Buzzing their way to success

Judge Paula Clode with Bumble team members Baylee Dyer, Amber Harrison and Solomon Nietes. Not pictured: Zed Carter.

Otumoetai College student-entrepreneurs have been recognised for their work producing a sustainable alternative to zip lock bags.

Bumble make and sell beeswax bags and won the Young Enterprise Scheme Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty Regional Final last month.

The group of four is now headed to Wellington for the YES National Finals on Wednesday, December 4.

They have been gathering fabric, sewing small bags and coating them in beeswax as part of this year’s project

"We buy all the raw materials and spend hours at home making them," says Bumble team member Amber Harrison.

"It keeps costs down and makes it easier for us to monitor the quality of the product."

The idea came about after realising there was a gap in the market for plastic-free zip lock bags.

"Beeswax wraps are quite common, but we realised there was no alternative to zip lock bags - people were still using a massive amount of plastic through those." 

So far, Bumble has sold about 40 beeswax bags to students, friends and family members.

Students involved in YES are expected to contribute to the community. While many students choose to donate a portion of their product sales to charity, Bumble took a different route, running a DIY workshop at Bellevue School.

“Instead of donating to charity we thought we would get stuck in, get the kids involved and pass on the knowledge to them so they could make bags themselves,” Amber says.

“Year 1 students got to make their own bags and take them home. We had a lot of feedback from parents saying their kids used them every day in their lunchboxes, they just loved them.”

Bumble is looking to expand their product line under YES next year. Amber says they want to create a DIY kit so people can make their own bags.

YES Regional Finals coordinator Pascale Hybound-Peron speaks of the energy and passion behind Bumble's pitch at last month's finals.

"Bumble's pitch at the finals won the Judges over. Their articulation of the environmental problem they are solving was super compelling.

"It is fantastic they get the chance to battle it out for a national title in Wellington. They will be one of 30 finalists there, so they will need to bring their best game on the day."

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