Alessandro Rocchi of Georganics: “Know who to trust”

Leadership is about having a clear vision, it’s about courage, integrity, honesty, humility and having a clear focus. Leaders help people reach their goals and are not afraid to hire people that might be better than them and take pride in the accomplishments of those they help along the way. As part of my series about […]

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Leadership is about having a clear vision, it’s about courage, integrity, honesty, humility and having a clear focus. Leaders help people reach their goals and are not afraid to hire people that might be better than them and take pride in the accomplishments of those they help along the way.

As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alessandro Rocchi.

Founded by Alessandro Rocchi, Georganics is changing the oral care industry. They make natural and organic oral care products so you can protect the environment whilst taking care of your oral health. Their products are naturally sourced & their packaging is 100% recyclable. Their mission is to provide the most planet friendly products to the masses and are proud to be part of the solution and not the problem.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

One day I was in my bathroom and was thinking about the amount of non-recyclable waste my bathroom was producing also I had been struggling with poor oral health, despite doing everything “right” — using high-fluoride toothpaste and strong alcohol-based mouthwashes to try to reduce my cavities. I decided to make the switch to natural health and hygiene products which used less or recyclable packaging.

Natural soaps, deodorants and moisturizers weren’t a problem to find, but toothpaste? Nope. So, that was it, my lightbulb moment and Georganics was created.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

While traveling and researching ingredients from around the world the impact of human consumption on our planet hit me hard, I visited the Bantar Gabang dump near Jakarta, Indonesia where over 7,000 tons of trash ends up and there is no method to process it so is just being left to sit and continue to build. Most of it eventually makes its way into the sea which we all know is at an almost unrecoverable situation. I met people who dedicated their lives to the prevention of this and the protection of our eco-system and it made me more determined than ever to create our product to help in any way.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

We had a pretty funny experience when we were developing our toothsoap, let’s just say our whole factory looked like a scene from the Willy Wonka film…’bubbles, bubbles, everywhere’.

Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?

You just have to look at our accreditation, we have worked really hard to achieve all of our certifications and our mission is to eventually to be fully sustainable and have zero carbon footprint, we also invest in our team, without their dedication to the cause we just wouldn’t be here, so we are strong advocates of the living wage initiative. Our products are certified natural and organic with COSMOS, cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny and Vegan with the Vegan Society. We also joined 1% for the Planet which ensures our environmental giving is credible and respected. They are a globally recognized organization who have directed hundreds of millions of dollars to environmental non-profits around the world, we pledge 1% of our sales to a variety of non-profit organizations through this amazing programme.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

We received a wonderful letter from a ten-year-old girl recently thanking us for making toothpaste that didn’t hurt the baby dolphins and that she had told all of her friends at school about us. I am unsure if our products directly influence the welfare of baby dolphins, but it was very heartwarming to hear that a child can recognize that we are trying to make products that are environmentally friendly.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

  1. Tougher legislation for plastic packaging — there are so many alternatives available now for various products and large corporations to be held responsible for the waste they produce and put under pressure to use more sustainable options.
  2. Consumer behavior — this includes choosing brands and products who work with not AGAINST the planet and nature and then changing consumer behavior when it comes to the waste — if more people used products with packaging which can be reused or composted at home the impact would be huge.
  3. Education — not just children but adults too, we need people to be aware of what their personal impact actually is and how they can make a difference. Through community projects, groups, schools and workshops we can all do better at helping our peers and those around us understand more about plastic, plastic-free swaps and how to reuse or correctly recycle/re-use packaging.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

Leadership is about having a clear vision, it’s about courage, integrity, honesty, humility and having a clear focus. Leaders help people reach their goals and are not afraid to hire people that might be better than them and take pride in the accomplishments of those they help along the way.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  • Climate change anxiety is very real: Struggling with Eco-anxiety when you realize the extent of the trouble we’re in is difficult but you have to believe we can make the change, it’s all about positive projection.
  • Know who to trust: The lack of regulations around terms like “Eco-friendly” and “natural” mean that anyone can call their product sustainable even if it’s not. We work really hard to be as authentic as possible and when we say natural and Eco-friendly, we know we actually are.
  • Trials and errors are ok: You have to make mistakes to get it right and that’s ok, life is about the experience and the end goal.
  • Society moves fast: Trends move fast and come and go, but sustainability is a constant evolution that isn’t just about one thing. Once you’ve made one aspect more sustainable, there’s always something to improve on next. You are never finished protecting the planet.
  • Hire someone for the journey: Building a team and employing people will be one of the biggest most important investments you make. You may know they have the skills and experience for the role but if you imagine yourself on a long-haul flight, would you be comfortable with that person? If yes, that’s the person to hire.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Our zero to landfill initiative is our movement, it’s all about inspiring people to do as much as they can with their everyday items to reduce what ends up the landfill therefore bringing a lot of good to a lot of people. Our zero to landfill programme means that everything our company produces can be re-used, composted or recycled — we even ask people to send back our toothbrush heads which can be snapped off as local counsel do not recycle them.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Be true to your values, mine have been translated into the company values so we will always be ‘Natural, sustainable and conscientious’

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Sylvia Earle, she was the first female chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a leading American oceanographer. She was among the first underwater explorers to make use of modern self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) gear and identified many new species of marine life. The Sylvia Earle alliance, Mission Blue inspires action to explore and protect the ocean and her campaigns to save the world’s oceans from threats such as over fishing and toxic waste are inspiring.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Everyone can follow our Instagram @georganics or on Facebook @georganicsUK

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

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