HYYH Trading Co. is an international import-export trading company based in Vietnam that focuses on delivering eco-friendly brands and manufacturers to the rest of the world – including newly launched brand EQUO International.

EQUO straws are a versatile eco-friendly alternative to plastic and paper straws are biodegradable, uniquely functional to suit different tastes and behaviours, and made from all-natural ingredients. The EQUO team strove to produce a range of what is possible in the development of eco-friendly straws through the company’s innovative use of materials from nature.

The multi-coloured EQUO Straws’ product line includes four choices with unique characteristics:

  • Rice Straws – Made from rice and tapioca starch and available in plant based, natural colours including white, green, pink, blue, yellow (After use, these can be cooked down and are fully edible).
  • Dried Grass Straws – Made from naturally tube-shaped grass and available in green (also a natural chew/tug-of-war toy for pets, or crunch them if fidgety, to get the same satisfaction as popping bubble wrap).
  • Coconut Straws – Made from fermented coconut water, offering a tropical twist on an everyday product, and available in ivory white with a cool textured design.
  • Sugarcane Straws – Made from sugarcane, with a light sweet aroma, and available in a variety of sizes (including wide sizes for specialty drinks/bubble tea). Available in light brown (speckled), and washable for reuse within one day.

“It’s well known that plastic straws are harmful for the environment, with most of the 500 million used every day in America ending up in oceans where they pollute water and kill marine life,” said Equo Founder and CEO Marina Tran-Vu. “Although there are some plastic and paper straw alternatives on the market, most are environmentally harmful through the carbon footprint they make in production and disposal, and we were also unsatisfied with the quality and durability of paper straws.”

In addition to their positive ecological impact, Tran-Vu says they wanted to ensure Equo Straws were competitively priced to give consumers an affordable alternative to environmentally harmful straws.

“We continually reduce the pricing on our products by actively working with manufacturing facilities to invest in automation and increase production capacity to drive efficiencies,” she said. “Overall, we want to make sure if we offer an alternative to paper and/or plastic that it is realistic both in cost and supply. We don’t want cost to be the main reason why people can’t select a better alternative.”

Tran-Vu, who previously worked in brand management for a variety of consumer goods and services companies including Unilever, LG Electronics, SpinMaster and Bacardi, was inspired to build a sustainable future for her nephew, while working to support local economic growth and job creation in her parents’ hometown in Vietnam to change the world’s views about the country.

“Traveling the world and seeing the massive amount of plastic and garbage in the forests, oceans, beaches and sidewalks breaks my heart,” she said. “I really want future generations to have a chance at experiencing a better Earth. Also, after returning to Vietnam, I wanted to create jobs for local farming communities just like where my parents grew up…and sourcing from communities like this gives them a steady income. Furthermore, I want to change people’s mind about Vietnam. It’s not a third world country – it’s a place of great sustainable innovation, talented people and so much to offer to the world. We’re a business leading with purpose.”

Straws are the first in a line of products the company plans to introduce to replace single-use plastics. EQUO will be rolling out products in different categories in 2021, including cutlery, dishware, drinkware and stationery.

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