After raising $42,000 to crowd fund her bamboo pad company, Aussie designer Roslyn Campbell is taking her sanitary social enterprise to the world.
Roslyn Campbell is a Melbourne-based designer and social activist. In 2014 she achieved what many small businesses, let alone social enterprises, only dream of. Roz raised $42,000 on Pozible to launch Tsuno, a sustainable and socially responsible sanitary product range.
On the eco front, Tsuno pads are made from sustainable bamboo and corn fibre, and wrapped in biodegradable plastic sleeves. They’re also free from chlorine and dioxin bleach, common ingredients in mainstream brands. Kind to the environment and our bodies, Tsuno is also kind to women in developing countries, donating 50% of all profits to the International Women’s Development Agency.
Before Roz heads off on a 5 month business mission overseas, we caught up with her to chat Tsuno and travel.
Tell us a little about you. Where are you from, where are you going, what do you do for work and play, and what’s your favourite flavour of ice cream?
A I’m Roz, I’m 29 years old, I grew up in a small country town in New South Wales called Narrandera, right now I live in Melbourne and run my social enterprise Tsuno from here. Tsuno sells sustainable bamboo fibre sanitary pads and donates 50% of the profits back to charities that are helping empower women living in poverty.
Ice cream wise, mint choc chip is my good old go-to flavour, there’s no risk of disappointment.
Why do you travel?
A Travelling to a different place is fascinating, I love being challenged, I love the visual stimulation, I love new things, foods, people, climates, animals, plants, music, fashion. I also really love the time when you return home from a trip and have a new found appreciation for home. That is often one of the best things to come from a trip away, for me.
Is travel a big part of your job, or do you make time for it outside of your career?
A I’m trying to get to a stage where I can travel and take my work with me. I love the idea of being flexible about my physical location, and still having the business running smoothly. This year I have two trade fairs booked in the UK and Asia, I’m trying for world sanitary pad domination! Any other travel I have done in the last two years of running Tsuno I have still been working, but maybe not as much as usual.
I can definitely attribute travelling to one of the reasons why I decided to start my business, not only because I wanted location independence and flexibility, but because I have visited places where I’ve seen first hand what issues are affecting people living in poverty, and it definitely helped motivate me to use my time and resources available here to help.
What’s your go-to travel hack?
A I’m probably not that travel savvy, but after numerous trips where I regret lugging half my wardrobe around with me, I try to keep luggage to carry on only. It saves so much time and back pain!
Got any gear you can’t travel without?
A A pair of thongs! (the shoe variety)
What are the top 3 destinations left on your bucket list?
A Columbia, The Great Barrier Reef and kayaking in the Fjords of Norway.
Where would you go back to?
A Japan, so happily! I’ve been twice and I love that place so much.
What do you do to stay healthy when you travel?
A I make sure I have all the proper immunisations before I go. I also try to avoid eating meat and if in a country where the water isn’t safe to drink, be really careful about brushing teeth/drinking from bottled/boiled water only.
How do you stay safe when you’re travelling?
A I use my common sense.
What’s the best way to experience a destination like a local?
A It’s really great to get a guide. Recently in Vietnam some friends and I hired a local guy with a motorbike to take us out for the day and he took us to all his favourite local spots to eat and see, answered all my annoying questions about his life and I learnt so much and felt like the experience was so much more than what I would have had if I’d just followed a guide book.
What’s your favourite word in another language?
A Bajskorv- it means poo sausage in Swedish and was a nickname someone gave me when I lived in Finland for a 12 month youth exchange program.
How has travel changed in your lifetime and how will it change over the next 25 years?
A The internet! There are so many possibilities to connect with people on the other side of the world now who may have similar interests, there’s couch surfing, AirBnB, Tinder and hundreds more ways of connecting to strangers in any given place. I think it’s great but it’s also probably affecting that spontaneous accidental discovery that can happen when you go to a place you’ve never been before. When I was on my youth exchange in 2003, the only contact I really had with my family and friends back home was email, or really expensive phone calls. Now I could have them video call me whilst I’m hiking on a mountain if I wanted to. I think sometimes it’s nice to not be so connected all the time.
I hope travel keeps on getting more and more affordable and accessible to people all over the world in the next 25 years, I am in a very fortunate position and believe being able to travel so freely has shaped my opinions on life and how to be empathetic to other people and the situations they face.
When and where are you next travelling?
A I am heading to the UK for an organic and natural products trade fair next month to try and find European distribution for Tsuno! Then I’m going to trial the working away from home thing for a few months in Portugal and Spain and then visiting a factory in Slovenia, along with some white water rafting on their beautiful rivers. I haven’t been to any of these places before so am really excited!