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At MOSS, green isn’t just a colour, it’s a solution

Updated: Apr 30

In a world where environmental sustainability has become an urgent priority, women are emerging as influential leaders driving change and innovation. One such innovator is Danielle Quiwa, Co-Founder of Modern Sustainable Solutions (MOSS), a trailblazing social enterprise dedicated to promoting sustainable packaging alternatives that benefit both the planet and people. As we commemorate Earth Month, we explore how women leaders like Danielle are turning empathy into action, fueling the momentum of the green business movement.

Danielle Siwa, Co-Founder of Modern Sustainable Solutions (MOSS)

NN: What challenges have you faced in your journey towards promoting sustainability and reducing plastic use in your business?


Danielle: MOSS is a growing social enterprise and making sustainable choices for our business has been a journey with its challenges. Eco-friendly options often come at a higher cost as compared to cheap plastic, so we are actively advocating for wider adoption of sustainable practices in the industry. This would hopefully bring the price down for the market AND encourage small and big businesses to take part in our cause. Our small team size also limits our capacity at times. Additionally, sustainable packaging technology needs further research and development, and improvement. While some options break down faster or become brittle easily, we are optimistic that stronger, eco-friendly solutions are on their way.



NN: What challenges have you faced in your journey towards promoting sustainability and reducing plastic use in your business?


Danielle: MOSS is a growing social enterprise and making sustainable choices for our business has been a journey with its challenges. Eco-friendly options often come at a higher cost as compared to cheap plastic, so we are actively advocating for wider adoption of sustainable practices in the industry. This would hopefully bring the price down for the market AND encourage small and big businesses to take part in our cause. Our small team size also limits our capacity at times. Additionally, sustainable packaging technology needs further research and development, and improvement. While some options break down faster or become brittle easily, we are optimistic that stronger, eco-friendly solutions are on their way.


As a woman-owned business, we have also faced challenges beyond just plastic. A few of these challenges include owning our accomplishments and overcoming self-doubt. We have to constantly remind each other that we are capable, knowledgeable, and can work as hard as men. We hope to inspire other women to break through similar barriers.

NN: Could you share some innovative strategies or initiatives your business has implemented to reduce plastic consumption?


Danielle: To reduce plastic consumption, MOSS offers functional, eco-friendly packaging. Since our packaging is plant-based and certified compostable, it reduces the use of harmful packaging and promotes a circular economy.

Aside from being sustainable, our packaging is functional, ensuring that its quality and features are at par with customer needs. One of our products is the MOSS Anti-Leak Bagasse Food Container, which is made of sugarcane bagasse. Unlike other bagasse packaging, our anti-leak containers come with a snap-fit lid, eliminating the need for additional plastic tape for sealing. Carefully curating and testing products that are eco-friendly and fully functional are important to our company because we want to make sure that we produce as little harmful waste as possible.


Modern Sustainable Solutions - Products

As of early this year, MOSS has replaced 585,951 pieces of harmful packaging with our compostable alternatives. Additionally, 160 cafes, restaurants, and hotels in the Philippines have chosen sustainability and now use plant-based packaging.

While we offer our sustainable solutions, we always make sure to communicate about what we do and why we do it. Through online channels and seminars, we spread awareness about the problems that our environment is currently facing, and what we can do to help solve them. Lastly, we do our best to inspire others to make a positive impact on the environment by sharing our own stories at MOSS, as well as stories from our customers who practice sustainability in their businesses.


NN: In what ways do you collaborate with other organizations or individuals to raise awareness about the harmful effects of plastics and promote sustainable alternatives?


Danielle: MOSS participated in local WE Rise Accelerator and international SUP Challenge. These programs allowed us to connect with other eco-conscious entrepreneurs, allowing us to share experiences, learn from each other's successes and challenges, and build a strong network of sustainability advocates. These programs also connected us with seasoned professionals who act as mentors. Their guidance helped us work more efficiently, refine our message about plastic and sustainable solutions, and ultimately communicate our goals more effectively to the public.


We also participate in seminars, as well as assist students or researchers with their questions about sustainability. Being a part of these events allows us to talk more about our advocacy with different groups of people.

By working together, we can amplify our message and inspire a larger audience to join our cause.


NN: What role do you believe women play in driving the transition towards a more sustainable and plastic-free future?


Danielle: Women possess a strong sense of empathy, which allows us to deeply understand the impact of our choices on the planet and future generations. This empathy translates into a strong motivation to find sustainable solutions and advocate for change. Sustainability does not only impact the environment, it also helps build a healthy, thriving society for everyone. Without a healthy environment, building a society is impossible.


Aside from this, women in sustainability also serve as inspiration for others to make a positive impact on the environment. Women can face the challenge of practicing sustainability in business, at work, or home, despite the overwhelming demands of life itself. When others see different types of women in sustainability, they see that it is possible to practice an eco-conscious lifestyle wherever they are and in whatever stage of life they are in.

When you are a woman leader in sustainability, you can teach other women and give them advice about what they can do to be part of the solution. It is so important, as a woman, to receive advice from another woman, because usually only we can truly connect, understand what challenges we are going through as women, and show others how we can succeed despite those challenges.


Co-founders of MOSS Inna Serafin and Danielle Quiwa

NN: What advice would you give to other aspiring women entrepreneurs?


Danielle: Remember to build a healthy support system because it will create a strong foundation for you and your business. Starting a business is hard; ending plastic pollution is harder. With this, be sure to look for people who believe in you, as they will help you keep going, especially when you feel like giving up. To help you learn more about your advocacy, build relationships with like-minded individuals. These could be organizations or people who are already actively practicing a sustainable lifestyle. Lastly, to bring your ideas and your business forward, remember to network with mentors. Nobody is an expert from the beginning, so it is important to look for experienced professionals to help you progress.


Women's role in driving sustainability


As a woman-led corporation, MOSS exemplifies the transformative power of female leadership in driving sustainability initiatives and fostering environmental stewardship within communities. Through collaboration, innovation, and advocacy, women entrepreneurs like those at MOSS are shaping a more sustainable future for generations to come.


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