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Owner Zuzanna of LEKKO life goods, who goes by Zu, is a maker of minimalist staples that aid in living a more intentional and low-waste life. She wants to fill homes with items she loves and that she often needs.

As a new business owner, Zu is exploring the replacement of single-use things with lasting good quality items. When you stop seeing everything as disposable and think of where it will end up after you use it, there are new problems and solutions which can shape your lifestyle. There’s tremendous value in the resources and workmanship that goes into her objects, encouraging others to choose quality over quantity.

Zu studied urban planning in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, an education that restructured many of the perspectives she grew up with as a suburban kid. Focusing on the holistic meaning of sustainability as a combination of environment, people, and the economy, opened her eyes to decision making for the good of the community. After graduation, she moved to Europe for a couple of years. Taking just one suitcase with her and a set timeline for life abroad, everything she acquired had to have a specific function or be something that she absolutely couldn’t live without, either because of utility or intrinsic value, or both.

Her travels and experiences including a visit to Arizona had her head spinning, when the stark contrast between the beauty of nature and the abundance of disposable plastic on the trails in Sedona.

“Hiking along, I saw tourists with chip bags, single-use water bottles, and packaged snacks, who were seemingly oblivious to how we can’t continue to have both pristine natural areas and a disposable economy. Here I was, practically having a spiritual experience here, and I couldn’t help but notice overflowing garbage bins along the trail, filled with juice boxes and bottles.”

As she moved towards more reusable options and a do-it-yourself lifestyle, a product range naturally appeared, out of her own trials and solutions she had along the way. Zu says that it all started from baking her own bread and needing a sustainable solution for storage, which has led to a collection that encompasses zero-waste essentials on the go, in the kitchen, and in the bathroom. Her goal is to share some of her other passions like gardening and slow fashion to the mix, allowing her ideas to grow organically as they mature and harvest when fully developed.

While she personally enjoys the challenge of low-waste living, it’s the thought of others wellbeing that makes it worthwhile.

“When you aren’t busy with mindless consuming more and more, you can focus on people, experiences, and moments. Then you are free to find your true self, liberated from trends and fuelled by an appreciation of workmanship and values. When you put others as a priority during the decision making process, it’s intuitive and easy to choose local, natural, and reusable.”

With her children’s future at the forefront of her attention to sustainability and compassion, she loves that they will grow up with a mindset that many of us had to learn. But she hates to think that past generations have caused damages to the environment that will alter how future generations get to experience this world.

However, there have been lots of wins throughout Zu’s journey with LEKKO life goods. Many of them she narrows down to two factors: the kindness of others and the importance of courage.

“There are so many wonderful people who want me to succeed and have helped me along the way, from introducing me to new retailers, sharing suppliers, inviting me to markets and more. The eco-conscious industry is unique in that we all want to have success for one another because that means that we are together working towards a common goal: healthier communities sharing a healthier planet.”

Zu’s finding it incredible how forcing herself out of her comfort zone and inviting others to share in the journey can actually yield real results, from sales to collaborations and other exciting opportunities.

Of course there were challenges and Zu says that they continue to pop up all the time, from little hiccups like ordering with suppliers or running out of labels, to larger hurdles like tackling child care whilst being the sole-maker. It required research and a lot of trial and error in the product development and production process. Through it all, Zu remains focused but can potentially see a struggle between scaling and maintaining the personal touch that the brand now carries.

“When you make decisions that benefit the environment, you benefit everyone. Issues like pollution, and reckless consumption of resources affect the whole of our community, and I’m hoping that with the awareness that is growing around mindfulness, a “less is more” ethos, and environmentalism, it can create real change that will send ripples world-wide.”

For now, Zu cherishes the relationships she has with the small shops owners, fellow makers, and influencers in this space.

“We work together to make this a lifestyle worth craving; an appealing way of life that prioritizes practicality, ethical production, and environmental sustainability while at once beautiful and freeing.”

© 2021 Merrymen.

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