As celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and the Kardashians grab attention with their “pantry porn” – showing off their well-organized and beautifully designed kitchens and fridges – consumers are following suit. At the same time, interest in sustainable kitchen clothes has exploded in recent years as environmentally conscious shoppers look for ways to reduce their reliance on single-use plastics. As more and more Americans buy stylish and matching storage containers and pantry products, companies like W&P respond to demand.
“The average American family uses more than 500 sandwich bags and plastic storage bags every year to pack our kids’ meals, travel with our toiletries, and store leftovers. Of these, few are recycled,” says Dune Ives, CEO of lone whale, which manufactures thin-film plastic to reduce the harmful environmental consequences of such behavior. Around 125 billion plastic sandwich and storage bags are thrown away every year, he says, of which around 5 billion end up in the ocean
Fortunately, social media sites like TikTok have become the go-to place to find sustainable kitchen products, says Secure rank CEO Baruch Labunski, who is an SEO specialist. Eco.friendly‘s Christine Lan, for example, got nearly 130,000 likes on her post about random things in her sustainable kitchen and 17.3 million people watched #sustainablekitchen hashtag videos on the platform.
W&P leads the way with more than 300 minimalist and high-design storage containers, reusable bags and freezer products, and insulated bottles that also work well. In 2021, the company’s online sales increased by more than 100% and W&P was named one of fastest growing direct-to-consumer brands by Similar web. The brand’s insulated flasks keep beverages hot or cold with a unique ceramic core, which provides optimal taste compared to standard stainless steel containers. All products are built to last.
W&P also gives back. During the 2021 holiday, the company donated 41,000 pounds of food to City Harvest to feed the hungry in New York City. In the long term, the brand has pledged to save £100,000. food waste to reduce food insecurity in America.
“As a professional organizer, I like to see the trend towards shopping with intention,” says Mary Cornetta of Organized overall. “Buying and using sustainable products like those sold by W&P is not only good for the environment but, from an organizational perspective, also significantly reduces the clutter in our homes.”
The head of this business that captures the spirit of the times is President Kate Lubenesky. She joined W&P in early 2020 and now oversees all operations. With 20 years of experience in consumer goods, she has already increased revenue for major brands S’well, Boll & Branch and OXO. She also co-founded and served as president of Hip.
An English major with no business experience, Lubenesky’s first job was an entry-level position as an import-export manager at a kitchenware company. At trade shows, she discovered her passion for connecting with others. She quickly turned to business development – and she hasn’t looked back since.
It wasn’t until later, Lubenesky says, that she realized she’d always enjoyed selling things — from Girl Scout cookies to lemonade to fancy jewelry to her high school job. However, she grew up in an extended family that emphasized the importance of giving back, so everyone worked for charities or nonprofits. Nevertheless, she let her instinct guide her.
As employee number seven at the young kitchen tools company OXO, Lubenesky had a ringside seat as the brand became a powerhouse. She faced her share of challenges when she found herself in companies where the values or culture didn’t match her own. “It was like trying to paddle upstream every day,” she says. “When you’re in a positive and uplifting corporate environment, it’s like the wind is at your back and you can contribute so much more to the organization.”
Fortunately, Lubenesky feels fully aligned with her passion in her current role at W&P. “I strongly believe that when we are aligned with our passion and able to love what we do, it energizes us and makes us happier, which makes us more productive and exudes the kind of positivity that attracts people. ‘other people to join us and build great things together. I find that I’m not only happier at work doing what I love, but I’m also a better mother, wife and friend.
Lubenesky encourages people not to feel like the job they’re doing today is the career they’ll have to stay in for the rest of their lives. “Don’t be afraid to take a linear move to find a job that better matches your personality, or even take a step back in your career to work in a company or industry you’re passionate about,” she advises. “A career doesn’t have to be a straight path; it can be diverted or zigzag. But if your northern star is still working to find the opportunities that bring you excitement and fresh energy, titles and money will follow.