Rebels With a Cause

REBBL’s mis­sion is to rein­vent the en­tire con­cept of what a busi­ness, and prod­uct, should be

Better Nutrition - - TRENDWATCH - By Neil Zevnik

What if you could reach into your re­frig­er­a­tor and grab a bev­er­age that was not only smoothly de­li­cious and wholly plant- based, but also packed with tra­di­tional herbal in­gre­di­ents that could pro­vide ex­tra­or­di­nary benefi ts to your body and mind? And what if your pur­chase of that bev­er­age also made you part of a so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal move­ment that pro­motes last­ing good in com­mu­ni­ties through­out the world? Would you want to buy that prod­uct? Meet REBBL, a bev­er­age com­pany cre­at­ing elixirs and pro­tein drinks based on co­conut milk and en­hanced with adap­to­gens from Ayurvedic and Chi­nese medicines.

“A Cause Look­ing For a Com­pany”

The gen­e­sis of REBBL was un­usual, to say the least. It started with Not for Sale ( NFS), a non­profi t or­ga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to erad­i­cat­ing hu­man traffi ck­ing. NFS wanted to part­ner with a com­pany that shared val­ues and prac­tices that would en­hance its mis­sion.

That’s when they en­listed Palo Hawken, an in­ven­tor who was en­thralled with indige­nous edi­ble and medic­i­nal her­bol­ogy. Palo’s goal was clear: “To cre­ate the world’s great­est bev­er­age com­pany, while re- imag­in­ing the very DNA of what busi­ness is, from the ground up.”

Then Sheryl O’Lough­lin, for­mer CEO of Cliff Bars, came on board. “We re­al­ized we had to ad­dress the in­ter­sec­tion be­tween so­cial and eco­log­i­cal jus­tice,” she says. “We started our work in one grower com­mu­nity with the devel­op­ment of a line of plant- based, su­per herb adap­to­gen bev­er­ages, us­ing lo­cal herbs from that com­mu­nity.” And that was just the be­gin­ning.

In­vested in Help­ing Oth­ers

“Our vi­sion has evolved over time, get­ting so much big­ger than what we’d ini­tially imag­ined,” says O’Lough­lin. “Now, through our re­la­tion­ship with grow­ers in 39 coun­tries around the world, we’re able to sup­port Not for Sale’s work help­ing vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties. We help sur­vivors of traffi ck­ing get ac­cess to shel­ter, ed­u­ca­tion, and long- term coun­sel­ing, help grow­ers earn a liv­ing wage, and help pro­vide ac­cess to health care, ed­u­ca­tion, and clean wa­ter. And we do it by im­ple­ment­ing re­gen­er­a­tive busi­ness prac­tices.”

As if that weren’t enough, REBBL donates 2.5 per­cent of net sales to NFS— over $ 250,000 to date.

And what about the bev­er­ages? Aside from the fact that they’re com­plexly scrump­tious, they’re ex­cep­tion­ally pure and hon­est. They’re made with or­ganic, fair- trade in­gre­di­ents when­ever avail­able, sourced from indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties, and con­tain no gums, nat­u­ral fl avors, or thick­en­ers. Adap­to­gens, in­clud­ing maca, ash­wa­gandha, turmeric, and reishi mush­rooms, are just a few of the wide- rang­ing, well­ness- pro­mot­ing su­per herbs to be found here.

But in the end, it all comes down to this thought shared by O’Lough­lin: “Our vi­sion is that from the wis­dom of plants, we awaken our strength, honor our senses, and fuel our love of life.”

Palo Hawken ( left) and Sheryl O’Lough­lin set out to cre­ate a healthy bev­er­age— and in the process re­de­fined suc­cess to in­clude pro­mot­ing last­ing good in com­mu­ni­ties through­out the world.

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