At Climate Salad, we are proud of our female founders and their accomplishments. We also value the important role women and girls have to play in building this future.
The 2023 IWD theme is #EmbraceEquity. This isn’t only about achieving gender equality, but also acknowledging that females are crucial contributors to fostering equitable business, communities, and solutions. We showcase our female founders all year around, not just on March 8, and love hearing their climate tech stories, and learning how we can truly embrace equity by supporting female founders in climate tech. Today, we hear from Tina Funder, Founder of ALT.Leather
Tell us about yourself and your journey into climate tech.
"I’m happiest in nature. Having hiked, snowboarded, and worked my way around our beautiful planet,I’m deeply passionate about protecting it. Climate tech makes a lot of sense to me on a personal level. Career-wise, for over 15 years I worked in creative advertising for the big networks all over the world. Whilst I loved the innovative, creative, collaborative, and fast-paced environment the industry offered; I was always searching for a more purpose-driven career.
Around three and a half years ago I started my own creative consultancy with the intention of servicing sustainably focused clients. During that time, I also launched LOMAustralia - a plant-based leather handbag range - which led me on my current quest to develop Australia’s first 100% bio-based leather alternative.
After a deep-dive into the leather alternatives on the market, I could see there were gaps in terms of plastic-free alternatives. Australia has an abundance of agricultural biomass to tap into, and world-class scientific research facilities, so why aren’t we part of this global movement?
Following substantial research, testing, and countless conversations, I’m now part of a specialised team developing an Australian-made plant-based leather that will be infinitely better for the planet than animal and plastic-based leathers.
What excites you most about Climate Tech?
Being smarter with the resources we have! Australia is resource rich, there is so much opportunity here. Being more efficient with our resources is not only essential for ustained economic growth, by reducing environmental impacts we’ll all live cleaner, healthier, happier lives.
How can we better support women in climate tech? If you could change one thing, what would it be?
We can support women by providing more training focusing on technical and sales outcomes.These are two skills that women generally shy away from and are essential for c-suite roles. I heard this practical advice from Kim Teo, founder/CEO of Mr Yum recently: “Learn to build, learn to sell.” Kim has raised over $100m and strongly believes that if we teach women the technical aspects of a quality product, and how to sell it, we can succeed at an executive level across any industry.
Any advice you would give to fellow females interested in jumping into climate change solutions?
Throw yourself into it and back yourself. Working on climate change solutions is challenging and fulfilling, I don’t think it’s possible to regret working in climate-tech.
Do you have a statistic about climate change you'd like to share?
45% of the earth's land surface is occupied by cattle grazing systems! When you buy animal leather you need to consider the cradle to gate impact (deforestation, GHG emissions, water wastage, eutrophication, etc). We're developing circular solutions to animal and PU/PVC synthetic based leathers."
A quote you'd like to share:
“To do good you actually have to do something.” Yvon Chouinard
Learn more here: https://www.linkedin.com/company/alt-leather-official/
Cover Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash