At Pela, we want to leave the global campsite a little better than we found it. To help make this happen, we create sustainable, plant-based alternatives to conventional plastic products.We know we will all be a little better off when sustainable products become the new standard, and we are excited to see the Pela Community driving the shift towards sustainable plant based products.
The Pela Global map below shows where the Pela Case has reached so far, and how the shift to sustainable products is gaining global momentum.
Business as Pela
We view business as a source for good by being socially and environmentally responsible. We focus on people, the planet and performance, while continually striving for excellence in all we do.
We believe that when sustainable products become the new standard we will all be a little better off.
To leave the global campsite a little better than we found it.
Pela™’s parent company, Open Mind Developments is based out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where both Flaxstic™ and the Pela Case are developed and manufactured. Pela™ team members are located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Innovation – We rethink everything from design to delivery and ask how we can make it more sustainable. We know smart thinking, smart innovation and smart execution are necessities for sustainability.
Creativity – We happily and continually question the status quo and develop creative solutions to make things better. Just because something has been done one way in the past, doesn’t mean that it is the best way.
Transparency – We encourage openness within the Pela team and within our global community. We intently listen to open and honest positive and negative feedback knowing that it makes us better.
Disrupt the Norm – It takes courage to disrupt traditional ways of thinking, challenge the status quo, and make things better. But someone has to do it, and if not us, then who?
Teamwork – We are team players on the global campsite team. We work together to help each other reach our personal goals, our company goals and our community goals. We are better together.
Read how Pela™’s founder, Jeremy Lang, got the idea for Flaxstic™ and the Pela Case:
Jeremy is from the province of Saskatchewan, which grows the most oil seed flax in the world. After the flax oil seed is harvested the flax straw often gets burned in the fields because it is too difficult to break down before the next crop is seeded. As a young boy, Jeremy recalls seeing the flax straw on fire at night after harvest and he remembers thinking that there must be a use for this flax straw, but he didn’t know what that use was until much later in life.
In 2010 while vacationing with his family in Hawaii, Jeremy was shocked by the large number of plastic pieces on the beach. After a bit of research Jeremy discovered the small bits of plastic were coming from the Pacific Garbage Patch, a very large area in the Pacific ocean where plastic collects because of the currents in the water.
Jeremy also learned there was a new type of plastic emerging, bioplastic made from biopolymers, which was plant-based instead of fossil fuel based. Some of these biopolymers were even biodegradable and compostable, so they would breakdown at the end of their life rather than lasting for hundreds or even thousands of years like traditional plastic.
Jeremy had the idea of incorporating flax straw fibres into the biopolymer to provide a use for flax straw ‘waste’ while also creating an eco-friendly appearance to the material. An eco-friendly appearance would help distinguish plant-based bioplastics from traditional plastic, this would help spread awareness about bioplastics.
After about a year of research and development Jeremy created the proprietary material Flaxstic™. He then needed a consumer product to use it in. He found it a little odd that the average person replaced their smartphone every 18 months, yet the conventional plastic case used to protect it would last for hundreds of years, so he thought a compostable and biodegradable smartphone case would be a great place to start, and the Pela Case was born.
Jeremy did a lot of camping when he was a child and his dad always taught him to leave the campsite cleaner than he found it, so the next person can enjoy it too. That life lesson had quite an effect on him, as now he is just trying to do his part to help keep the ‘global campsite’ a little cleaner.
Time to Rethink Plastic Smartphone Cases
Here are a few questions that helped lead to the development of Flaxstic™ and the Pela Case:
- Why do conventional plastic smartphone cases need to last for hundreds or even thousands of years in a landfill when the average person only keeps their smartphone for 18 months?
- Why are farmers burning flax straw when we could be using its unique physical properties to create environmentally friendly bio-plastic products, and at the same time provide the farmers with additional income?
- Why are the majority of smartphone cases made with conventional plastic in China then shipped thousands of kilometres across the ocean to North America to be used for an average of 18 months, then left to pollute our landfills for hundreds or even thousands of years?