Welcome to Phaser Friday!
Featuring: Gage Mruz
Founder & CEO of Greenstain
More About Gage + Greenstain
Tell us about your business!
“Greenstain is an eco-friendly apparel brand whose sole mission is to actively reverse climate change and redefine culture to be environmentally conscious, establishing eco-friendly alternatives as the norm. We do this by utilizing industry leading eco-materials (such as recycled plastic bottles) and certified partners across our supply chains to create the highest quality and most sustainable clothes possible.
To take it a step further, we also fund carbon offset projects which take double the carbon emissions produced from each product out of the atmosphere.
Why does sustainability matter with apparel brands? Most people are unaware that the Fashion + Textiles industry is one of the largest polluting industries in the world, responsible for roughly 10% of annual global carbon emissions and nearly 20% of all wastewater created. That’s more carbon released into our atmosphere than all international flights and waterborne shipping combined.
Who else is doing sustainable clothing? In one example, Forbes referenced a McKinsey study showing that only 1% of new products introduced in the first half of 2019 were tagged ‘sustainable’ among mass-market apparel brands and retailers, even after a fivefold increase in the number of sustainable products introduced in the previous two years.
For most apparel brands, it’s business as usual creating clothes using standard materials with negative environmental impacts in factories overseas with cheap labor and low-quality working conditions. Greenstain flips the usual way of making clothes upside down and creates a business model that tackles one of our world’s biggest problems, climate change.
When choosing Greenstain over our competitors, you’re actually taking carbon out of the atmosphere and beginning to reverse climate change by purchasing our products. In addition, our environmental impact throughout the creation of our products is far better for the environment than traditional materials and supply chains seen in most every brand today.”
Where is your company based out of?
Greenstain is based out of Lincoln, NE.
What inspired you to start your own business?
“During my second year of undergrad at the University of Nebraska, I experienced an immense amount of self-discovery that ultimately pointed towards starting a business with the primary goal of making the biggest impact possible on our planet. After becoming involved with a variety of environmental organizations and jobs at the University, I found myself in New Zealand for 11 weeks working as a Technical Intern for the New Zealand Green Building Council. My goal with working in New Zealand was to gain as many fresh perspectives as possible with tackling climate change and after reflecting on my experience there during the 21+ hour plane ride back to the United States, I had the idea for Greenstain.”
Does Greenstain have a website?!
Yes! You can check us out here.
What advice would you give to other small businesses?
“It’s essential that you obtain a very clear understanding of your ‘WHY’ for starting a business or continuing on with an existing business you created. Whenever you reach any form of resistance or don’t feel motivated to show up, point back to your WHY and remember why you decided to do this in the first place. This shit takes time and getting comfortable with the fact that you’re not going to be an overnight success.
Try and analyze every aspect of your business and ask yourself, is this providing value? If not, get rid of it or pivot in a direction that will provide value. Businesses have the potential to be incredibly powerful and do a lot of good in the world, whether it’s in your local community or on a scale that spans across the entire world. Do good, provide value, and success will find you.”
How do Luke & Gage know each other?
Luke’s wife, Olivia, met Gage when she was studying for her undergrad at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (GBR!!!). They became great friends all throughout college! Luke would travel down from Mankato, MN and got to meet Gage a few years back. They hit it off and would always love getting together with friends in Lincoln and have a good time. Gage would give Luke advice on how to start a business and that’s when Phaser Marketing was born in 2019! They still get together often and love to talk business, have a couple beers, and solve the world’s problems.