Katarina Soraya Mochtar, the owner of FitPac in Bandung, Indonesia, is championing sustainability by turning trash into foldable, holdable and reusable treasure.
“I want to take part in combatting plastic waste by using waste,” she says. “Producing this reusable shopping bag is a step we take to join in the fight.”
For Katarina, who goes by Soraya, starting this venture was as much about ensuring the longevity of her family’s business as it was about positively impacting her community’s battle against plastic waste. So, with discarded materials from her father’s textile business, Soraya teamed up with her husband who began designing light-weight, brightly colored, foldable tote bags that are small enough to carry anywhere, but strong enough to hold plenty.
With their product ready for market, Soraya’s husband also encouraged her to organize her workflow and build the brand’s market credibility early. Looking for a one-stop service to facilitate all of this, Soraya has used the WhatsApp Business app since launching FitPac in 2019. Today, 70 percent of all customer inquiries originate via the app, resulting in the production of about 200 bags every month.
Soraya says the app’s away messages feature means customers are always engaged, and quick replies help her standardize and templatize responses to their most frequently asked questions.
The app has made it infinitely easier for customers like Ferdinand Siregar, who lives in Paris, to order the bags from a business half way around the world. Ferdinand learned about FitPac via a WhatsApp group and decided to get in touch.
“It was so easy to discuss and deal with FitPac via WhatsApp,” he says. “I felt there was continuous service throughout the order process until I was pleased with the final product. This made me believe that WhatsApp enhances the online transaction process.”
Soraya wants FitPac to contribute to a new, environmentally-mindful way of consuming across Indonesia. In the future, she also wants to create more reusable products from other discarded items. And with the WhatsApp Business app helping Soraya connect with like-minded customers at home and abroad, she can scale up her upcycling dreams one foldable, reusable bag at a time.