Reducing single-use waste through the circular economy

Who we worked with


What we did together

12-month coaching through our Incubator startup programme

Key skills

Applied Innovation

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“New Zealand is not as clean or green as we think” – Guardian

Empowering takeaway lovers to reduce single-use waste without changing their eating habits, Reusabowl is a reuse network for takeaway packaging. They offer a subscription for eateries to stock their containers, which customers borrow and return to any participating eatery.

Creative HQ provides support for founders to help them reach their full potential. During their 12 months in Creative HQ’s incubation programme, Reusabowl has progressed from an idea to an established business with a growing team committed to creating change in the climate space.

The recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report has indicated systemic change is required to make it easier for individuals to change their day-to-day lifestyles in order for us to stop global warming.

The Reusabowl team is a group of first-time founders. It is crucial that we seek support from people who have been through the journey of a startup and who have experienced the things we are/will go through.

Sarah Booher, Reusabowl

How we did it

Reusabowl joined Creative HQ’s incubation programme for 12 months to focus on discovering what problems there were with existing takeaway solutions catering to the day-to-day consumers and the eateries they visit. 

The incubation programme provides access to:

  • Innovation coaching and resources
  • Connections to mentors
  • And connections to ecosystem partners

Using Creative HQ’s tools, resources and methods, Reusabowl were able to rapidly test and prototype, to discover their product-market fit with confidence.

Creative HQ’s incubation programme brought together a strong cohort of founders which provided opportunities for cross-startup collaboration, shared learning and a peer support system as each new organisation found its feet more firmly.

For Reusabowl this was demonstrated by their growth in confidence, particularly in understanding founder relationships, and the development of their future roadmap with a focus on their resourcing needs to grow the Reusabowl team, alongside bringing on a formal advisory board.

The result

Reusabowl’s simple and easy-to-adopt solution reduces takeaway packaging and single-use waste, without changing existing behaviour. Now with 16 eatery locations on-boarded and paying a monthly subscription for bowls, Reusabowl has saved over 16,000 pieces of takeaway packaging from ending up in landfills (in 5 months), alongside helping to educate individuals on the importance of sustainability and the circular economy.  In early 2021, the team raised capital to fund the manufacture of new bowls to expand further across the Wellington region.

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