The co-founder of Teorra and founder of Kynd dishes tips on managing different roles in her businesses, and how she puts sustainability in the spotlight.
Meet Laure Guilbaud, a green entrepreneur who started two sustainable brands. Laure is the co-founder of Teorra, a B2B platform that helps businesses source products from verified sustainable suppliers, and the founder of Kynd, a Singapore-based label that produces high-quality essentials made using techno-fabrics from regenerated plastic waste. Laure’s journey into sustainable entrepreneurship began with Kynd, where she faced the challenge of ensuring a green supply chain, specifically with packaging. This inspired her to create Teorra, a sustainable marketplace that caters to all needs.
Her story is quite an inspiration – she shares it on Launchpad’s Good Business podcast (listen to the full episode here). Her deep commitment to sustainability also made her the perfect choice to be one of our Sustainability Champions for our first ever Sustainability Awards. Laure lent a helping hand in the selection of our nominees, giving great suggestions along the way.
Want to learn more about the green warrior? We divulge insights we learnt about Laure Guilbaud.
5 things we learnt about Laure Guilbaud, founder of Kynd and co-founder of Teorra
#1 The idea for Teorra arose from Laure’s struggle to find sustainable suppliers for her brand Kynd.
Teorra wasn’t actually her idea. But when she met her friend Hemal, who also struggled to find sustainable suppliers for his shoe brands, both joined hands to create Teorra. To ensure that the brands are legit and not in the greenwashing scheme of things, the B2B marketplace has a strict and transparent vetting process where each supplier has to answer about 20 questions to verify their certifications.
#2: Laure spent almost 10 years at LinkedIn and had seven different roles across Asia.
She’s witnessed LinkedIn evolve from a job posting platform to a content platform over the last decade. Despite the significant changes, Laure enjoyed her time at LinkedIn, where she held seven different roles across Asia and London within the marketing solutions team, with flexible and empowering leadership.
#3: Laure emphasises the importance of time management and blocking time in her busy schedule of managing multiple roles.
No magic recipe here – in fact, it’s complicated and Laure sometimes looks back at the time when she had just one role at LinkedIn. Her tip? Block out your time. She sets aside about four hours a day for a specific company or task. Meetings aren’t scheduled during this time so that she can focus solely on her goals for the day.
She also uses systems like Hootsuite to schedule emails and ideas in advance. As a night owl, she stays productive by using her brain power for other tasks in the morning.
#4: As she transitioned from her past work in advertising and content marketing, she had to rebuild her image and establish her expertise in sustainability.
Laure shares that the hardest part about being an entrepreneur is recreating herself. After eight years, shifting from her signature expertise in advertising and content marketing to sustainability was difficult. Her lack of recognised credentials in sustainability was stressful, which explains why she was concerned about being taken seriously in the new field.
#5: Laure gained knowledge in sustainability through researching and learning from various sources and advises others to do the same.
Research was a key strategy during her process, equipping herself through different avenues like reading books and attending online classes on LinkedIn. She’s also been a vegan for four years now, mainly because of the American documentary, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret.
Let’s chat sustainability with Laure Guilbaud
Since we’re on the topic of sustainability and with our Sustainability Awards in full swing, we asked Laure what it means to her, her goals and tips on staying sustainable in Singapore.
What does sustainability mean to you?
For me, sustainability means making intentional choices in my present life that will create a positive impact on future generations. It’s about taking responsibility for our actions, in a way that protects the planet and people.
What are some ways to live sustainably, especially in Singapore?
Start with public transportation: the bus and train system is incredibly efficient and cheap compared to other cities, and takes you to most places on the island! I’ve also been exploring the plant-based food scene, which has been very dynamic and innovative in the past few years. Singaporean startups such as Karana have made eating greener a lot easier and delicious.
Finally, I’ve been spending my weekends in the past few months exploring nature parks in Singapore, rather than travelling around Asia. Singapore actually has plenty of hidden gems I’d encourage everyone to explore.
What are your sustainable goals in 2023?
My first goal is to scale Teorra. We’ve partnered with amazing customers in the past months to help them find plastic-free alternatives to products such as packaging. We also launched our online platform on April 27th. Moving online will allow us to scale our impact in Singapore and beyond. We already have almost 100 amazing suppliers onboarded on the marketplace, and I’m looking forward to continuing our work in discovering some of the best eco-conscious brands around the world.
With Kynd, I’m very excited to fund our first plastic barrier in Indonesia this year. 80% of ocean plastic comes from rivers. In order to combat this massive issue at the source, we redistribute 10% of our proceeds to Sungai Watch, to fund barriers in rivers that stop the flow of plastic pollution from going into the ocean.
Who is your favourite eco-warrior and why?
I am constantly amazed by the passion of the younger generation when it comes to making a difference, and one of the eco-warriors I’m most inspired by is Melati Wijsen.
Melati is a 21-year-old Indonesian who co-founded Bye Bye Plastic Bags in Bali with her sister Isabel. She also started One Island One Voice, which has cleaned up beaches all over the island of Bali; Mountain Mamas to encourage female entrepreneurship; and Youthtopia which empowers youth through meaningful peer-to-peer change-maker programs.
As a sustainability advocate, and one of four sisters myself, this story of impact really resonates with me. I’m in awe at everything Melati and her sister have fearlessly accomplished at a young age. If you have five minutes today, check out Melati’s TED talk.
For more tidbits about the green entrepreneur’s life, listen to Launchpad’s podcast episode with Laure Guilbaud.
And don’t forget to vote for your favourite brands in our Sustainability Awards for a chance to win a stay at an eco-resort worth $950! (Voting ends on 21 May 2023)