Sustainability Takes Center Stage at Alumni Hosted Valentines Day Shop
On Thursday, Feb. 9, in the Curry Student center, students gathered to support Northeastern-owned businesses, many of which focused around sustainability. The Market popup was hosted by the Northeastern Alumni Network and featured 14 businesses, including Lochtree, Rooted Living, Kaolin Beauty, and more.
The goal of the Market was to help support Northeastern-owned businesses; sustainability was simply a bonus. Evidently, many Northeastern alumna and students are passionate about sustainability and have incorporated it into their businesses.
Students walked the corridor between tables and perused the goods for sale. One of the biggest attractions was the Lochtree table which had sustainable hygiene products, kitchen needs and more.
Founder Henry Palmer originally graduated from Trinity College with a Philosophy degree in 2006 then went to the Northeastern D’Amore-McKim School of Business for his MBA in 2020. Lochtree was founded in 2019 with the goal of making sustainable living accessible for all.
“I think given choices, people will also choose to try and reduce waste, try and reduce their impact, but we have to make it easier for people,” Palmer said.
Lochtree works with brands dedicated to eco-friendly products, packaging, and design. Some of their popular items are reusable cotton makeup wipes, UNPASTE zero waste toothpaste tabs in compostable packaging, Bee’s Wrap reusable food covers and zero waste deoderant. Lochtree not only sells sustainable goods, it also partners with organizations working to make the world a better place. Drawing from his own rowing background, Palmer is passionate about water and has partnered with OffGridBox and the Rosalia Project which both work to make clean water accessible for all.
Palmer understands that not everyone can commit to being zero waste or completely sustainable all the time, he said he supports people who are “sustainable-ish.”
“I’d rather 100 people make 1 change than 1 person make 100 changes,” Palmer said.
Robbie Mathus of Hot Date KItchen was also at the Market. He makes chocolate-covered dates with sunflower butter. Students could sample 1 of 2 flavors, the hot dates and the coffee dates. After graduating from Northeastern in 2016 and working at a startup, Mathus decided to make something out of his passion for cooking and founded Hot Dates Kitchen. His products are plant-based, gluten-free, handmade and have no preservatives, GMO, artificial colors or flavors or palm oil. They are carbon neutral and are working to make their packaging compostable.
“There’s a perception that if food tastes good it’s bad in some other way, “Mathus said. “The goal is to make something ridiculously delicious but also felt good in all these other ways, environmentally, sustainably, ethically.
Not all products were food based or kitchen based. Tyler Farley of Better than belts had his table with beanies, keychains, t shirts, stickers, and of course suspenders. He started his business in in 2019 after graduating from Northeastern and found himself looking for versatile suspenders that can be worn for any occasion, by any gender. He works with a factory in New York and takes scarps from production and creates key chains to help reduce waste. His beanies are also 50% hemp and 50% organic cotton. Better than Belts prioritizes American manufacturing and making durable goods that will last.
For students looking for more clothing items, they could stop by the Positive Paper Company table ran by founder Amy Gregorek. She has scarves, beanies, scrunchies, cards and art all made with organic material. She dyes her fabric using food scraps and has a compost share where she takes compost items and uses them for dye before composting them for good. All of the art and paper products are handmade recycled paper. In the winter she uses snow to dye the textiles which not only conserves water but also creates a unique pattern. Gregorek works in alumni relations and helped organize the event.
Other businesses include Benswic Cares, a self-care packaging company founded by Northeastern senior Bryana Smith-Marshall, Rooted living snacking company founded by student Rachel Domb, Made by Sarah Candle Company and Black owned Bos.
Written by Renée Abbott, February 17th, 2023