Published on October 9th, 2017 | by Andrea Bertoli
Your Sustainability Story: Michael Fox of Objet D’Fox
We’ve launched a new feature here at Important Media that encourages our readers to share their personal sustainability story. You can send in your story to have it featured on one of our sites by filling out the form here. We look forward to hearing from you!
|Tell us about your company|
|Objet D’Fox is a design company which focuses is on the waste caused by single use plastics. We aim to show that if this waste material is approached with enthusiasm and clever thinking, it can be transformed into beautiful objects. Objects which people don’t want to throw away.|
|Tell us about your background|
|The concept of Objet D’Fox was first dreamed up the year after I finished my studies as a design student. It came about for two reasons, the first one being that after leaving the creative environment where I completed my tertiary studies; it became very apparent that I had taken for granted the materials and tools which we had available.
The price of casting resins and the waste that they left behind was too much for me to handle. Around this time, the second factor that led to the creation of Objet D’Fox came about when I stumbled across a documentary called “the great pacific garbage patch” This attempted to explain the incomprehensible amount of plastic waste entering our oceans every year and how huge of an effect it has on earths wild life. I felt like I had to do something. Then, one sleepless night, I had my own little epiphany moment. I realised that I could try using this waste plastic as my raw material.
We started out with a budget of $200NZD and baught a small oven and a blender, I got to work testing different materials and different mould making techniques. It became apparent very quickly that I would have to develop new techniques if it was to work. So we built a shredding machine to replace the blender, because it had failed after several uses (we ended up using most of its parts for other machines). We then built an Injection Moulding machine, to replace the oven, which was a great challenge. Now we are beginning to produce products which we hope will change the way that people see waste material.
|Tell us about your future|
|We see a bright future for our company and how it will help with the global clean up. The solution comes in two parts: 1. Stop the production of non-biodegradable plastics, 2. Remove the plastic that had made its way into the environment, and re-use it. We see ourselves fitting into the second category. We hope to begin spreading our production from small scale objects of art onto much larger more functional products, such as kitchen bench tops and tiles etc. As well as sculpture.
The other thing that we would like to do is spread awareness and fund research, but these things will com e later on once our business begins to expand and thrive.
|What strategies were most helpful for you as you grew your green business?|
|Social media seems to be the best technique for early growth, it helps us to see how many people believe in the cause and how many people want to take part. Search engine optimisation helps with visibility, especially for selling products. However, it looks as though the future of advertisement for small businesses with little advertisement budgets is in ‘Influencer marketing’. This is an avenue which we at Objet D’Fox are tapping into now and hope one day to become one of the companies who people approach to help advertise their concepts or products.|
|What are your favorite tools for success?|
|I believe that one of the most important tools for success is a positive mindset and tenacity. Giving up won’t achieve anything and taking a negative approach will just breed more negativity. I also believe that turning your own social media accounts into a relative information feed is a great way to keep up to date on what is happening in the world regarding the things that you wish to be doing in the future, or are doing currently.|
|What do you wish you had been told before starting your business?|
|There aren’t too many things that I wish I had been told before starting my business. But one thing I wish I knew about before launching is how to correctly target an audience through adverts, and how to reach the correct demographic. In saying this, it seems that most companies need to experiment with these things for the first little while.
|Where can People Learn more about you?|
|ObjectDFox website and Facebook|