Plastic Free Spotlight: Earth Warrior

Not sure what happens to old textiles? Well, if Earth Warrior’s founder, Katrina, gets a hold of it, your old t-shirt may just end up as a brand new lifestyle item. Earth Warrior re-purposes old textiles waste into new everyday items in a zero waste studio, a label not many businesses can hold for themselves. Creating useful new products helps divert textiles from the landfill, fulfilling Katrina’s desire to live in harmony with the planet. In her words, “I stand for what I stand on.” Plastic-Free YYC interviewed Katrina to find out more about her brand and motives to live a sustainable life.

Earth Warrior
Location: Majesty and Friends (Edmonton)
Instagram: @EarthWarrior_lifestyle

Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself, your products and how your company came about? 

Hello! My name is Katrina, and I am the Founder of Earth Warrior. I started out with creating a zero waste clothing line (Dixie Clothing) in 2013. Over the years I have been slowly integrating zero waste lifestyle products into the mix. I found the new lifestyle items I was creating did not mesh well being combined with Dixie Clothing, so in January 2019 Earth Warrior was launched to represent my Lifestyle brand. All the products are made in a zero waste studio from recycled or 100% organic materials. The products are all made to replace single use items to help reduce waste in everyone’s homes.

What is your biggest driver for being sustainable?

The biggest drive for me is nature. I grew up on an acreage and love the outdoors. I am creating a brand that allows people to live in harmony with nature through everyday life. We live on a beautiful planet and it is important to respect our home and not deplete all its beautiful resources. 

How would you differentiate your products from other sustainable alternatives? What sets them apart?

All of our products are made in a zero waste studio, as of now not too many companies can say this. Majority of reusable products are still being made from newly sourced synthetic materials, which means more fossil fuels are being used to make these “sustainable” products.  Our reusable produce bags, tote bags, and make up wipes are all made from 100% recycled textiles. We collect used textiles, sanitize them and give them new life. This also aids in diverting more textiles from building up in our landfills. For some of our other products, such as our unpaper towel, and nut milk bags we use 100% organic textiles. This way when the item’s life is over you can cut up and throw it in the compost.

What is one thing you have done at your company to drive sustainability that other businesses could replicate as best practice?

We have established a zero waste studio, and I believe every company could replicate a zero waste system to work with their daily work. 

What have you done outside of work to live a more sustainable life?

I support local food growers, I replaced single use plastics with reusable options,  I pick garbage on my walks and I enjoy planting trees.

Which sustainable action or change you’ve made in your life are you most proud of?

Creating a 100% zero waste studio space is one of my favorite sustainable accomplishments. Going into work everyday is that much sweeter knowing that I am making a small difference

What is your “guilty” habit that just isn’t very sustainable? How do you plan to change it if you could?

I love ice cream and it really isn’t the most sustainable guilty pleasure. I have been trying to replace it with dairy free ice creams (which are delicious) but I still cave and get an ice cream from a little shop on hot days.

In one phrase, what does sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability is the journey to live in harmony with this Earth and all the creatures on it without destroying the beauty all around us. 

Can you provide three top tips for others trying to lead more sustainable lives and reduce their waste?

Tip 1: My number one tip is to  start with baby steps, remember this is a journey, changing wasteful habits don’t happen overnight. so don’t be too hard on yourself when you forget your reusable bag. At least you are consciously aware and that is a great step in the right direction. 

Tip 2: Actions speak louder than words. Don’t just tell people how they need to become more sustainable, show them.

Tip 3: Recycling should be the last option to use when reducing waste. Start by reducing the plastic covered items you purchase. Remember to bring your own containers or bags and buy from bulk sections. Then when there is no other option, Recycle. 

Bonus: Share the love – Which businesses besides your wonderful company would you recommend to help people reduce their waste?

We love Like Grandpa; they make men’s grooming products. They have worked really hard at reducing their waste and have teamed up with their retailers to give their customers refill stations!  How cool is that!! It is a little more common to find women’s products at refilleries, and they are the first to bring men’s grooming to the zero waste level!