Founder and CEO of sustainable pet brand Project Blu, Geryn Evans, talks to Jane about building a responsible brand, valuing businesses, and the risks an entrepreneur might undertake when they have attractive intellectual property.

Project Blu is revolutionising the pet accessories space by taking pollutant materials such as ocean bound plastics, fishing nets and recycled clothes and turning them into high quality pet products. Geryn prides his company on how it has genuinely disrupted the pet furnishings market by using recycled materials, and avoiding fabrics with a high carbon footprint.

Geryn studied economics and business at A level, which he saw as “a great foundation” for his business management course at the University of Bath. Then, after leaving a large US consultancy firm and joining the family business, Geryn developed his interest in product design but became disheartened by what he saw as “a race to the bottom in quality”. After forming Ralph & Co, which supplied dog beds to leading retailers, he became aware of the growing movement around sustainability, and that there were a lot of problems in the industry that no one was addressing.

In December 2019 Geryn was inspired by Adidas and their work in creating shoes from ocean plastic, and thought that he could apply a similar principle to the pet industry. In fact, he already had a relationship with a supplier to Adidas in Spain, and so it was only a short two weeks from the idea’s conception to having a fabric sample in his hand. 

He then decided to create a new brand, and formed Project Blu with a core focus on sustainability which was launched in May 2018. The company was then accepted to an accelerator programme in Los Angeles in February 2020. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic caused some disruption, with production in Italy halting all revenue for three months. 

Geryn discusses the risks of business with Jane, discussing how being a smaller company allows you to move much faster than other bigger competitors. He also talks about the silver linings of the pandemic for the industry, including the rise in direct-to-consumer purchases, and gives his advice for young entrepreneurs. 

Jane and Geryn discuss the key traits of successful entrepreneurs, approaches to risk, and how to be a self-starter. If you’re interested in other success stories involving the monetization of plastic waste, listen to Grow Your Own Career Episode 31, where Jane talks to David Katz of the Plastic Bank.

Watch the interview on Youtube.

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Geryn Evans

Sustainable entrepreneur. Focused on revolutionising the pet and home markets with innovative and eco-friendly designs.

Project Blu
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