China may seem an unlikely market in which to craft a solution for solving “the throwaway culture,” as Heather Kauffman likes to refer to it. But that’s exactly where she planted her sustainable design roots. As a US-China trade relations expert from the Dept. of Commerce with a focus on helping US manufacturers export to China, Kauffman flipped the switch in her 20s – moving to Shanghai, with no plans. Since childhood, she was always conscious of her environmental impact, earning the nickname “Captain Planet.” With the move to Shanghai, her vision for the world she wanted to live in started coming together. Kauffman saw an opportunity to have an impact on how we live at home and on the community at large by creating products – those that are not only sustainable but have the best features, while still being accessible to most consumers. Thus, Full Circle was born.
A few years later, Kauffman and Co-founder Tal Chitayat took their brainchild, Full Circle, to New York, where the certified B-Corp is now based and taking on new product categories, making more sustainable solutions for everyday use that, thanks to her design sensibility, happen to be beautiful, too. Becoming a mom deepened Kauffman’s commitment to living and doing things better – at home and at work. Today, the company has seen 131% growth year-over-year and is signing on new retailers such as Target, The Container Store, and the Grove Collaborative, in 20 different countries across the world.