the world is suddenly going to switch off it’s insatiable appetite for consumption of goods, services, food etc. So I think it’s how we provide these with minimal impact on the planet.

What will this breakthrough demand from us as a society?

Sorry in advance…but to be fussy. I truly believe we as individuals have so much power and we often don’t even realize it. But by being fussy about the brands we support, what we eat, what we put on our skin, how we get to work, even what we post on Instagram…the world will listen! Consumers have the power, brands have the responsibility. Together let’s do this.

What is your company’s most impactful contribution to fight climate change?

We’re giving single-use plastic the 🖕, starting with a refillable deodorant. In just a couples of months we’ve prevented over 12,000 single-use plastic deodorants from ever existing and have also funded the collection of over 4 tonnes of ocean bound plastic. But our biggest impact I believe is making living sustainably super easy and desirable. It’s only by creating solutions with mass appeal that we can create mass change.

In your industry, what do you think will be the most groundbreaking change over the next 10 years?

A new material development that can replace plastic. The problem with plastic isn't how bad it is, it’s how good it is. It’s cheap, strong, flexible and easy to work with. We need to find a material that’s as good functionally but better environmentally.

Which brand (in general) do you think is at the forefront when it comes to sustainability?

Oooo so many I admire and follow. A couple that spring to mind Patagonia and Haeckels. Go check them out.

What makes you climate positive about the future?

Seeing sustainability crossing over into the mainstream. From vegan meats and refills in supermarkets, Attenborough on Instagram (and then leaving it in style) and EVERYONE knowing the name Greta. Oh also the fact that Trump is gone…for now.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

well done if you made it this far and stay fussy 💪

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