In this podcast episode, Kat and Phoebe discuss sustainability in the bedding industry and the benefits of using bamboo as a more sustainable alternative to traditional materials. They also talk about their company’s commitment to being a B Corp and practicing conscious attitudes in various aspects of their business, including their supply chain transparency and focus on environmental causes. TKat and Phoebe emphasize the importance of using sustainable materials and processes in the textile industry to reduce its impact on the environment. They also discuss challenges and solutions in educating consumers about sustainable products and managing influencer relationships. Finally, Sebastian, Kat and Phoebe highlight the importance of conscious leadership in promoting sustainability and ethical practices in business.

LISTEN to this pod right here by clicking play or choose your favorite listening platform below. You can also WATCH the video podcast below that! Check out the show notes at the bottom to get more details about the contents of this episode. Enjoy!

Show notes as a general guide below. Somewhat in order and not written in perfect grammar because we want you to actually listen to the show!

Show Time Stamps:

  • Introduction [00:00:00]
  • Oh Shit and Hell Yeah Moments [00:00:15]
  • Environmental Impact of Textile Industry [00:02:07]
  • Benefits of Bamboo [00:03:49]
  • Bamboo as a sustainable alternative [00:06:15]
  • Process of turning bamboo into fabric [00:07:04]
  • Benefits of bamboo fiber [00:09:32]
  • Challenges of being a mission-driven entrepreneur [00:11:09]
  • B Corp and Conscious Attitude [00:13:05]
  • Supply Chain Transparency [00:14:31]
  • Textile Industry Rankings [00:15:13]
  • Becoming a Mission-Driven Business Leader [00:17:27]
  • Challenges of Being a Conscious Leader [00:18:16]
  • Mission-driven companies [00:18:45]
  • Shift towards sustainability [00:21:05]
  • Challenges in educating consumers [00:22:32]
  • 30-night free trial [00:24:04]
  • Selling on Amazon [00:25:01]
  • Unique product strategy [00:26:04]
  • Affiliate and influencer program [00:27:05]
  • Substitution box partners [00:28:10]
  • Managing affiliate relationships [00:29:34]
  • Influencer relationships [00:30:33]
  • Corporate Gifting Program [00:31:17]
  • Traits of a Conscious Leader [00:32:54]

Check out  Ettitude
Connect with Phoebe Yu on Instagram
Connect with Kat Dey on Instagram
Connect with Sebastian on Instagram

Below is a transcript of the video podcast created by Seb’s Robot buddy, Zekton. He tends to make mistakes so please forgive him if you find errors or some funky sounding sentences. For the real deal, watch the video or click on your favorite audio Podcast platform above! Enjoy!

Sebastian Naum (00:00:05) -Welcome to the show guys, cat. Phoebe,

Kat Dey (00:00:13) – Thanks for having us.

Phoebe Yu(00:00:14) – Thanks Manas.

Sebastian Naum (00:00:15) – Absolutely excited to talk to you guys about all think sustainability. It’s very inspiring what you guys are doing. You guys have a, a beautiful, beautiful company that we’re gonna get into and talk about. But first I like to ask a couple of questions. So, um, Kat, I wanna ask you, what was your last, oh shit moment? What is the first thing that comes to mind when I say your last Oh shit moment.

Kat Dey (00:00:34) – Oh shit moment. Oh God. probably getting into a car accident. . Yeah, so I’m actually from New York and I was not a good driver because I’d never owned a car in New York City. I lived in New York for 22 years and I moved to LA about five years ago. And yeah, I just didn’t have enough practice and they got into an accident and totaled the car. Nobody was hurt, . Oh my God. But yeah.

Sebastian Naum (00:00:59) – Was that was what

Kat Dey (00:01:00) – You said? Uh, no, it’s been a few years now, but I would say that was my main Oh shit moment. Your

Sebastian Naum (00:01:06) – Main, okay. Well, I’m glad you’re okay, .

Kat Dey (00:01:08) – Yeah. Thank you.

Sebastian Naum (00:01:09) – Yeah. Phoebe, what was your last hell ya moment, your most recent time that you were like, hell yeah.

Phoebe Yu(00:01:16) – Oh, a hell yeah. Moment.

Sebastian Naum (00:01:18) – I had to switch it up on you.

Phoebe Yu(00:01:20) – Ah,

Sebastian Naum (00:01:20) – You were ready for the, oh, shit, huh?

Phoebe Yu(00:01:22) – Yeah. Well, I

Kat Dey (00:01:23) – Think it’s .

Phoebe Yu(00:01:26) – I think, um, recently we, we, we went to Paris, uh, uh, um, to, for a trade show, and we visit our VMs had, uh, had headquarter, and we see a lot of bamboo planted in there, I say, yeah, hell yeah. .

Sebastian Naum (00:01:39) – Awesome. I love that. That’s really cool. Yeah. Guys, when, um, when most consumers think about certain industries, uh, that can be more damaging to the environment, there’s these sort of classic industries that people think about, like the oil industry or just the regular use of plastic and things like that. But I don’t think most consumers are thinking about bedding and sheets and things like that as being something that’s really damaging to the environment. W why is that the case?

Phoebe Yu(00:02:07) – Because of the textiles used? So I think, I think a lot of people already know the fashion industry is the number two most polluting industry, but that’s because how they, you know, process their textiles, right? They use a lot of, um, first start from conventional cotton that was used, a lot of chemicals, uh, fertilizer, pesticides for grow it. And then in the process, a lot of, um, textile also use harmful chemical for the processing, like the visco, uh, or polyester, um, uh, textiles. Then again, if they don’t do proper waste water managing, that’s all go to the environment and it’s damaging for the workers making those textiles. Uh, but sometimes people forget, home textile is using a lot of textile too. Uh, you, you use five to six meters, uh, textile for a set of queen size bedsheets. So that’s a lot of impact. So if people do not, you know, watch what, what’s, what’s, what is the materials used to make their bedding, that that could also cause a lot of, uh, damage to the environment as well.

Sebastian Naum (00:03:10) – Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I, I was actually, when I watched the True Cost documentary, uh, several years ago, that was the first time I realized actually how bad the clothing industry was in textiles. Were in general mm-hmm. mm-hmm. . Um, and, and honestly even then, I just didn’t really think about putting two and two together. You just think about clothes, you think about how much more clothes we buy mm-hmm. . Um, and so just, it’s not something I think about with bedding, but really when you’re right, I mean, it’s got a lot more and, you know, feet and meters and things like that. And at the end of the day, it’s still a massive industry. So it’s got a, a major, major footprint. Um, so how, why is the harvesting of bamboo better than the harvesting of other trees, for example?

Phoebe Yu(00:03:49) – Uh, so bamboo is a weed, it’s not a tree. So, so it, it is very efficient, uh, a yield the most fiber per acre than any other plant, uh, on the planet. Well, at least on the surface, there are also jam in the sea. But, uh, if you plant, uh, in soil, it gives you the most yield of fiber. So it’s super efficient and it’s grow faster, and you pretty much can harvest it in the second year and the tree, you have to wait three, three to seven years. Yeah. And of course, cutting down trees, it’s, it’s, you are cutting down forest, right? Uh, unless that forest is been also responsibly managed, but still, like bamboo is way more efficient. It use less water to grow. It mainly rely on rainwater. It can grow in a, a lot of climate. You can see in, in a desert, you, you can see that even in palm Spring, um, people start growing Africa, or if there’s more rainwater, it just grow abundantly. Well, tree require more land, also more water, um, just more source to, to, to manage trees.

Sebastian Naum (00:04:46) – Yeah.

Kat Dey (00:04:47) – Simple. But there’s also there, I mean, that’s, that sounds already amazing. There’s, there are a couple of other benefits to bamboo. Um, the first one is it’s better at sequestering carbon than trees. Uh, up to 10 times more really depends on the species of bamboo, but up to 10 x of co2, uh, absorption. And then the second part is that it is, uh, can

Sebastian Naum (00:05:06) – You, can you explain that a little bit more there, Kat?

Kat Dey (00:05:09) – Actually, Phoebe, maybe you know more about why it absorbs more carbon. Uh, maybe, well, possibly

Phoebe Yu(00:05:14) – It’s cause of gross rate. It’s gross. Faster

Kat Dey (00:05:16) – Gross rate. Yeah.

Phoebe Yu(00:05:17) – More, more carbon from the aol, because when the plants grow, it’s actually carbon and water and stuff. Right. And then, then with sunshine, so, so basically it’s turned that, um, into the sued in the plants itself, or going back to the roots. Yeah.

Sebastian Naum (00:05:34) – So essentially the more trees, plants, uh, flo and fauna that we have, um, flora, not fauna, but more flora, we have, you know, the more carbon it’s absorbing mm-hmm. . Got it. So by absolutely so And so then by having more bamboo, because it essentially, it can be as a weed, it’s actually helping that carbon

Kat Dey (00:05:52) – Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And it can grow. And a lot of lands where nothing else can grow. That’s another amazing part about it. And it regenerates the land. So as phoebus saying it can grow even in a desert. So in areas where nothing else can grow or the land is depleted from agriculture that was destructive to it, or there’s a flood, or, you know, other issues with the land, they can plant bamboo.

Sebastian Naum (00:06:15) – That’s fascinating. So, and Kat, how I’m just thinking about bamboo is like one of the strongest, you know, trees out there. I mean, it’s not a tree, it’s a weed. I just learned that mm-hmm. . Um, but it is so incredibly strong and it’s just mind blowing to me that actually have, I have all kinds of little ti bamboo, uh,

Kat Dey (00:06:35) – Have props, ,

Sebastian Naum (00:06:38) – But, um, yeah. And it’s just, I just can’t imagine like, how do you get, how do you go from bamboo to incredibly soft sheets? And by the way, a shout out because, um, I do have the attitude sheets, and they’re incredible. They’re, they’re amazing and they’re so soft. And I’m a total snob when it comes to sheets. I love just loving life when I get into my bed and I, I do with attitude. So how do you get from bamboo to incredibly soft sheets? What is that process?

Phoebe Yu(00:07:04) – Yeah. Well, so that’s why technology coming into play, innovation coming into play. But it’s kind of similar to how to turn a tree into, uh, fiber and, and textile these days. Have you heard, I think a lot of people start to get familiar with, uh, tinsel, which is a tree made textile. So it’s a similar process, but we, uh, we use the raw input is bamboo. So basically you use an organic solvent to dissolve the bamboo pulp. So first the bamboo is harvested and crushed and, and, and, uh, mechanical aid into like a, a pulp, um, sheets, almost like the way before you’re making that into paper. Um, and then put that in a closed loop, uh, production process that use organic solvent to dissolve it and get the fiber out of it, which is the, uh, the, the cloud cell out of it. And use a we spa technology to kind of get that into a very fine fiber. And in the whole process, the organic solvent and also the water is recycled within the system. So that’s why it’s, so we call it clean bamboo because it’s no harmful chemicals. Okay. And also we recycled water up to 200 times. So the, the end textile, you know, have tons of water saving compared to a lot of other, like discos or made, or even tinsel, um, and way better than cotton.

Kat Dey (00:08:15) – Uh, yeah. So, I mean, I was really equally shocked when I first experienced attitude fabric five years ago by how soft it really was. Which, you know, is it, how do you make that up in your brain? Like, okay, bamboo is super hard. You know, they, they use it for all sorts of things, even for building buildings, uh, in Asia. So how do you turn that into something so soft? And that’s really by extracting the fiber from the bamboo stalk. And this Phoebe mentioned using a completely organic, non-toxic solvent to turn it into what looks like a cotton ball, essentially. And then that fiber is what has these incredible properties compared to many other fibers in, in that are used in textiles. So it is way softer. It is actually better at moisture wicking, it is better at breathability, and it’s more durable than a lot of the fibers that are used in textiles, like cotton, uh, like, uh, tensile, uh, which is made from eucalyptus trees. So it’s got these incredible benefits even at the fiber stage, which then we turn into yarn, and then it gets woven or knitted into different types of fabrics for various applications. But it really starts at the fiber.

Sebastian Naum (00:09:32) – Yeah. I mean, I feel like I would need to watch at least five, uh, videos on, uh, you know, like an, like either motion graphics or engineering videos to really understand how that works. But is the, is what’s causing it to be more breathable? Is it the fact that, um, is it the fa is it the part of the process is the fact that you’re not using harmful com chemicals Yeah. And things like that. It, it is. So, so then why are other companies, why do most use harmful, harmful chemicals? Why, why is that the

Phoebe Yu(00:10:01) – Case? Because, well, they are using the older technology, like the first generation at the Visco, um, that start of 20, 30 years ago, at the time this, this technology was not there. So all they know is using harmful chemicals to process it. Yes, the hand of the textile similar, but there’s all this like, uh, polluting, damaging. But at that time, I think regulation sal looser or consumers not pressing, so like using harmful chemical is okay. Right now it’s not okay. Because like, even cotton, okay, you better use organic cotton. You, you know, yeah. Your, your beauty products, you know, better has no harmful for chemicals, no, this or that, right? So I just think as the consumer demand, as the regulation catch up as technology cap catch up, so things get better, better. The second generation model, it’s a little bit better, but still not. So the, this third generation tax, uh, technology is really the cleanest on the market right now. And also it, it retains the bamboo, you know, natural property a bit better. So we also result in a higher performance, um, fiber. So sometimes doing the right thing to use processing more sustainable. It’s not just good for environment, but actually have a better fiber than make better products.

Sebastian Naum (00:11:09) – Yeah. That’s, that’s fascinating. You know, one, one thing, one thing that I find with mission-driven entrepreneurs or founders is that a challenge that they may run into, especially in the beginning and said they’re trying to do everything right. They’re trying to do all the sustainable things on every aspect of the assembly line from beginning to finish. They’re trying to help every cause. They’re trying to do all the good things and all the, all the, all the give backs and things like that. How, as a mission driven, uh, founder and entrepreneur and co-founders, how do you, how do you find that? What do you find is the most important metric to focus on? Knowing, at least in my opinion, that it’s virtually impossible to run a profitable business, and therefore if you can’t run a profitable business, then there’s no mission mission there anymore. Right? So if you’re a mission driven business, you still have to be profitable. What do you find is the most important metric to focus on?

Kat Dey (00:12:02) – I think ultimately for us, it’s the amount of CO2 saved, water saved, and toxic chemicals avoided. Uh, and it really starts with a textile. And that’s our key innovation. And then I think we did experience something what, you know, similar to what you described, where as a company, our team was passionate about multiple causes, but then we decided to really focus on the environment. And so we became climate neutral, uh, member of 1% for the planet, which enabled our team to actually focus all of our donation efforts, uh, because via 1% for the planet, we can choose multiple organizations that still fit that environmental focus. Yeah. Uh, but they might have different, um, different mini missions. Um, so that was really great to just focus the brand message and also focus our teams attention. Um, and then we also became a B Corp, and that really helped Yeah. To streamline our entire, uh, processes and gave us a framework on what we need to focus on.

Sebastian Naum (00:13:05) – Yeah. Congratulations on that. Love that you guys are a B Corp, and I know it takes a lot, and there’s a lot of different ways that, you know, companies can become B corpse, but you need to be doing a lot of things, right? Mm-hmm. . And so what other aspects of the business do you guys, uh, find that you practice with a, uh, purpose-driven or conscious attitude in terms of perhaps the teams or your providers or anything else like that?

Phoebe Yu(00:13:30) – Yeah, the team. So we have, we have an internal, um, grassroots driven, like d EI committee, uh, kind of, um, so we think it’s important. Um, so every month we might do some little education. Like, uh, we, we have actually one come today, have today or tomorrow we have a lunch, learn about, um, uh, a charity. We, we had worked with, uh, I think they grow seaweed farm to also use that to Quin, uh, carbon. Um, so we do those kind of educational, uh, staff internally was team, team driven. I think we’ll also organize a beach, a cleaning day soon, um, during that month. Um, what else? Kat

Kat Dey (00:14:10) – Suppliers. Yeah. Everybody that signed, you know, they go through a really strict vetting processes and also make sure to sign a code of conduct. Uh, we have a lot of suppliers, uh, all across the world. And, you know, as part of the B Corp process, we really needed to button all of that up.

Phoebe Yu(00:14:26) – Mm-hmm. .

Sebastian Naum (00:14:27) – Yeah. That’s awesome. I love that. Yeah. And it just becomes, go ahead.

Phoebe Yu(00:14:31) – Oh, sorry. So we, it might be a jogger. We have TF five, uh, supply chain transparency, which is like the golden, you know, standards. A lot of, uh, big fashion brands probably only had tier two, one and two. That’s about it. There’s like, who’s the cut and salt? But they don’t know where the, the finished fabric come from, where the yarn from. Yeah. We have the tier one. We can trace that to where, uh, the farm grows. The, oo, we have all, all this kind of, uh, it’s all traceable and, and transparent supply

Sebastian Naum (00:14:59) – Chain. That’s amazing. Is there a, is there a website or an app or something where people can go check of companies what tier they are?

Phoebe Yu(00:15:06) – Uh, that I’m not sure, but we are soon release our 2022 impact report so that, yeah. We’ll also be put there.

Sebastian Naum (00:15:13) – I love that.

Phoebe Yu(00:15:13) – I think a lot of consumer might not understand that terminology. Right? Right. But you work with other big textile brands, they understand well, you have TF five. That’s, that’s, that’s really good .

Sebastian Naum (00:15:23) – That’s why I ask, that’s why I ask, because, um, yeah. I mean, there’s a couple of apps that I, that I use, um, the, just see if a, a brand is a lot, some of them are in term, the, um, ewg, I think you guys have probably heard of that one. Mm-hmm. . Um, but that one has all kinds of things in, in regards to ingredients when it comes to beauty products and just basically anything you put on your skin or shampoo or deodorant. Um, and so I love checking that. And it gives you a skill from zero to 10 of how harmful it is and even, and if it is harmful, is it an allergy thing or is it a cancer based thing or whatever. Right. So I love that. Um, and there’s one that’s called Good on You that’s supposedly frequent.

Phoebe Yu(00:15:58) – Yeah. Yeah. We are on that too. Yeah.

Sebastian Naum (00:16:00) – Got it. Yeah. Yeah. I love that. So I feel like we need these better resources for consumers to understand and find out. So especially when you said something like that, you know, with, you guys are tier five when it comes to transparency in terms of a textiles and material, that’s so important. I, I think

Phoebe Yu(00:16:14) – I, I think one place you can check is the KBI hot button report. So it’s kind of ranking, uh, all those textile company about, uh, you know, where, where they’re textile that the plant come from. There’s a ranking there, so we canopy Yeah, yeah, the canopy. So it’s, it’s a, it’s a famous, a lot of the, the fashion brand, uh, is listed on there, so we can check that

Kat Dey (00:16:36) – On that. I think that’s useful for people who are looking at where the textile is coming from. If you’re just looking for like, specific brands and get their rating or grade, uh,, just release their fossil free fashion scorecard ranking, uh, the most influential fashion companies on their efforts. Uh, so it’s, it’s amazing. Uh, you can just, that’s really cool. Click on that. And they’re literally giving them a grade. Is it an F minus or are they getting an A plus? Nobody get a, there’s nobody in a plus the best grade was a B minus,

Phoebe Yu(00:17:11) – B minus. So, so work to do. That’s, that’s

Sebastian Naum (00:17:14) – Good. Stand earth. That’s cool. That’s really cool. Phoebe, have you always been a mission driven business leader, or is this something that came across later in life? Because perhaps you weren’t mission driven in the beginning, for example.

Phoebe Yu(00:17:27) – No, I, I wasn’t mission driven in the beginning. I think it’s come later after I moved to Australia, then I started before I lived back in, in Shanghai, China. In those early days, we don’t know about the climate change. I, you don’t know what you don’t know. So it’s like, life is life. I, I, I have a business make, make good cash, fine. I moved to Australia. I said, oh, well, this, this is, this is serious. I, I, I don’t know, know about it. And then, I mean, earth is our only home. And also I work with, um, sustainable Living Foundation as they’re like, uh, volunteer for, for, for years. So definitely see the passion from other people, and then kind of, that’s, that’s really, that’s suited deal that, okay, I only wanna work on sustainable products, because otherwise it’s just wrong If you know it’s bad and you make it, I I just can’t, can’t live ab

Sebastian Naum (00:18:16) – Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Kat, as the president of a mission-driven business, you, you have to be a conscious leader. I think it’s really tough to be a leader of a mission-driven business without being a conscious leader. Otherwise, there’s like this sort of internal dissonance or just, it’s just not gonna last long. Do you feel that on the day-to day, it could be tough to be a conscious leader? Do you have reminders that you remind yourself of, sort of, of the mission in order to be that type of leader?

Kat Dey (00:18:45) – I don’t think I need reminders, because like Phoebe m is extremely passionate about the cause . Um, I’m a, I’m a parent. I have two young children, so I really care about the planet and making sure that it’s habitable for the next generation. Yeah. And I’ve always been, uh, well, I would say for the last 15 years I’ve been focused on mission driven companies, um, not necessarily in sustainability before I was really a wellness and health perspective mission mm-hmm. , uh, as well as just a, you know, global tolerance mission, uh, for my first company, which was all about all natural products from around the world being delivered to your doorstep. And, um, prior to that, I spent about four years in strategy at Weight Watchers, where it was all about the mission of helping people live healthier lives with better diet choices. So I noticed how passionate the entire team was, because the mission was so strong and people really saw the impact they were creating in the customers, right. They were literally changing people’s lives. And so since that experience, I realized that I only want to either build or work for companies that have a strong mission, because it’s so much more, uh, rewarding to work in an organization like that. So then when I met Phoebe and realized what an amazing technology we have, um, I knew this was the company that I wanted to scale and, and, um, make a bigger impact in the textile world.

Sebastian Naum (00:20:12) – Yeah, I love that. You know, it’s interesting. I think, uh, in a way too, it’s gotta be easier when everybody in the company, when your entire team is just as passionate about the mission. You, you trust everyone else more. Yeah. And people are, they go, they go to work every day with that mission in mind too, as opposed to the mission, just being, making more profit, um, for the shareholders, for example, which is the traditional form of capitalism,

Kat Dey (00:20:36) – , . Yes. It’s unfortunate. And that, and that’s the thing, like I think everybody understands that this, in order for us to make a positive impact on the world, our company also needs to be sustainable and profitable and needs to continue to live and to grow mm-hmm. . And so those missions are not, you know, in conflict. They’re actually working together and people come to work very energized, and, you know, they have a motivation here to, to really do something good.

Sebastian Naum (00:21:05) – I love that everybody’s gotta be on board with a mission. It just, it keeps driving it forward. The profits go up, the more the impact on the environment and in the world is also there to go along. So it, it’s really just the, the best formula. And I think that it is the future of business. I mean, it’s already here. Absolutely. But we’re so far from it. And, and I think it’s gonna be, I think that’s a way for us to save a lot of, you know, issues or, you know, help, you know, uh, curve. A lot of the, the problems that we have on, on the, on this planet. If, if the majority of businesses go that way, we’re just gonna create so many solutions.

Kat Dey (00:21:39) – Yeah. Yeah. I think there’s a, a real shift. I mean, I’m, I’m noticing it, uh, especially in fashion. Uh, people are starting to pay attention to the textiles that they’re using. There’s a real, uh, interest and demand, and also regulations coming down that are mm-hmm. , you know, mandating brands to start using more sustainable materials. But, and consumers are becoming a lot more aware, and they’re starting to ask their, you know, their brands to be more transparent, to start using better materials, reduce their amount of plastic, uh, both in the textiles and also in the packaging. You know, people are starting to really look for sustainable products all across the board.

Sebastian Naum (00:22:19) – Yeah. You mentioned the consumers there. Do you find, what is the biggest challenge in educating consumers about, you know, in order to be conscious consumers, particularly in your industry? Do you find that there’s a challenge? There is a lot of what you’re doing, educating?

Kat Dey (00:22:32) – I think, yes, we do spend a good amount of time, including this kind of podcast. I think it’s a really important way of educating, uh, consumers. But in general, I think people are, they would prefer to make the right choice, right? It’s mm-hmm. , if it costs the same and it’s performs better, you might as well buy the one that is sustainable and better for the planet as well.

Phoebe Yu(00:22:54) – . Yeah. But I think one challenge is, uh, with predominantly well online business, and then the textile is very, you know, hand feel. So even the image is beautiful, looks like area and drippy. You have, you sleep on sheets, you then you goes, oh, wow. So it, it does take it to be actually into people’s hands then. Okay. I get it. It’s not just a simple, it’s really a good, um, you know, betting, um, but online kind of just use visual, you know? Uh, it’s difficult to kind of make that

Sebastian Naum (00:23:24) – Sense. Yeah, yeah. With something that you have to feel. Absolutely. You know, and I think that consumers, for the most part, they’ve learned or they under, they have an understanding that better for the planet or sustainable, or even if it’s organic or some sort of consumable is always going to be more expensive. That’s kind of the, the understanding, right? Mm-hmm. , I think, think that, that, that’s a little bit of a challenge there as well. I think when it comes to food or consumables, well, there’s always the argument of, well, how much are you gonna spend on your health later on in life anyways, right? Mm-hmm. . So you may as well spend the money now and, and feel good and, and do good. Right. Um, in terms of something like this where you said you have to feel it, that’s definitely gotta be a challenging thing, right? Um, there’s

Kat Dey (00:24:04) – Also, yeah, that’s why we actually introduced a 30 night free trial, right? Uh, even five years ago, people were like, wow, this is so amazing. Like, you just need people to try it and feel it. And so we introduced this trial and we have an extremely low return rate, uh, so you can return the sheets for any reason after sleeping on them, uh, within 30 nights, and virtually nobody returns because they just fall in love with them and they can’t sleep on cotton anymore. It’s like, feels like sandpaper in comparison to attitudes, clean bamboo. So, yeah. Yeah. That, that sleep trial really helps.

Sebastian Naum (00:24:37) – Yeah. That, that love that you’re really just putting your money, you know, where your mouth is and just mm-hmm. trusting the product. Um, guys, have you had any, um, any founders co-leading disagreements recently? And how were you able to solve a disagreement? How do you go about that as leading the company? Because disagreements always come up, so there’s gotta be something that comes up. And how do you go about it? How do you approach it?

Kat Dey (00:25:01) – I would say it’s, they’re not disagreements, they’re more discussions. Yeah. It’s a good question for us at the moment is, uh, should we sell attitude on Amazon, for example? Hmm mm-hmm. , we’ve always stayed away from Amazon because of, it’s not on brand at all for attitude. It’s not a sustainable company. It’s really literally destroying the world, but , um, at the same time, if we want to make a bigger impact and reach more customers who are, you know, 50% of American consumers are on Amazon, um, can we, can we reconcile that? And, you know, for example, if we had the climate friendly pledge, that would really help attitudes stand out for when people are looking for the category. Let’s say they’re looking for bedsheets right now, we’re not on it and we’re not letting these customers, we’re not educating these customers if there is a better option for them. Mm-hmm. , so that is one of the questions we had internally. Like, what do we do about this? Do we wanna be on Amazon or not?

Sebastian Naum (00:25:59) – Yeah. Can I give you my opinion on that?

Kat Dey (00:26:02) – Yeah. Love your opinion.

Sebastian Naum (00:26:04) – Mm-hmm. , when you have something that’s unique enough, right, to where people are willing to go off Amazon to buy it and go through the pudding of the credit card and the address and all that stuff. Because part of the reason we buy on Amazon, it’s so easy, right? It’s already all there and it’s fast in the shipping and all that stuff. Mm-hmm. . So if, if a product is super unique and it’s so incredibly popular, then you really don’t need to be on Amazon at all. That may not be the case for you guys where you are very, very unique, but perhaps you don’t have the popularity that you would desire to where people are just directly searching for attitude, right? Mm-hmm. , I think you, in my opinion, the best strategy is you wanna make a larger impact. You want more people to find out about it. You go to, to Amazon with just one sku. You go with just one sku, with one color, with one type of sizing or whatever. You get a ton of reviews on there, you get people to absolutely love it. Oh, but I really want the moss green. Well gotta go to the website for the moss green. And so that’s my opinion, the best strategy when it comes to, are

Kat Dey (00:26:58) – You guys Yeah. We’re, we, we’re pretty much aligned with the,

Phoebe Yu(00:27:01) – Well, that’s kinda

Sebastian Naum (00:27:02) – What,

Phoebe Yu(00:27:03) – Perfect. Yeah.

Sebastian Naum (00:27:05) – Great. I’m happy to do that. Um, well guys, do you guys have, um, an amazing affiliate and influencer program? When you go to the website, there’s a landing page on there for all kinds of partners or affiliates and things like that mm-hmm. , if there’s a young entrepreneur or somebody that’s just starting out with a mission-driven, purpose-driven company, is there something in particular, uh, of advice or tip that you would give ’em in terms of fast or scalable growth on e-commerce and just seeing what you guys are doing was one of those strategies or campaigns that really helped you just really shoot up?

Kat Dey (00:27:35) – Yeah, I would say affiliate is a really strong, uh, channel for us. Uh, when people like the product and you’re incentivizing them through the program, yeah, it makes sense that they will promote a better product, uh, versus something else out there. And I think for us, it’s been an incredibly profitable channel as well, uh, versus something like Facebook or Google, which is a lot more expensive, typically Uhhuh . So we’ve really scaled up our affiliate in the last couple of years, and yeah, it represents 20% of our revenue at this point, and we think we can get it to 30%.

Sebastian Naum (00:28:08) – That’s amazing.

Phoebe Yu(00:28:10) – I think we have very early days in like 20 18, 20 19 when we just grow into the US market. We partner with a lot of substitution box partners that also helps, like, you know, it’s kind of a gross hacking at that time. You don’t see bating brands in some, it’s more food or cosmetic like sampling. But we realize yeah, that the, the, the few of the fabric matters. So how you kind of deliver to tens of thousands consumers in a scalable, cheaper way. They can at least, like we, we can, including a pillowcase or I mask, so with, have our branding, have, have some a card, explain what attitudes has discount card. We even make small profit on that. Uh, on that. We never give products for free. So we worked with like fun cos box, Allens like the kind box. So of course has to be kind of the, the audience is aligned. So, so that actually helped with us to kind of get our brand brand name out of it. So, um,

Sebastian Naum (00:29:06) – That’s really cool. Yeah. Wouldn’t

Phoebe Yu(00:29:08) – Have thought we book books. Yeah. Then we work with a lot of subs books, um, in that two years, which, which actually really helped marketing, I think.

Sebastian Naum (00:29:15) – Mm-hmm. . That’s really cool. Yeah. That’s really unique idea. I like that. And when it came to the affiliates, is this something where you guys had to go out and create a lot of, in like scaling individual relationships or were you guys using particular tools that were helping that, or were you actually getting them through the a through the social ads or something like that?

Kat Dey (00:29:34) – Um, we actually work with agencies to help us manage these relationships because it is a lot of relationships and our internal team is really small. So we have worked with multiple agencies for the affiliate channel and, uh, we do use tools as well. Like we use Rakuten, um, at the moment to manage the actual, you know, payment process. Yeah. Uh, there are so many tools out there. Uh, definitely, you know, check out all of them and see what’s the right fit. I think it just depends on the stage of the company, what would make the most sense, but also how many, uh, publishers are on that platform. There are some platforms that have more than others, and there could be relevant for your geography as well and for your type of business. Yeah.

Phoebe Yu(00:30:17) – Yeah. There’s also impact. There’s P Jam. Yeah. There’s a, a couple platform.

Sebastian Naum (00:30:22) – Yeah. Really cool. I love that. Because then you get real users, real humans who are passionate about the brand, who love the product that are going out and talking about you mm-hmm. . So it’s just, it’s just really a great way to scale through social.

Kat Dey (00:30:33) – Yeah. And so, I mean, it’s interesting because there’s, there’s U G C and there’s like affiliate and in some way, like there’s influencer and there’s affiliate mm-hmm. , and there’re actually different platforms to manage those. And some platforms I think do both. Um, right. For us, we’ve actually done all influencer in-house and we’re essentially just managing those relationships directly, really with the content creators and influencers. Um, because we’ve found that it, we would create a longer term relationship that way, uh, versus working through an agency and making it very transactional. We really wanna make sure that there’s a relationship with the content creator.

Sebastian Naum (00:31:11) – Love that. Yeah. You want ’em to become brand ambassadors ultimately. Right, exactly. Long term. Yeah. Yeah.

Phoebe Yu(00:31:17) – And recently we also just launched our corporate gifting program, you know, because we just back from shop top Comfort, so many swags, but a lot of them are not sustainable on the same thing. Another more notebook, another water bottle,

Sebastian Naum (00:31:29) – Uh, another the swag industry. Wild,

Phoebe Yu(00:31:32) – You know, but they’re, they’re good brands like the YAI stuff or Pentagon Swag, that, that’s good. So I think, oh, why, why cannot, like eye mask, right. Or pillow case or even robes, that’s all good. Corporate gifting, which is so nice to have. And it’s also sustainable. So we actually just wrote up that. Um, yeah, so really?

Kat Dey (00:31:52) – Yeah. So it’s a little different versus that, you know, another notebook. Yeah, yeah.

Phoebe Yu(00:31:58) – People. Oh, I so, so nice. Especially after conference, you are, go back, uh, you, you kind of feel tired on your flight back if you already use the, the, the Ima. We also have a vegan cashier, uh, throat blanket we just launched, and that’s super lux. It’s also great, like more for like, there’s a company you knows looking at, they use that for their speaker gifts. So that’s a new program. So again, I think it’s a help to get the word out there. If people get that gift, they, oh, attitude. It’s nice. Let me check it out. You know?

Sebastian Naum (00:32:27) – Yeah. Amazing. I love that you just got me. I mean, I just went fullen just spa mode inside my brain. When you said, when you said the robe, I didn’t realize you guys had a robe Yeah. Sheets. And then I thought about the robe and I was like, Ugh, I just wanna go relax after this podcast. I don’t even want to go

Kat Dey (00:32:43) – ,

Sebastian Naum (00:32:43) – . I love it. That’s really cool, guys. We’ll, I’ll let you guys go on this last question. Um, Phoebe, I’ll ask you first, uh, what are two traits that a conscious leader must embody?

Phoebe Yu(00:32:54) – Oh, Brazilian. Definitely. Because, yeah, two, two to, again, as I said, to to balance the, the have a profitable sustainable business and also incorporate all this sustainable practice, uh, you, you need to have resilient because it’s a lot of work. Yeah.

Sebastian Naum (00:33:13) – Any one, one other,

Phoebe Yu(00:33:15) – Uh, um, curious or innovative because like you, you have to use technology, solve things. So right now, people don’t know how to think about this. AI thumb feel threatened, thumb feel, okay. Mm-hmm. , it’s, it’s a new way to do things. I think we are entrepreneur may, may use to look at it more positively, like, okay, how you utilize to bring efficiency, but in, but how to mitigate the risk at the same time, but instead, oh, this is some new thing. It’s dangerous. Um,

Sebastian Naum (00:33:44) – Yeah, that’s, yeah, that, I love that you brought in that aspect of AI too and just cuz there’s so much going on with that and it’s, you know, it’s, some of it is super scary, but it’s how are you gonna utilize this tool for the best, for the better? Just like any tool and any innovation, right? So mm-hmm. . Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Kat,

Kat Dey (00:34:02) – Same question.

Sebastian Naum (00:34:03) – So yeah, to just, what are you top two traits that you believe a conscious leader must embody today?

Kat Dey (00:34:08) – Well, I think first is passionate. Uh, so being a leader, I think what you really need to do is have a strong vision and that’s how you get people to help you out. And especially as an early stage startup founder, oftentimes you’re, you getting people to do work for you way below market rate or sometimes for free. So it’s really about being passionate and convincing and a good person. I think people wanna help people who are nice, , so be a nice person and people will help you out. Uh, that would say, that’s number one. So passion and nice. And then, um, the second one is, I would say a huge networker. Mm-hmm. . So being a network is really helpful as an entrepreneur because you’re trying to get word across, you know, trying to get word out about your mission, about your, whatever you’re doing, about your project, about your business. And you need a ton of people to help you out. And you never know who those people will be. And we’re literally connected to everyone in the world within six degrees. So you can get to whoever you need to get to just by talking to a lot of people.

Sebastian Naum (00:35:15) – Absolutely. I love it. Well, I love you guys’ mission. I love you guys’ product. It’s a wonderful product. So keep doing what you’re doing, keep being conscious leaders and thank you for what you’re doing. Thanks for being on guys.

Kat Dey (00:35:26) – Thank you.

Phoebe Yu(00:35:27) – Thank you. Thank you for help, help, you know, spread word out, you

Kat Dey (00:35:32) – Know. Yeah. Thank you. I

Sebastian Naum (00:35:33) – Appreciate that, Phoebe. Thank you. Thanks Kat. Thanks K.