Tippy Tippens was horrified by the BP oil spill, so she moved from Brooklyn to New Orleans to launch The Bird Project, under the company "Matter, Design for Social Change”— Louisiana’s very first B-Corporation. Her first product was a biodiesel bird-shaped soap with 50 percent of all proceeds going to environmental cleanup and care for affected animals through the Gulf Restoration Network & International Bird Rescue.
Previously a designer with Kohler, Tippens went from designing high-end faucets to merging entrepreneurship and social change. Each soap contains a white, ceramic bird, handmade by Tippens from Louisiana Clay.
“From this project, we have donated close to $20,000 and found our formula for moving forward with Matter, Inc. – innovative, beautiful, sustainable lifestyle products at the intersection of waste reduction, green technology, and progress for our most important social needs,” Tippens says.
This year Matter, Inc., is coming out with Full Circle Soaps, a suite of biodiesel glycerin soaps that are created using fryer oil waste from French Quarter restaurants and hotels. Full Circle Soaps will expand to a full body care line and household detergents, to be sold by brick and mortar retailers, hotels, and online. Tippens hopes to partner with five restaurants or hotels, and to distribute Full Circle Soaps to ten local retail stores before the 2013 holiday season.
“Our goal is to create a scalable, repeatable model that can be exported to other food centric cities to reproduce waste oil/biodiesel/glycerin loop in their hotels and restaurants,” Tippens says. “This product suite will create multiple jobs initially and as products scale, new job positions would also grow concurrently with production, fulfillment, and distribution.”
2013 will be a busy year for Matter, with Full Circle at the center and five new consumer products set to launch, including a focus on increasing literacy, reducing gun violence, and Hurricane Sandy relief. Matter is actively seeking investment to grow the business, aiming to become a 1M company in 2014, Tippens says.
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