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Striving for a sustainable society — the story behind our alumni Perpetual Products

31 July 2020

Stefano and Edoardo founded Perpetual Products through their common passion for our planet and its people. They believe in circularity and want to empower people to be sustainable. As alumni of one of our Erasmus Startup Programmes, they were happy to share their story with us during an interview.

Back in 2016, Edoardo Pulvirenti and Stefano Perlasca first met each other while working at HousingAnywhere – one of our Top250 ScaleUps, founded by Rotterdam School of Management alumnus, Niels van Deuren, who also happens to be an alumnus of our startup programmes! This is where their friendship started and where they learned about each other’s passion for sustainability. Edoardo initially came to the Netherlands to study a Master’s in Entrepreneurship and Strategy at the Erasmus School of Economics, where he was introduced to Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship since some of his classes were held at ECE Campus. “I immediately loved the innovative and inspiring ambiance,” said Edoardo.

Both founders are originally from Italy, yet they found each other in one of the best startup hubs in Europe, the city of Rotterdam. “We met about three years ago and since we are both extremely passionate about sustainability, we started thinking: how can we make a concrete impact?”, shared Stefano. The company itself was officially founded in 2019 once they were confident they had developed a concrete idea. They initially tried to come up with a solution to solve the problem of plastic pollution. Edoardo: “We thought providing a circular system would be both helpful and attractive, which is why we offered this in a service that would help people have certain products refilled, for example shampoo bottles. But during testing we found out that our audience didn’t care as much about the packaging, as they did about the used ingredients.”

This is how Perpetual Products, the e-commerce platform that wants to empower people to become more sustainable, came to life. Stefano: “Our vision is to provide reliable sources of sustainable alternatives, which we test and select ourselves in order to encourage people to use eco-friendly products. Furthermore, we plant a tree for every order!” The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic had its challenges for the co-founders but simultaneously contributed to an increase in sales on their e-commerce platform. “While selling hygiene products online seemed unnecessary before the pandemic, it had now turned into a necessity and became the only possibility to obtain these products in a safe manner. Furthermore, the virus also created more awareness about sustainability within society. Our platform presents itself as the perfect solution for the current scenario,” shared Edoardo.

Since Edoardo was already familiarised with Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, the programme was relatively easy for them to find. Stefano noted that “the programme was extremely interesting in terms of organization, since it was divided into different sections. They were aimed at explaining specific points and it helped us have a clear overview of all the content. But what we perceived as most valuable were the coaching sessions. The sessions with coaches or experienced entrepreneurs are an incredibly valuable asset for starting entrepreneurs like us”.

Currently, the two founders are putting in the energy to find a better and more sustainable business model. “In the long-term, we would like to expand the company to more countries in order to reach our mission of growing sustainability,” shared Edoardo. “We are dedicated enough to turn this into a success. And from our point of view, this means a more sustainable society and no more waste,” Stefano added.

We would like to wish Edoardo and Stefano the best of luck on all their endeavours!

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