Champions of responsible and green business practices, the dynamic duo behind TheTwoPineapples shows us how sustainable consumption can be incorporated both at home and at work.
(by Emmelyn Mah - a pretty soul, intellectual journalist & creative content curator in Poptron)
“To begin with, our brand is about sustainability. Why? Our products are mainly plant-based. In general, plant-based production has a lower carbon emission than meat-based production. Hence, our product offerings enable us to have a lower carbon footprint.”
It all began with a pineapple. Sisters and founders of TheTwoPineapples Estelle and Hannah Lum decided to start their brand with a singular product: Dehydrated pineapple as the impetus to show Malaysians just how important it healthy lifestyles and good eating habits are.
Once a member of the healthcare industry workforce, Hannah shares that her epiphany came when she realised that cancer patients are getting younger and younger. “The prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes in adults has also increased,” She tells us. “We decided to venture into crafting yummy snacks and food that just happens to be healthier, too. And Estelle’s experience in food science came in handy, too!”
| “The pineapple is the only fruit that contains bromelaine enzymes. Manufacturers are extracting this specific enzyme, and selling it for medical purposes. It’s known to be beneficial for the digestive system, and contains anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.” |
With Estelle’s contacts in the local agricultural industry as well as in-depth insight into the main benefits of pineapple, it was an easy decision to embark upon their chosen path. “We’re inspired to promote Malaysian goodness to our local community, so we kick-started our business using pineapples sourced from local farms,” Hannah shares. “And the two of us founded this brand, and that’s how we ended up with TheTwoPineapples!”
Four years later, the duo show no signs of slowing down. And in a world growing increasingly aware of the importance of healthy eating, TheTwoPineapples most certainly has room to expand. “At the beginning, we only had healthy snacks, mainly fruit. Eventually, as customers began looking for new varieties, we expanded into making other products, including hand-roasted genmaicha using locally-grown brown rice, granola, freshly-roasted nuts, nougat, snowflakes, and a healthier range of biscuits,” Hannah tells us.
One core principle of the brand is that things are made as fresh as possible, and so customers are truly afforded the best that the duo can offer. And beyond that, Hannah and Estelle are also adamant that their process is kept simple to retain optimal nutrients, with minimal nutrient loss. “Our first range of products were dehydrated fruit snacks, using industrial grade hot air technology,” Hannah reminisces. And because they are immensely particular about the fruit they use, only the best will do.
As it turns out, the best is sourced from local farms (from within Klang Valley, Seremban, Johor, Pahang, and Perak), which plays into the duo’s desire to be sustainable and green insofar as their business practices. Hannah shares that the brand’s initiative to use locally sourced products whenever they can has also helped to lower their carbon footprint while driving sustainable consumption practices. “In this case, our products have a relatively lower carbon footprint in the value chain of our business, in comparison to that of imported snacks. This is due to lower emissions generated along the supply chain while transporting and packing raw materials.”
| “I think most businesses can practice sustainability in their own way, even through small actions.” |
Hannah goes on to add that their products also serve to promote healthy lifestyles, encouraging balanced diets that eschew binge eating. “Eventually, you consume what you need in moderation, which helps to reduce food wastage.” How’s that for sustainable consumption goals?
Beyond that, TheTwoPineapples takes things one step further by upcycling within their production cycles. “We upcycle the skins and peels of our fruits and turn them into enzymes, which is suitable to be used as plant fertilisers or for household cleaning,” Hannah tells us. “In fact, we use the same enzyme to clean and pre-treat some of our fruits prior to processing.” The duo tells us that they try to carry out circular economy practices within their means, even going so far as to share the remainder of their fruit waste with the community and local farms that engage in composting. “We also donate our enzymes to the neighbourhood, to encourage sustainable living.”
On collaborations within their community, the duo also believe in engaging with other like-minded businesses and brands with good causes to champion. “One of our current ongoing projects is working with BeBOTS, a social enterprise.” BeBOTS’ mission lies in assisting and elevating special-needs late teens and young adults with Autism, elevating them with assistance so that they are able to transition into independence. Read more on BeBOTS by clicking here.
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