Meet Susteo: Paulski

Meet Susteo!

Hi, I’m Paulski. You may not know me, I’m the grumpy old guy from Susteo, where the team calls me “the king of sustainability?”


If you are reading this, I guess you have already read some other blogs. It’s common knowledge that I write some of the least popular sustainable blogs on the planet (in fact, Paulina recently rated my blog posts as the “world’s grumpiest blog posts”


As you will read in a minute, I am a self-confessed eco hypocrite. But you might be surprised to hear that, before I figured out my passion was centered around sustainability I pimped plastics and unethical products for some of the world’s worst offenders. 

Other things you should know about me, I hate Jeff Bezos. I am a dreamer. And three of our six new startups are trying to make the world more sustainable.

My First Foray Into Sustainability Was a Susteo

We launched Susteo about a year ago.

And like most people, I know that sustainable products and services are going to be huge. So… to be fair I did get into this industry for all the wrong reasons – at first. 

The same can not be said for Paulina or Aga – they are the truly sustainable warriors and their passion finally rubbed off on me – to the point I took over the role of office “king of sustainability?”

So that’s how we got here, somewhere along the way I became terribly offended with Jeff Bezos and he seems to be a key feature in many of my rants – for good reason.

Very quickly after we launched Susteo, we took on investment to enable us to dream up some more sustainable concepts. I can swear that none of us bought new cars – although we did dream about the lovely electric ones. 

Four of our six new business concepts are sustainably focused:

  • Wefillz – A digital distribution model to eliminate single-use plastics and create 1000’s small businesses
  • Green Watch – A non-profit certification process for sustainable products 
  • SloFash – A slow fashion marketplace
  • Talent Vlogs – An innovative recruitment platform to help people shine
  • Cromote – A new platform that will give small businesses access to free marketing strategies. 

Yes I am a hypocrite though – I still buy plastic things, I am a bad vegan, I have chopped down trees. 

But I did give up a financially lucrative corporate life to invent sustainable tools, which I hope will play a small part in the process that will ultimately empower us all to change. 

At Susteo we quickly realized that people “love the idea of sustainability” but rarely embrace it. Until that is, the big brands use their marketing budgets to greenwash a product into our shopping baskets. 

But what about the small producers – those who actually care about sustainability. Those who are being priced out of the market by the fakers? 

Well, what about them? They don’t have scale, they don’t have visibility and in most cases, they don’t have enough customers. Whose fault is that? Perhaps greenwashers?

At Susteo we began our journey with 5000 “eco” products – mostly beauty, care and grocery products. But when we took a closer look at our listed products the only sustainable quality we could identify 90% of the time was the product name and the pitch, in most cases, not even the packaging. 

In fact, the majority of eco products on shelves today are using the same production and distribution machines used to mass-produce the famously terrible products. 

And here’s what we found – the truly sustainable brands are smaller passionate family-run businesses, these are the types of businesses Jeff Bozos is killing on his way to Mars.    

But what can I do about this? How could I crack the Bezos killings?

That’s when we decided to hop off the “greenwashing” train. Instead, we decided we would hunker down, delist and test everything.

And we discovered something surprising…

Then — BAM! — We Had a Breakthrough

Sustainable products don’t sell very well. 

Despite the fact that they are mostly good for you and the planet, we don’t buy them. In many cases, we don’t see them. 

People “even environmentally conscious people” would still rather buy mass-produced brands from the big retailers. Bonus happy feeling –  if it has some form of eco markings on it. They have made it very easy to feel good about ourselves thanks to greenwashing.

Ours was one of those “light bulb” moments you see in cartoons.


We realised that:

Most people are fooled by marketing and packaging, most are keen to make the switch to “sustainable products” but only if it has been made super easy for them.

There are only a small handful of people who go out of their way to source the most sustainable producers. But there is a light at the end of this tunnel. The people who do find good brands remain deeply loyal to them. And more and more people are finding these excellent producers. 

And most important of all, ethical and sustainable producers need help to promote their products and services. Because only when they are mainstream can they begin to compete against the big boys, provided they don’t sell out and place scale over sustainability! I’m looking at you Yope team! Don’t sell out!

We are turning this “light bulb moment” into a group of solutions that will remove plastic. Start thousands of small local businesses, expose greenwashing, reward and promote ethical production. And also help small businesses find the most special people to push them forward.

Here’s What’s Happening Next:

In a few months, we will launch Cromote.

When we started Susteo, we knew that we were entering one of the most brutally competitive, and deeply unethical industries on the planet (FMCG). We had no idea how rotten the sustainably marked industry was inside it. 

(Think about it: we were literally going toe to toe with P&G for keyword rankings)

And we realised that we could never compete in this world. Where money and marketing can do and say anything it wants – if it means a sale. 

So we decided to go after them where it hurts. Cromote will give free marketing to small businesses that can’t compete for keywords or search engine positioning. 

How? That’s the magic sauce we can’t tell… for now. 

We can say that Cromote will only use white hat techniques. To help small brands get a foothold on the market and reach their target audiences. 

We have tested the Cromote model on Susteo partners and it worked beyond all expectations. 

That’s When We Asked Ourselves in Susteo: “should this be a free service?”

The answer in case you hadn’t guessed is yes! It should always be free.

So we are currently negotiating with a group of investors to roll this concept out across Europe. Regardless of who finally invests in the concept, the organic marketing part is free.  And always will be free for small and medium-sized business owners.

Stay tuned for more exciting sustainable platforms…

Sincerely yours – The king of sustainability?

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