Earth Collective’s ‘Interviews with the Collective’ series is a collection of interviews with likeminded souls from around the globe, who are working towards a better future for the planet and people in it. This week, we hear from Erin Lindwall, Founder of premium Japanese Green Tea brand, Matcha Yu Tea.
What was your catalyst to diving into the world of sustainability?
I remember participating in Clean Up Australia Day as a child with my mum so I guess I was always aware that cleaning up rubbish was the right thing to do, regardless of whether it was yours or not.
I have a great love of the ocean, spending many a holiday in a camper-van at beach-side caravan parks, so I naturally grew up wanting to protect what I loved. I got most active in beach clean ups when I joined Sea Shepherd as a volunteer and then went on to be the Marine Debris Co-ordinator for Melbourne. This meant we would lead volunteers and members of the public in doing regular beach clean ups around Port Phillip Bay. It was also a great opportunity to educate and also contribute to change by appearing in Parliament to support a Greens bill to eliminate single use plastic in Victoria.
Tell us about your business journey so far.
I’ve been running Matcha Yu Tea for three years now and it’s been a very enjoyable journey! It stemmed from my love of Japan and passion for drinking Matcha that I developed after living in Japan and travelling there many times. In the last few years, I have been part of many Japanese Festivals and the Melbourne Tea Festival here. I have also been growing the business online, learning all things e-commerce – social media, advertising, SEO, e-newsletters you name it! Wearing all the hats (including the hair net when packing tea!).
What has been your proudest achievement to date for Matcha Yu Tea?
One of my most satisfying moments was visiting Japan at tea harvest time in 2019 to learn more about the process and meet the tea pickers and family behind the tea farm. It gives me much pride to share their story and help many people enjoy authentic high quality Matcha Green Tea. Also winning Gold two years running in the Golden Leaf Awards for our Premium Matcha.
What do you think is the biggest threat to our planet and the people in it today?
Complacency. Doing nothing. The issues are massive and overwhelming, but if everyone felt that way, nothing would change. Each person can make a change, you can inspire your friends and family to make changes and bit by bit, you collectively make a bigger impact.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
My cup of Matcha, ha! That and my little four year old girl waking me up! Seriously though, using my business as a platform to create positive change (via eco packaging and practises) is a responsibility I feel tasked with to make the world better. I want to inspire other businesses (large and small) to look at ways they can make their practises more eco and ethical.
Who/what has been the biggest influence in your life?
My mother has taught me kindness, positivity and optimism. To treat others like you want to be treated. To just be a good human being and care for our planet and all living things too.
What book(s) are you reading and/or podcast(s) are you listening to right now?
I Love the Sustainable Shift Podcast by Petria Leggo Field and the Productpreneur Podcast by Catherine Langman. I’m reading “Emotional Female” by Yumiko Kadota and “Beyond Climate Grief” by Jonica Newby.
What does the word ‘community’ mean to you?
A feeling of belonging, a sense of unity and no loneliness!
You invested a lot of time researching the right home-compostable packaging, which would allow your customers to take care of the Earth, whilst also keeping their tea fresh on its journey to them. What’s your advice to people who have a business idea and want to make sure that idea doesn’t negatively impact on the Earth?
There are always ethical options out there – ask in business Facebook groups, zero-waste groups and the like. Chances are someone has already asked the question. I’m happy to help anyone with their journey of picking the right kind of packaging which is truly 100% home compostable – try www.econicpack.com to start with!
Where are you heading to next in your journey?
I cannot wait to get back to Japan to connect again with my tea suppliers and drink and eat lots of Matcha things! On the home front, I look forward to getting back into attending events to connect with people in real life. I want to spread the Matcha love to as many people as possible!
Unashamedly obsessed by Matcha Green Tea from her many trips to Japan, Erin Lindwall’s mission is to help others enjoy the many health benefits of regularly drinking it, while also looking after Planet Earth by offering tea in Eco-friendly home compostable packaging.