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This entrepreneur is revolutionising the paper industry with sustainable bamboo

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Ziah Lane

Sydney-based entrepreneur and lover of our planet, Ziah Lane, founded NO ISSUES, a brand that’s introduced tree free household products, including facial tissues, toilet paper, paper towels and travel tissue packs to supermarket aisles.

Set to revolutionise the paper industry, NO ISSUES encourages grocery shoppers to re-think their impact on the planet when purchasing simple household items by introducing a chic, simplistic design to the market, NO ISSUES tissues are made from renewable and sustainable bamboo (a grass that grows back in front of your eyes!) and are the only premium, environmentally friendly tissue product available in Australia.

NO ISSUES was inspired by Ziah’s passion for environmental sustainability, hope to protect future generations and preserve our planet. A former Wenona School student, Ziah has an extensive brand and design background having owned her own branding and design company, Vive Creative, for ten years.

What has NO ISSUES achieved so far?

In 2011, Ziah gained industry attention after developing a prototype NO ISSUES tissue box as part of her final project for a Masters in Design from The University of New South Wales School of Art and Design, and from little things, big things grow as they say… and we don’t just mean bamboo.

Ziah officially launched NO ISSUES to market across Australia in 2015 at Woolworths and Harris Farm Markets and finally Coles in 2016. She believes bamboo is the future of the paper industry, and is encouraging Australia to make the easy switch from paper to bamboo to help save the planet and its vital trees and forests.

In 2016, Ziah was awarded the major prize-winner in The Australian Women’s Weekly/CPA Australia Women in Business Awards for NO ISSUES.

Anthill caught up with Ziah to tell share more about NO ISSUES in the interview below.

What is your vision for NO ISSUES?

I believe bamboo is the future for the paper industry.  It’s a type of grass that is sustainable, renewable, and grows practically back in front of your eyes (up to one metre a day!). Unlike trees, bamboo is one of the most rapidly renewable resources for pulp. It can reach full height in just a few months without the need for pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers.

I’d like to encourage grocery shoppers to re-think their impact on the planet when purchasing simple household items to help preserve and protect our precious trees.

Many people don’t realise it’s estimated that around 27,000 trees are cut down for toilet paper use alone each day, and 4 million each year on global paper production.

How is it doing so far?

After gaining industry attention with my NO ISSUES prototype in 2011, we hit the shelves at Harris Farm Markets and Woolworths in 2015, and, following success with those retail outlets, started supplying to Coles in 2016. It’s been incredible, and encouraging as a lover of the planet, to see the big guys really get behind the brand – it sends an important message to Australians and consumers globally.

We are currently now in negotiations with other major supermarkets and outlets throughout Asia and USA.

How has it been funded so far?

NO ISSUES was funded initially thanks to a combination of bootstrapping and some angel investment, including Jason Ashton (co-founder of BigAir).

With the addition of new retailers and strong sales growth, we will be looking for new private investment and also considering bank finance for large forward orders.

What has been your biggest challenge so far in business and how did you overcome it?

Probably the biggest challenge for me has been learning to manage and juggle cash flow with stock supply to ensure demand is met.

We have been really lucky to be working alongside suppliers and business partners that understand the unique challenges faced by a startup. I’m also have a background in brand and design, having owned my own design company for ten years, which I’ve been able to draw on previous experience to overcome challenges along the way.

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