“We want to be the bridge between people and charities, and it has been an incredible journey that it's just starting.” - Mateo Palacio Gomez, charityBay Co-Founder.
To innovate the economy - that is - to develop sustainable methods for reducing waste, the 2020 People’s Choice Award winner charityBay is a local solution to help stop waste and support charity. As the people’s choice award winner, we spoke to Mateo to learn more about charityBay and its impact on the community. In preparation for the upcoming event, ‘The Future is Now,’ Mateo articulates the direction of the non-for-profit, the role of upcycling in consumerism and a pathway for sustainable solutions in Melbourne to benefit the community in a digital platform. As such, items that we keep in our homes that could find a home that would actually use them, charityBay is a digital platform to pass on items to stop the waste and barriers people have when choosing to upcycle. That is what charityBay is all about, as well as being able to generate a profit from sales.
What contribution to the environment does charityBay make for the circular economy?
“ We believe in changing the linear "take, make, waste" issue. Instead, we convert it into our circular approach where people and companies can repurpose items, reduce landfills, reduce the purchase of new items, and create social equity. It is a triple positive effect of reducing, reusing and giving a hand to others.”
What is the inspiration behind charityBay?
“The concept of charityBay started out from living in an apartment in inner-city Melbourne. It felt as though every day new people were coming and going, and in their wake left countless items being left on the nature strips and in the communal rubbish rooms to be taken to landfill inevitably.”
“A washing machine, a couch, an assortment of children's toys left in a cardboard box labelled 'free to a good home'. They still had life in them and would be perfect for someone else to use and love. And more surprisingly, they were belongings people were happy to part with for no monetary gain. So it got us thinking... what if we could somehow sell these items and create a new revenue stream for those who truly need it. Cold hard cash that could be used in any charity, for any cause and go towards the personalised needs of those associated with any charity. From there - our minds went wild. Imagine if we could simultaneously help those in need AND reduce our impact on the environment. Reducing landfill, increasing reusing and recycling.”
How many years has charityBay been operating?
“charityBay is very young yet full of energy and motivation. We launched a pilot in February 2020 and went live in April 2020. Currently (August 2021), we can say that we are a growing community of 3000+ users nationwide supporting countless charities and, more importantly, discovering our power to help.”
What is the team dynamic at charityBay?
We believe in changing the linear "take, make, waste" issue. Instead, we convert it into our circular approach where people and companies can repurpose items, reduce landfills, reduce the purchase of new items, and create social equity. It is a triple positive effect of reducing, reusing and giving a hand to others. I believe our leading team characteristics are passion and action. We are a very diverse group from multiple backgrounds and cultures, so the diversity of ideas is our primary fuel. We discuss, analyse, debate and quantify; then, we select an idea and execute it. There is no hierarchy based on job positions, the best idea towards charityBay's goals is always the winner, and we all promote a healthy environment of collaboration, open communication and respect.”
Where would you like to see charityBay in the next few years as an online platform?
“We are in a new era, the era of community, and there is no more rewarding feeling than helping someone who truly needs it. Each person has the power to change others' lives, and we see charityBay in the next few years as that connection between heroes: donors and charities, where millions of people discover the incredible feeling of helping.”
Why is it important for startups like charityBay to generate community support?
“We, human beings, were not born to be alone. In times like this, we must not lose our connections to others, and our communities become the best way to find purpose and daily motivation. No one can disrupt the world without a community that believes and supports you, so startups can't grow nor survive without generating that two-way channel of helping and being backed by the community.”
To reduce the amount of waste created and find solutions for an environmentally conscious circular economy, charityBay is a solution based experience for conscious consumers. It is a means through which consumers can engage with others and sell unwanted household items whilst empowering the community for sustainable action. Congratulations charityBay for being the 2020 People’s Choice Award Winners!
To apply for the 2021 Early Ethical Entrepreneur Pitch Competition, visit here (Entries closing 2nd of September) https://www.moralfairground.com.au/early-ethical-enterprise-pitch-competition-2021
For tickets to the Ethical Enterprise Conference, visits here https://events.humanitix.com/ethical-enterprise-conference-the-future-is-now
Written by Jamileh Hargreaves