Jeni Saeyang

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Finalist 2015 for Asia-Pacific

Jeni Saeyang

Eco&More, CHINA
Manufactures and sells plant-based, biodegradable home and personal care products made in China.
Jeni Saeyang was raised in Australia, America and Sweden but when she returned to China, the country of her birth, after 30 years abroad she was alarmed by the scale of environmental issues in the country, which led her to launch eco&more.
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High water risks
The lack of sewage services and waste water treatment systems in China, even in large cities such as Shanghai, leads to severe pollution. Jeni saw how polluted water affects people and the aquatic ecosystem. “When I first returned to China, I discovered that most laundry machines are hooked up to the rain water system. Therefore if you are using commercial laundry detergent with petrochemicals, all the chemicals will end up in the river, be eaten by fish and brought back into our life cycle.”
Avoiding chemicals
To avoid discharging chemicals into the water, Eco&More created a range of plant-based, ecologically sustainable body care and home care products. The company claims to be China’s first ecological brand to manufacture and produce cosmetics locally. Reducing carbon footprint is a deep concern for Eco&More, even if the brand has to override Chinese consumers’ distrust. “Consumers have very little trust in locally made products and often prefer imports. If we can show everyone that we can make good quality ecological products, maybe one day we can change the consumers’ mind to support local businesses and to reduce our carbon footprint.”
70% to 80%
“Most cleaning products we use contain 70% to 80% of water. When importing a product, we are in fact transporting the packaging – which is mostly made in China and then shipped overseas – as well as foreign distilled water. The carbon footprint is huge.”
“Last year, we were contacted by PETA to inform us that Eco&More would be invited to be one of the first brands in China to have the official PETA rabbit logo on our products.”
Entrepreneur
Jeni was an architect prior to launching her business with no experience in the cosmetics sector. She decided to spend a year on research to develop her products. Jeni hopes to raise awareness on environmental issues through Eco&More. The company holds workshops on a monthly basis where people can talk about sustainability issues and learn how to make their own products like lip-gloss or soy candles. “I do believe we have made a huge impact through our community work and education partnerships with local schools.”