Sustainability & Spring Cleaning with Gabrielle Mandel
Gabrielle Mandel, the founder of the stylish and sustainably-minded home goods brand Supra Endura, sits down with us to talk about life as a small business owner, eco-friendly kitchen products, and more.
Tell us a little about yourself and your journey to becoming the founder of Supra Endura!
My background is in fashion design and after working in the fashion and home design industry for over a decade, I wanted to start my own line. I loved making products but I wanted to make something that was sustainable, reusable, and a great vehicle for my artwork.
What does a typical day look like for you as you balance designing, running a business, creating your podcast, and more?
I hear this a lot from other small business owners but every day is different. Depending on the time of the year I may be really concentrating on designing, preparing for a big tradeshow, or doing production and inventory. Each week is different but I love all the different aspects of my business; I learn so much and it helps me better understand what’s best for my brand.
Why did you create Swedish Dishcloths? What benefits can they have for homes and the environment?
I had heard of Swedish dishcloths years ago and started to use them personally. I think they’re one of the best eco-friendly cleaning products out there. They replace both sponges and paper towels, and they can last for up to a year. They work really well on cleaning all types of surfaces and, unlike sponges, they don't smell! I use them to clean my kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, and if they get really dirty I just throw them in the washing machine. They’re also made from natural ingredients and are 100% compostable.
These were actually some of the first products we launched when we decided to pivot our business and focus on sustainable home products. I wanted to pivot the brand to focus on sustainable home items that replaced single-use paper and plastic, and I loved beeswax wraps for this reason.
Do you have any other tips for making the kitchen a more sustainable place?
I think one way you can make your kitchen more sustainable is by really planning your meals and being aware of what you have in your kitchen because food waste is such a big part of waste. If you plan your meals, use all your ingredients, and are mindful of what waste your food creates, it can make a big difference. It’ll also help you buy in bulk which can cut down on the number of grocery trips you have to make. Other ways to be more sustainable include composting your food waste, recycling, using less single-use products, being aware of your energy consumption, and using appliances/products that save energy.
What does your spring cleaning routine look like?
My spring cleaning involves trying to mindfully get rid of items I don't need by donating them, and doing a deep clean of all surfaces. To me, spring cleaning is about taking stock of what I have and, if I’m getting any new things for the season, thinking about what they are and how they benefit my life.
What impact do you hope Supra Endura has in the world, especially for future generations?
This feels like a big question!
Sometimes it feels hard to think of Supra Endura's impact when there are so many larger things going on in the world but I strive to make great products that people want to have in their homes because they’re both stylish and helpful.
I also work with large and local non-profits that are focused on environmental and social justice issues. Supra Endura donates 8% of net profits to these causes but I also try to raise awareness about their social missions on my platforms. I think true environmental reform will come from a governmental and corporate level and I personally try and help organizations working towards this.
Other than that, as a small business owner, I try and share what I’ve learned with others and help them on their way to creating their own small businesses!