In 2014, Phoebe Yu wanted to shift consumer culture towards more ethnically sustainable habits, so she created an environmentally-focused homewares brand. She called it ‘ettitude’.
Just four years later, Yu shipped her company from Melbourne to LA, where she now employs more than 10 people. A year later, the company marked a significant increase in revenue from the previous year, and set up a retail store in LA, which Yu hopes to expand to New York and Melbourne.
In the last week, Yu’s company closed a AUD $2.54 million (USD $1.6M) seed round in the United States.
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Yu started the business in 2014 after years of working in textile and homewares sourcing and logistics and realizing that consumers were yearning for products that are environmentally friendly and personally comfortable.
“There is a growing desire among customers to really live their values,” she said in a press release. “With ettitude, we definitely live and breathe the understanding that we all want to live better, more comfortable lives while protecting and caring for the planet.”
The latest funding announcement shows an increasing global demand for sustainably-made bamboo textile products and organic, vegan bedding. The textiles are sourced from a factory in Zhejiang in China and made using a combination of non-toxic solvents within a closed-loop system that recycles water.
“Since we began, the number one thing our customers have responded to is the quality and touch-feel of our signature textile,” she said. “It’s got but is easier to care for and cruelty-free, not to mention being a far more sustainable option than other bedding textiles on the market.”
Last September, she told Insider Retail Australia that younger generations are hungry for ethical, eco-friendly products
“I think the trend is shifting that way, especially the younger generation like millennials and Generation Z,” she said. “People have children and they’re aware that if we don’t do something about climate change or use our shopping power to make a shift and hold companies and brands accountable, one day, there won’t be anywhere for us to live. But we also have to be aware that there are some companies that are greenwashing and pretending to do their due diligence to check on their supply chain.”
Working in the textile and manufacturing sector enlightened the entrepreneur to the damaging environmental impacts of traditional cotton products and inspired her to offer more sustainable, high-quality and affordable alternatives to traditional lifestyle and homeware.
Ettitude’s co-founder and President Kat Dey, a ‘serial’ entrepreneur and one of EY’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women who teamed up with Yu when she moved over to LA, believes the company’s success rests on the shifting consumer demands of eco-friendly products.
“The investment allows us to drive new innovative ways we can all more easily adopt an eco-attitude—where comfort and quality is not compromised by a commitment to conscious living,” she said.
The company relies on a unique direct-to-consumer model for all its products, which are made entirely of organic bamboo lyocell fabric – a world first.