Ordinary and serendipitous moments have shaped the inspirational trajectory of Annamaja Segtnan’s journey into the world of sustainability. When her young daughter kept breaking her glass baby bottles, it became expensive to keep buying new replacement ones. Then one day, Segtnan noticed a baby food jar tossed together with a bottle nipple while doing the dishes, and suddenly had a brainwave. What if you could simply reuse the baby food jars as feeding bottles?
Fast forward to present day, and Segtnan is now the brain behind KeepJar, a young start-up enterprise that is making sustainability easier and more economical than ever for families everywhere. KeepJar consists of a feeding ring and a lid that can be conveniently assembled on a normal baby food jar. Its simple ingenuity will mean feeding time is safer (vs the toxicity of typical plastic bottles) and more sustainable in the long run, with new replacement bottles never needed – just replace with a used food jar.
Sustainable baby products is a booming business, with many parents eager to make choices that are not only the best for their child, but kind to the planet. Yet affordability is a concern for many budget conscious families juggling the demands of their growing household. Having experienced the challenge of living on a shoestring herself, Segnant is passionate about helping people make smart purchases that last the distance. Her vision? “To make recycling smart, affordable and beautiful. That way [it will be] irresistible to make a more responsible choice”.
“To make recycling smart, affordable and beautiful. That way [it will be] irresistible to make a more responsible choice”.
With a background in industrial design, Segtnan is a Swedish native who has spent most of her career applying her skills to benefit developing nations of India and Bangladesh, where she implemented eco-friendly mobile toilet systems helping to uplift and educate local communities. She thinks her natural tendency to be inspired by the environment comes from her Swedish-Norwegian childhood spent trekking in the mountains with her family. “My Norwegian dad took me and my family to the only National Park in Stockholm, Tyresta, on the weekends. I think I’ve always felt close to nature. I worry about the environment because of that, I believe”, says Segtnan.
Beyond KeepJar, Segtnan aims to live and breathe sustainability in her day-to-day life. “I’m focussed on doing things in my everyday life that has an impact that is both great from a bigger perspective, but also good for my personal health”. She recommends cycling to work (“In Stockholm that’s even faster than taking the subway or car. Two great things at the same achieved!”) and buying quality clothes that can last over a few seasons.
But most of all, it’s about passing on the spirit of sustainability to the next generation that will be important.
“Have a dialogue with children about what to think and do for the environment. Being conscious and showing it to my daughter brings positivity [and shows] that our family is trying to do something”.