A chat with the founder of PlanetCare

Mojca Zupon, founder of PlanetCare

We can reduce microplastic pollution from laundry by adding an external filter to home washing machines. Even though it isn't common yet in the US, we believe it's important for people to have the option to do so. That's why we've been working hard behind the scenes, partnering with PlanetCare to bring their filters to our shores.

Learn about PlanetCare's values and why we're proud to partner with them in this Q&A with their founder and CEO, Mojca Zupan.

🌊 Hi Mojca! Could you share a bit about your background? What field were you in before embarking on the PlanetCare journey?

Mojca Zupan: Before founding PlanetCare I was a lawyer. I have to admit, it was a big jump into the unknown when it all began. The startup world is truly a universe on its own. It never ceases to amaze (in a good way).

🌊 Was there a pivotal moment that led to your career change?

For most of my life I had no idea about microfibers. Then, I visited a touring exhibition about marine litter with my kids and saw a microscopic image of fibers. I realised that just because I wash clothes (which, of course, one does) I'm sending loads of microplastics into the oceans. And I really don’t want to do that. I did some research and saw that no solutions were available. A little while later, I founded PlanetCare and now microfibers are a huge part of my life.

🌊 What were some important factors that you kept in mind while developing the PlanetCare filter (aside from ease of installation)?

There were quite a few boxes to tick. We needed the filter to be compatible with all domestic washing machines. It also had to be extremely efficient and affordable. All while knowing that the filtering itself is really just the first step—what happens to the filtered fibers was always equally as important to us.

A hand picks a bit of lint off a used microfiber filter cartridge from PlanetCare

🌊 Could you tell us more about what happens to the used cartridges?

This has really been front of mind for everyone at PlanetCare. We knew we had to offer a closed loop service to our customers if we really wanted to fully stop microfiber pollution. Our filters are cartridge-based and we collect all used cartridges from our customers, free of charge. We then refurbish them. 95% of the cartridge (the outer shell) is washed and fitted with a new filtering medium for reuse by PlanetCare customers. The remaining 5% (the used filtering medium with the fibers) is collected for recycling.

🌊 Being an ocean steward must be full of highs and lows. How do you and your team stay positive?

Oh, it’s never a dull day, for sure. We’ve definitely had our share of bumps along the road. It’s the friendship and the trust that get us through the lows. Anyone who’s ever visited our office knows that the team loves coming here and doing the work. You can feel the good energy as soon as you walk into the office. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere but we’re super serious about what we do. I am truly so grateful for the team—we were brought together because we share a passion for doing good work, and we’ve become really good friends. Everything is easier when you’re among friends, especially finding those silver linings when things get tough.

The PlanetCare team

🌊 Camaraderie is so important! Now, for our last question. As someone who is a part of the laundry industry, could you share your favorite sustainable laundry hack?

My number one hack is doing less laundry. It’s the most sustainable thing you can do, really. You’ll obviously save water, energy, and detergent. But you’ll also save time. I’m always nagging my kids to wear their jeans and sweaters a few times before throwing them into the laundry basket.

We carry PlanetCare's Mini Starter Kit 1.0 and 12-pack cartridge refills. All used PlanetCare cartridges in the US can be sent back to Celsious in New York. We'll be collecting them until we have enough to forward to PlanetCare in bulk, thus lowering the carbon footprint associated with cartridge refurbishment.

Interview by Mutia Adisoma

Photos courtesy of PlanetCare

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