Bead the Change offers a range of bracelets made out of recycled plastic and glass bottles that support Ocean Cleanup, Animal Rights, Humanitarian Aid and Climate Change organisations. Bead The Change Founder Ryan Roller was backpacking in an African village, inspired by the unique and beautiful recycled glass beads made by local bead-makers, he decided he wanted to “be the change” by starting his own sustainable business. We caught up with Ryan to hear about his “ah-ha” moment and how he’s planning to save the environment, one bead at a a time!
Backpacking To Recycled Plastic Start Up
Q. Tell us a bit about the aha moment, when you first came up with the idea for Bead The Change?
During a backpacking trip about five years ago, I got to see the world from a new perspective. I knew I wanted to become an increasingly active part in raising awareness for crucial environmental causes.
Reflecting on the matter afterward, I began to think of a common link that I’d noticed in two places vastly separated by geography—beads. In Southeastern Asia Buddhist temples, I was gifted to receive beaded bracelets blessed by the resident monks. In a village in Ghana, I got to observe jewelers transforming old glass into beautiful and unique beads.
The 100% recycled bracelets that emerged and became Bead the Change feel like a poignant symbol for the global scope of the environmental issues that I want us to address.
Q. What are your goals for the company?
My overarching goal is to make a difference in both awareness of large environmental topics and to use Bead the Change to support causes and practices that will lead to a better future. I firmly believe that if we all work together, we can change the world. That’s why I talk about, “saving the environment, one bead at a time.”"I firmly believe that if we all work together, we can change the world." – Ryan, Founder of Bead The Change Click To Tweet
One such aspect of our own sustainability commitment that’s very important to me is the origin of our bracelets. Not only are they are made entirely from recycled water bottles, we’re also able to support the work of the artisans in Ghana who produce them with fair wages and working conditions.
On Saving The Environment
Q. Can you tell us a little about the causes you support? How do you choose them?
I also knew that the causes would need to be closely linked to organizations that would make good use of the proceeds we donate. Bead The Change has gotten to work with some amazing organizations. Just to name a couple, I’m excited to work with Carbon Fund in fighting climate change through the reduction of CO2 emissions and The Ocean Cleanup, which is focused on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Looking To The Future
Q. Do you have any other exciting beaded products in the pipeline?
I’ll be a little secretive here—you’ll have to keep an ear out for our next announcement! But I will say that you can expect more colourful bracelets in the future, each supporting the Earth and its inhabitants in a different way.
Bead The Change is a fabulous example of how everyday waste can be turned into beautiful products that support the wellbeing of the planet. How something as simple as taking recycled plastic bottles to create desirable jewellery, can help to support communities, artisans and the wider world. Special thank you to Ryan for sharing his uplifting story. To keep up with all the latest eco-accessories, head over to the Bead The Change website.