Camille Rose Albarracin was distressed by the large amount of wastes generated in the hospitality industry. This is because as standard practice for hygienic purposes, a lot of hotel amenities, specifically the shampoo, conditioner, soap, and slippers are for single-use, which all goes to trash in the end. She wanted to change this.
After 15 years in the hospitality industry, she set out on her own to start Everything Green Trading and Consulting. The company has been a stepping stone in realizing her dream of becoming part of international organizations, albeit through unexpected means.
Everything Green “greenovates” (a play on ‘green’ and ‘innovate’) sustainable products and solutions for the hospitality industry in a bid to reduce waste production. However, getting a longstanding industry to switch practices is a massive undertaking.
“We are directly competing with current big players and usually, hotels’ decisions are hugely based on price rather than the value it offers,” according to Camille. Because of this, Everything Green is constantly looking for ways to streamline its processes, lower production costs, and more effectively meet the quantity and quality demanded by their clients at a competitive price.
It is about finding the balance between maintaining social and environmental impact and being able to sustain the business in the market. “I realized […] that working in the hospitality industry is the bridge that connected me to my real purpose: to promote local culture through sustainability,” says Camille. “As the Chief Greenovator, I am continuously greenovating products that are commonly used in hotel and resort operations […] by changing patterns of production and consumption.” It’s not just their clients’ practices that Everything Green is changing.
They believe in women empowering women. “We work with various women group communities and persons with disability (PWD) women. Our admin team is composed of women,” she shares. To walk the talk, they established internal policies such as flexible work schemes for mothers. This allows the mothers they employ to take care of their children while working at home—a testament that others need not choose between family or career to be empowered.
Empowerment in the resources extended and policies in place that will allow one to navigate all the challenges. Camille is no stranger to these challenges. “I used to work in [a ] corporate [world] where I had a monthly salary and left…to pursue entrepreneurship. It’s extremely difficult for women to obtain funding,” she recounts. “Despite these challenges, the advantage of being a woman is having strong empathy.”
She has used this to understand her clients and showing them how they would benefit from partnering with Everything Green. “Female-led businesses and campaigns tend to have local connectedness. Women are socially oriented in solving problems,” she says remembering what she has learned. “[Women] manage the home and [we] replicate how we take care of our families in how we take care of the business.”
With the challenges that come with being a woman, grit and determination come naturally to women leaders.
By supporting Everything Green, women empowerment is advanced. The company has been uplifting the lives of marginalized communities, especially for the stay-at-home mothers and persons with disability.
Some single mothers are also breadwinners of their families. This project has currently impacted the lives of the artisans from […] 32 families in Bicol and 31 families of PWDs in Quezon City.
As a parting message, Camille shares, “self-awareness and self-discovery are the first steps to pursuing your dream. Authenticity is important. Listen to your gut and female intuition. They’re usually right. If any woman needs support, I’m here for them.”
She stresses the importance of having a strong support system and finding mentors who can help them through the battles and win wars. With a little help from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Camille was able to promote the business through participation in DTI-organized trade fairs and exhibits. Other advocacy programs of DTI such as regular teleradyo shows and social media promotions among others, gave her enterprise additional exposure.
Everything Green’s products have been at DTI’s National Trade Fair, GoLokal, the Pasinaya Online Trade Fair, and now the Gawang Pinay Digital Store alongside other women-led or women-run businesses. ♦
Date of Release: 1 September 2020