Wave was founded by three friends in late 2019 and started trading in 2020. Growing up in Hartlepool, we have seen first-hand the devastating effects plastic pollution has had, and is having upon our oceans. We decided that we needed to take action, which is why we created Wave. Our first product, Wave Case, was designed as a stylish yet biodegradable phone case made from wheat straw – which is a unique solution to tackling the millions of plastic phone cases that are disposed of every year. 

As a business, we have been fortunate enough to be able to adapt and see positive growth throughout the pandemic. A month ago I moved into the business full-time and we are hoping our remaining two co-founders are not far behind me. However, one of the challenges we have faced is positioning ourselves as a sustainable business.

Initially, when we had the idea of starting the business, we scoured the internet trying to find a way of manufacturing biodegradable cases in the UK. However, it quickly became obvious that these types of products are produced in Asia, namely China, unless you had significant capital available to create the tooling required for the injection moulding process or had money to invest in the research and development stage of the materials. 

As we didn’t have this level of investment available, we decided using an existing manufacturer was the most cost-effective way to test the products in the market, provide proof of concept for the business but also begin our journey on sustainability.

We recognised that sourcing cases from outside of the UK meant we would be increasing our carbon footprint. In order to overcome this, we invested in offsetting the CO2 produced from shipping orders through Climate Partner. In addition to this, we have taken the first steps in bringing production to the UK, which will allow us to have full control over the supply chain.

One of the difficulties this raised is how we manage the expectations of customers and how we present that this is a journey for us as a business, rather than being able to be perfect from the beginning. Thankfully, due to the support we’ve had over the past 18 months, we are in a position to explore how we produce the cases in the UK and begin testing new materials that come to the market.

You can find out more about Wave here and keep up to date with their journey!

Ross Longhorn