A neighbor to some of Egypt’s most skilled craftsmen, Drumstick finds home in Old Cairo’s Darb1718, where it creates sustainable solutions for single-use plastics. These solutions are catered mostly to supermarkets such as Seoudi and Metro and other players in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) arena.
In such a “fast” and cut-throat market, Drumstick’s founder and CEO Sherine Abdel-Rassoul is struggling with her small team to sustain both the environment and her business. From grocery tote bags to beeswax wraps, competing with plastic is no child’s play.
“We want to keep our prices as low as possible because it is a huge challenge to compete with the price of plastic. We want to give our suppliers their true efforts. We want to make just enough money to sustain ourselves. To balance all these things in this type of economy, you’ll end up spending more than getting in, because the whole economy is geared to taking.”Sherine Abdel-Rassoul, CEO, Drumstick
Between 2000 and 2004, Abdel Rassoul worked for Greenpeace as the media coordinator in Lebanon. After hustling through another four years in G Mag as the Editor in Chief, it wasn’t until 2019 that the environmental activist within finally kicked in.
Launched in 2010, Drumstick started off as a product design company providing off-the-shelf solutions for the houses and tiles mostly for rental houses. Based out of different Egyptian schools of design, Abdel-Rassoul made tile stickers, socket covers, furniture items… products that are just meant to patch up a rental in a nice way.
Her business was going well. Drumstick exported to Japan, Morocco, UAE and Lebanon. Then, in 2019, it really hit her that what she’s been working on for almost a decade is so trivial compared to the real problems surrounding the world.
Inspired by her work in Greenpeace, finally, Abdel-Rassoul focused solely on making environmental solutions. So, since May 2019 Drumstick has been create alternatives that are affordable, sustainable, eco-friendly and local, for single-use plastic.
“Solutions Will Come from The Global South”
Abdel-Rassoul is a firm believer that societies of the Global South are used to recycling as a concept way before the green movement started in other western civilizations that are wired to buy rather than reuse a jar of jam.
“We feel that the most sustainable solutions for single-use plastics is really going to come from the Global South, since it’s closer to these practices by nature. Due to either poverty, big families, or lack of resources, we tend to reuse by nature. We tend to use stuff that has been used 50 and 70 years ago.” Sherine Abdel-Rassoul, CEO, Drumstick
In Abdel-Rassoul’s opinion, all the Global South needs is communication between dying crafts and artists and a balanced financial equation. Exactly that is what the entrepreneur is trying to do with Drumstick.
Respecting one’s industrial capacity is key. Drumstick’s product designs try to be in harmony with Egypt’s limited resources in terms of machinery and skillset. The designers have think beyond their art boards and imagine the outcome. For example, they try to make their designs not so sharp so they don’t channel their resources in the opposite direction of their mission.
“We’re trying to work either with old industries or old craftsmen that we have here in Egypt to create a sustainable solution for businesses particularly.”Sherine Abdel-Rassoul, CEO, Drumstick
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