WeCare is the third startup featured on The Greener Path, a WAYA original series sponsored by Royal Herbs highlighting eco-friendly startups in Egypt.
Plastic covers the stalls in major supermarket chains in Egypt, leaving those looking for less polluting options at a loss. Dunia Al Masry was one such person until she took matters into her own hands when she founded WeCare.
WeCare provides sustainable alternatives to plastic products such as wrapping materials, plastic bags, plastic cutlery, and more. The startup started selling products online at the beginning of 2020. Today, WeCare provides sustainable products to supermarket chains like HyperMarket and is present in smaller local shops like El Market. However, penetrating the supermarket industry was not an easy process. Al Masry tells WAYA that there is a lengthy and harsh bureaucratic system for new producers entering the retail market.
It all started when AlMasry became committed to changing her habits. She felt she was using “too much” plastic to pack her children’s lunch every day and was adamant to change this. She explains how she founded WeCare: “Whenever I would go to the supermarket on the shelves there were always the plastic options, there wasn’t an alternative, so when I wanted to quit plastic, there was no substitute offered for us in Egypt. That’s when I thought, why not be the start and offer this alternative. And that’s when WeCare started.”
AlMasry cites her role as a mother, her educational background in biology, and her interest in environmental issues as reasons behind establishing WeCare. She started with the product that bothered her most, plastic bags, and started to manufacture paper bags. Finding manufacturers took lots of research. The most challenging aspect of the process at the beginning was dealing with manufacturers because bulk quantities are often prioritized. Though this is no longer a problem for the startup.
After the launch, AlMasry quickly found that many were like her, wanting to change their habits but unable to due to a lack of options in the market. The startup is growing quickly but school closures, a result of the pandemic, is causing a decrease in orders. Despite this Almasry is intent on growing WeCare.
“We are looking forward to having more distribution channels in Egypt and in Cairo, Alexandria and other governorates. We are looking forward to exporting our products to the Gulf, we are working on that currently,” WeCare’s founder tells WAYA.
AlMasry says, “Swapping to paper or any biodegradable or eco-friendly material or product is a green step because the material in itself is coming from nature and goes back to nature; it doesn’t cause any harm to the environment.” The company is continuing to add new products to its portfolio, with the aim to radically decrease consumers’ single-use plastic intake and consequently, its waste too.
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