It’s always exciting when you come across a new, young brand that’s totally aligned with your values and that you instantly feel connected to.
That’s what happened with rhoeco, a newly established tea company from Greece that produces organic herbal teas to promote well-being while preserving the Earth. rhoeco aims to promote zero waste, choosing ethically sourced goods, and staying away from pointless consumerism. I couldn’t agree more with their values and can’t wait to share their beautiful hand-packed tea creations with you - especially with all my European friends. Perhaps just in time for a Christmas present that’s good for everyone.
What’s your story? How did rhoeco come about?
The idea of rhoeco began during our post graduate studies in the UK. Harry was studying in Edinburgh, whilst Katerina and Vaya were colleagues at Newcastle University. Our studies in ecology and organic farming raised our environmental concern even more and made us more conscious and grateful for the planet we live on.
Our desire to come back to Greece, be creative and innovative led us to intense brainstorming. A few ideas were tossed around before coming up with the concept of rhoeco. Our ambition was to create a high quality product, which is formed on the principles of ecology, differentiates from similar products and bridges past and present.
Who’s behind the brand?
The soul of rhoeco are Harry, Katerina and Vaya. Friends and colleagues since university, ecology enthusiasts and tea lovers!
What are your core values and how do they show in your life and business?
rhoeco is about living sustainably, being cooperative, respecting others. Equity, simplicity and honesty. Claiming our origins, serving and preserving the Earth. These values are all reflected both in rhoeco and our lives.
We respect nature, thus we choose organic. We produce with a minimum environmental footprint. The container is reusable and compostable, leaving zero waste. We promote our natural heritage by choosing among an abundance of unique herbal indigenous species to create our blends. We ensure fairness at all levels for everyone involved and we support smallholder family farms.
This is how we understand life. These same values are reflected in our habits. Realising the global issues, we recycle and we respect food and water, consuming to the minimum, avoiding aimless waste. We choose ethically sourced goods as much as possible. We try to stay away from pointless consumerism. At the same time, Harry and his family grow organic olive groves, producing organic olive oil. Katerina creates mini ecosystems inside beautiful terrariums, bringing people closer to nature in the urban ecosystem, and Vaya draws on recycled paper giving a second ‘life’ by creating handmade notebooks and postcards.
What does a typical week look like for you?
We spend our days at our facilities in Thessaloniki, Greece, which include our offices, lab and storeroom. Our place is located very close to the forest offering a wonderful, calming and inspiring view.
We try to start our day trekking, listening to the birds, leaving stress behind. We sort out and sieve herbs, we prepare small quantities of blends and we pack them by hand in our biodegradable packages. We also devote some time during the day to socialising and getting in touch with people, using their feedback to improve ourselves.
What are your tips for living more sustainable everyday lives?
Sustainability is about environmental integrity, social justice and economic prosperity. Our tips are as simple as to choose seasonal organic goods, reduce food waste, buy less-buy better, respect human and animal rights, be united. Reduce-reuse-recycle. Play your part!
How do you go about growing your business?
We are a newly established company. We are looking for new markets and at the same time we are developing a new series of products targeting the catering industry. Our main goal is to make quality tea available to anyone who wants to enjoy it inside and outside the home.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten recently?
The best advice anyone gave us since this journey began, was to keep going and never give up. There were - and still are - many difficulties along the way, and things don’t always turn out the way you want them to. You need to be persistent and believe in your idea. Be passionate with what you do and the result will reward you.
What bigger impact are you hoping to make with rhoeco?
Our manifesto is promoting well-being, while preserving the Earth. We hope to inspire people and make them appreciate quality over quantity. To share our love for herbal teas and make people spend some quality time in their everyday lives to prepare and enjoy one! We aim to motivate young entrepreneurs to follow their dreams and start their own project.