Chloe Tingle is the Wellbeing mentor at our Catalyst Bootcamp.
Job title: Director & Founder, No More Taboo
Qualifications: MEng 1st, Engineering Design with Year in Industry, University of Bristol.
Why did you become an environment/sustainability professional?
From a young age my mum always instilled in me reduce, reuse, recycle and I was pretty obsessed with all things good for the planet and a bit of a stickler for it (starting with converting to being vegetarian at age 7 and spitting out anything that was from an animal).
What was your first environment/sustainability job?
For my year in industry, I worked for a windturbine manufacturer on the Isle of White called Vestas. I absolutely loved my job, loved the people I worked with and really enjoyed myself but whilst I was there the company made huge cuts made about a third of its workforce redundant and was just very corporate about everything. I realised it probably wasn’t going to be for me, working in a large business.
How did you get your first role?
It was a year long internship through my course.
How did you progress your environment/sustainability career?
Having realised what I didn’t want to do, I luckily had two years left at uni to figure out what I did want to do whilst I finished my masters, I knew I had loved volunteering overseas in India and working for local charities including The Converging World and FRANK Water and I realised that I really wanted to work in international development and sustainability.
What does your current role involve?
I run my own not-for-profit organisation all about periods and how we can make them more sustainable. We are all about making the world a more ‘period-friendly’ place. We are still a tiny start-up organisation and are still finding our feet in the world of social enterprise.
How has your role changed over the past few years?
Well when I started No More Taboo in Feb 2015, I knew absolutely nothing about how to run a social enterprise or what it would entail or even if I wanted to do it as a long-term thing, it seemed like a good idea at the time and after a bit of research it was relatively easy. We started off with a simple business plan of selling menstrual cups and washable pads in the UK and using the profits to support women living in poverty in developing countries to have better periods. Now we focus much more on supporting women living in poverty here in the UK and have just started selling a subscription box. Running your own company is all about learning on your feet and I know I have learnt so much since then.
What’s the best part of your work?
I adore being my own boss, setting my own goals and targets and working from home 90% of the time. I have met so many amazing people a long the way, whether that’s my team of volunteers, the women we are supporting or young people I am talking to. It’s all a big adventure.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
Not having any money. People are always shocked when I say as a CEO, I haven’t actually paid myself for all this work, in fact I only just started paying myself minimum wage 2 days a week a few months ago. This has been a huge struggle of either working other jobs or being financially dependent on my partner.
What was the last development/training course/event you attended?
Women in Sustainability event in June, which was all about looking after yourself and it was really needed! Thanks Rhian!
What did you bring back to your job?
I talked to my whole team about self-care and making sure we take time off and don’t over stretch ourselves. I also brought back an amazing recipe book of nourishing foods which has been great and also led to a collaboration for No More Taboo.
What is/are the most important skill(s) for your role and why?
It sounds really arrogant but being able to blag your way through and believing in yourself, whether that is doing a pitch in front of people or brokering a deal, sounding like you know what you are talking about and being confident that you can achieve what you say you can is kind of all you need. Plus being able to do about 1000 things at once.
Where do you see the environment/sustainability profession going?
Surely it has got to come to the top of the agenda soon?! I can’t believe there is still so little money in the sector but hopefully the government will wake up and start supporting us more.
Where would you like to be in five years’ time?
I would potentially like to be moving away from No More Taboo to do something in the international development sphere (living in a different country) because No More Taboo is doing so well it doesn’t need me anymore.
What advice would you give to someone entering the profession?
Don’t be scared, if you are passionate about something just go for it and see what happens, what will be the worst thing that happens?
Contact info firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @nomoretaboo Facebook: @nomoretaboo
To find out more and to book a place at the Catalyst Bootcamp visit www.catalysechange.com