Company Spotlight: Reel

Reel redefines an everyday essential: toilet paper. From their recycled and bamboo paper products to their charitable giveback, they do things differently. Here’s how!

September 20, 2023


0 trees. 0 plastic. 0 compromise. That’s the motto of Reel – a company redefining an everyday essential: toilet paper. Using earth-friendly recycled fibers and bamboo fibers, they create single-use paper products that are kinder to our planet. 

But why make the switch?

We always say that small changes can make a big impact. By swapping out traditional, single-use paper products for a more sustainable alternative, you can reduce your plastic footprint and the amount of trees your products utilize. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Reel before upgrading your routine.

Reel Brand Story

Reel was founded by co-founders Livio Bisterzo and Derin Oyekan – and shaped by their team of like-minded, big-hearted individuals with a distinct vision for the future. 

Livio Bisterzo is a creative entrepreneur with a passion for healthy living, consumer products, and leadership. Since 2003, Bisterzo has built several businesses from ground-up… always putting people first.

Derin Oyekan has supported numerous start-up companies over the years, and teamed up with Bisterzo to create a product that created a real difference. 

Oyekan grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and was inspired by his early life experiences to create a product that gave back to the community – specifically when it came to health, sanitation, safety, and well-being!

“My experience growing up in Lagos and seeing those without definitely fuels my ambition. I have a post-it note on my bedroom mirror that reminds me of my personal mission every day- which is to create products and experiences that have a positive impact on people’s lives.” – Derin Oyekan, Co-Founder

And so Reel was born.

It’s the most sustainable paper product on the market AND improves the quality of life for people without access to sanitation products worldwide!

Bamboo Paper Products

Root of the Problem

Traditional everyday paper products, like toilet paper and paper towels, are traditionally made by cutting down healthy forests.

These trees take decades to grow… all to create a product that is used for 10 seconds before heading to our landfills.

Trees play a pivotal role in combating climate change, and cutting down thousands every day is not sustainable for our environment long-term. 

Wood is a renewable resource – but NOT an unlimited one. 

Plus, traditional paper products are often packaged in single-use plastic filmwhich can’t be recycled. That means it ends up in our landfills, oceans, or ecosystems. 

It’s clear we can’t continue down the path we’re currently on. 

That’s where Reel comes in. 

Tree-Free Paper Products

Reel makes their innovative paper products out of bamboo – not trees. Some quick bamboo facts for you:

  • Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on earth, growing back in 3-5 years after being cut down
  • Bamboo grows back from the same root once harvested, which causes less damage and erosion the ecosystem
  • Bamboo sequesters carbon! One newly planted bamboo plant can sequester 2 tons of CO2 in just 7 years. In comparison, a hardwood tree sequesters 1 ton of CO2 over 40 years. 

Awesome, right? We think so! 

Additionally, all their paper products are biodegradable, free from dyes and ink, and contain no BPAs, harmful chemicals, or fragrances.

Reel has also redefined product packaging. Instead of opting for single-use plastic that can’t be recycled, they package their goods in 100% recyclable paper. The shipping packaging is recyclable and plastic-free, too! 

Recycled Paper

While they’re best known for their bamboo products, they also offer recycled paper products. Using 80% post-consumer fibers, they give new life to recycled paper. 

Their recycled paper fibers are sourced exclusively from North America then manufactured in the USA. 

By transforming discarded paper into recycled paper towels, they’re making better use of trees and extending the product life cycle.

Partnerships & Certifications

Carbon Emissions

Because bamboo is primarily grown in Asia, there are some challenges when it comes to overseas shipping. To make this process more sustainable, Reel offsets 100% of the carbon emissions produced in overseas transportation through their partners Flexport and the Foundation.

One Tree Planted

Reel doesn’t just want to use less trees. They want to plant MORE

Through their partnership with One Tree Planted, they donate to reforestation projects across the globe. And their community helps them decide which projects to support! 

Certified B Corp

Like Karma Wallet, Reel is a Certified B Corp – meaning they meet high standards for legal accountability, environmental performance, and social impact. They’ve passed the B Lab’s rigorous assessment to earn a score of 86.8.

FSC Certified

When it comes to their recycled paper products, they ensure they source exclusively from FSC Certified sources.

FSC Certification ensures that products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.

All of this has helped Reel creating meaningful impact on people & planet.

To date, Reel has…

  • Saved 64,000+ trees from being cut down
  • Eliminated the use of 35,000+ single-use plastics

Karma Collective

Karma Wallet built the Karma Collective – a community of ethical brands – to offer conscious consumers like you exclusive benefits and rewards. 

We’re stoked to announce that Reel has joined the movement! 

They’ll be sharing awesome cashback rewards on the Karma Wallet Card, a prepaid, reloadable debit card that’s launching January 2024 (join the waitlist here!

Because you deserve to be rewarded for shopping sustainably. Stay tuned for more details!

Long story short, Reel is more than just a paper product. They’re a lifestyle upgrade. No matter where you are on your sustainability journey, Reel makes it easy to create meaningful impact with an easily accessible swap.

Ready to make the switch? Shop Reel!