Deb Gee has worked in the travel and events industry for the last 15 years, taking on every role from event manager through to business development for PCOs and TMCs. Having organised many an attendee gift for many an event, she realized how wasteful and unsustainable most corporate gifts can be.
So when the chance to marry her love of products with a purpose to her extensive experience in events presented itself, Deb jumped at the idea.
Today, she is the Business Director of Sun Bear Sunscreen, a social enterprise which gives 80 per cent of its profits to help protect the endangered sun bear.
“We feel that products with purpose are the future of corporate and conference gifting. And Sun Bear Sunscreen makes for a great product for conscientious companies wanting to make an impact and a difference,” Deb tells SpiceNews.
“There are endless forums, posts and debates about corporate and delegate gifts and how to make your company stand out and be talked about. When spending money on delegate and corporate gifts you want it to be an investment that will be long term rather than a disposable item that will be done away with.”
She explains that when companies choose to gift a product with purpose, it shows their delegates that they are wanting to invest in the future and that they care about the environment.
“Recipients will feel that they are part of making change for the better,” she says.
But why choose to rep the sun bear?
Well it all began some 18 months ago when creator Luke Slobin was on a scouting a trip on mountain bikes from Mawlamyine to Yangon in Myanmar, for his adventure travel business.
After dressing the sacred rock atop Kyaiktiyo summit with golden leaf (a ritual many take part in), he walked back to the hilltop village when a local darted in front of him with a suitcase. He knew they weren’t his market but needy of a sale he flashed its contents anyway.
In a quick glance, Luke realised they were bear paws and there was no spiritual awakening or light bulb moment; just a thought that the man, the community and the environment would all be far better off if the bears were alive.
And thus began Sun Bear Sunscreen – a rational thought in a magical place.
Today, the Sun Bear Sunscreen team are committed to working hard to raise awareness about the product and will be exhibiting at tradeshows throughout the year.
“For the business events market we will have a presence at the upcoming Events Uncovered show next week. We will have an interactive stand and samples to share.”
“That is just the beginning, we have lots of exciting things planned over the next 12-months to ensure people can get to know us,” Deb revealed.
Profits from the sale of Sun Bear Sunscreen go to Dr Wong Siew Te and his team at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre.
The Sun Bear Sunscreen team has been to see Dr Wong has his team on several occasions now.
“But each time it has been clear they are facing an uphill battle and there is so much more that can be done.”
Money raised will be used by Dr Wong and his team to fund release and research activities.
“The sanctuary is currently at capacity and needs to immediately release bears but there are no funds to facilitate this,” Deb says.
“To release Sun Bears, a helicopter is needed to fly to a mud volcano in the most remote part of the forest. This will give the bears the best chance for survival. They also require satellite collars and a big team to physically carry the bears further into the forest before their final release.”
“We are in this for the long haul,” Deb promised.
“Looking to the future we will be adding other products in to our range and supporting a number of projects. We really support companies that support us and are dedicating to making this happen.”
Sun Bear Sunscreen is Australian made, palm oil free, not tested on animals, and provides SPF50+ protection.
Sun Bear Sunscreen will be exhibiting at Events Uncovered on 11 July at the Argyle. To register your attendance, CLICK HERE.