Anne Butterly is a finalist in the 2019 WE Empower UN SDG Challenge. Her work in the reduction of waste through the innovative technology of Easydry is breaking barriers in multiple industries. WE Empower Intern Jacqueline Blisse speaks to Anne about her goals within her company and her community.
Anne Butterly is the founder and CEO of Easydry, a toweling system based out of Ireland. Easydry products are a recyclable and biodegradable alternative to cotton towels and can be used anywhere from the salon to the gym. Easydry focuses on Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation through reducing the consumption of fresh water globally (in comparison to cotton production) through its water-efficient fibre production, and then by eliminating the need to constantly wash cotton towels which saves 5 liters of water per towel.
Easydry also concentrates on Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production by creating a product that takes less water to produce. In addition, Easydry supports Goal 13: Climate Action by disrupting the traditional towel industry by providing a sustainable alternative. Easydry is an alternative that shows that progress towards a sustainable future can start in every industry.
Question: How has the WE Empower Challenge changed how you see the future of your business?
Answer: Going through the We Empower Challenge helped me to clarify our focus and the goals that we can have a direct impact on. It gave me a clearer perspective on our purpose. It has enabled me to communicate the company vision clearly to the team.
Q: What is your main goal within your community?
A: Our main goal is reducing the impact of unsustainable practices associated with cotton production and the use of foil in the salon sector. Our vision is to be a global leader in textile innovation resulting in decreased water consumption, CO2 emissions and waste going to landfill.
Q: How do you ensure gender equality is part of your company's culture?
A: As a woman, I value equality. When we recruit, we attempt to ensure all roles are gender neutral and judge the candidates based on their skills and experience.
Q: How do you see your company progressing in the next 10 years?
A: We have very ambitious growth plans for the company for the next three to 10 years. We have expansion plans in terms of new regions with a core focus switching to the USA and Canada. We are also launching into new sectors such as the consumer sector.
Q: Has the WE Empower Challenge changed how you view the world's progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
A: I think being part of the We Empower Challenge helped me see the huge potential for change that can be realized if we all work together. If every company took on just one or two of the Sustainable Development Goals, then the change that could be achieved on a global scale across all the core areas like resources, equality and poverty.