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Question time

When and where was Below7 founded?

May 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. The hipster inner-north of Melbourne to be exact. For more information about the circumstances surrounding the inception of Below7 have a read of our journal.

Who is behind all this?

That’d be me – Adrian. I flew to Hong Kong when I was 20 on the day after my last university lecture. I carried a bag of clothes and a Lonely Planet guide and ended up staying there for the next 2 years. Since then I’ve explored 68 countries, lived in 5 of them and started a few businesses. In recent years I’ve become increasingly concerned about the impact human activity is having on our planet. It’s everywhere you look. There’s plastic all over beaches in the Pacific. Two-thirds of rivers in New Zealand, my homeland, are unswimmable. Long term drought is ravaging large parts of Australia.

I figured that if I were to act to help then I need to do what I do best and do something I’m passionate about. I know how to start and run digital businesses and love traveling light. Starting an online lightweight gear business that dedicates its profits to environmental causes is my way of making a difference.

Why ‘coming soon’ on all the gear?

Below7 is work in progress and the first work that needs doing is getting a website up and running. Think of it as a Kickstarter campaign that’s self-funded and we’re in product development mode right now. We’re scoping out suppliers for our gear and wrapping our heads around stuff like freight forwarding and marketing strategies. We’re also testing products ourselves to make sure that whatever we sell at Below7 is stuff that’d we’d pack ourselves. We’re getting there and are aiming to fully launch in September or October 2019.

Are you hiring?

Yes, we are. We’d love to talk to anyone with a Digital Marketing background who loves backpacking and are passionate about the travel industry. Some key skills are:

  • A degree in marketing with proven experience on the major Social Media platforms
  • Great content writing skills on topics related to travel and travel gear
  • Based in Australia, preferably Melbourne
  • An enthusiastic personality and interest in learning about e-commerce and business in general
  • Any photography skills would be brilliant

The job would be part-time to start with but may move into a more something serious once we ramp up later in 2019. For more information reach out to us at adrian@below7.com.au.

How is importing stuff from China good for the environment?

That’s a great question and a genuine concern. It’s something that we intend to explore deeper as we grow the business. For the time being this is what we’ve got:

1. Finding suppliers in Australia that manufacture light-weight and affordable backing gear locally is really hard. It’s all made in China these days. We don’t have much of an option 🙁

2. Shipping stuff from China, especially light-weight stuff, is actually pretty carbon efficient. The 5,200 nautical mile voyage (9,600km) from Shanghai to Sydney releases about 240kg of CO2 per ton of goods shipped, according to timeforchange.org. If that same ton of Chinese stuff then gets sold to someone in Melbourne and sent by air on the short 710km flight then it’ll release 355kg of CO2. In other words, the CO2 cost of air freighting goods to the end customer within Australia easily exceeds the cost of getting it to Australia in the first place.

3. Buying product from China suppliers allows us to influence how that product is made, what materials are used and how workers are treated. Global warming is a global problem. Buying local is great we still need to engage with the rest of the world and help educate suppliers in green manufacturing practices.