“Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from negativity” (Karina Sudenyte)
Mother of twins, 22 year old Karina Sudenyte and her husband Maciek Kacprzyk were students at the University of South Wales in Cardiff when they set up “Get Wonky” drinks in 2016, with just £800 sterling. The business turned imperfect and misshapen fruits that would have gone to waste into fruit juices. Intended to help charities and farmers reduce food waste, they aim to “save the planet and make the world a better place to live”. In 2018, Karina and Maciek rebranded, and launched Flawsome! Drinks, which grew annually by 500%, adding supermarket chains in Germany (Edeka) and Belgium (Carrefour and Al Dehaize), and saving over 33 million items of fruit.
The idea for the business came from seeing fresh fruit wrapped in plastic at their local supermarkets. A visit to a nearby farm revealed the waste that occurs as a result of the aesthetic standards imposed by the major supermarket chains. Instead of the fruit and vegetables going to waste, Karina and Maciek pay the farmers 70% of the perfect fruit market value, and then cold press them to produce the juice, which is based on traditional recipes used by their grandmothers. The juices are free from additives, including extra sugar, with at least 2 fruits in every bottle or can. However, the business is not just about making and selling juice but about helping small and medium-sized farms and the most vulnerable in society. They do this by donating their juice to Fare Share, a National UK network that redistributes nutritious food to the needy. To date they have donated 39,000 drinks and over the next 5 years, they plan to donate 1 million drinks and save 20,000 tonnes of misshapen fruits.
Flawsome! is a certified B-Corp that is carbon positive and is aiming to be Net Zero by 2030. To help reduce their carbon footprint, 80% of their fruits are sourced from farms within 30 kms of their production facility and they only source fruits that are in season and would otherwise be wasted. They use recycled cardboard and paper for packaging and recyclable glass bottles and aluminium cans for their drinks. Thus, the venture is helping:
- Save energy, water and soil nutrients
- Prevent greenhouse gas emissions from food waste
- Mitigate climate change
- Support local farmers
- Reduce food waste
- Educate others in how to reduce food waste
Despite such admirable objectives, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, they lost 80% of their business, forcing a change of business model. They began selling directly to customers on Amazon rather than retailers like Sainsbury and Morrisons. This did not recoup loss of sales completely so continued to look for alternatives, and by May 2022, had partnered with fellow B-Corp, Oddbox for a trial period. Oddbox is a business that uses low emission vehicles to deliver a “surprise” selection of imperfect and misshaped fruits and vegetables to customers’ homes every week or fortnight, together with recipes and meal plans. Up to two sparkling Flawsome! Drinks are included as “add-ons” in the regular Oddbox fruit and veg deliveries, while Flawsome customers obtain a 50% discount on their first Oddbox order.
Flawsome is very much an example of Harmonious Entrepreneurship in which profit, planet and people are in harmony. The venture addresses SDGs 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), 13 (Climate Action), and 15 (Life on Land) but it is also contributing to SDGs 8 (Decent work and Economic Growth), 2 (Zero Hunger), 3 (Good Health and Well-being) and 10 (Reduced Inequalities) plus 17 (Partnerships for the Goals). Unsurprisingly, the venture has won various awards including, in 2017, both the Welsh and the U.K. “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” Awards.
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Karina is a friend of mine, I photographed some product and her pregnancy with the twins. Have watched the brand start, and evolve from Wonky to Flawsome – Karina and Maciek are fab ambassadors for harmonious business.
That’s a brilliant connectioj Christian. Really appreciate you dropping by. Always good to hear from you and your positivity
Congratulations Wonky and Flawsome Drinks – wishing you continued success, especially after the challenges of recent pandemic.