Ysabella Langdon, a senior Visual Communication Design major, is making strides in sustainability as the Community Manager of both Ramapo Green and Brooklyn-based Package Free Shop. Ysabella manages media for Ramapo Green and 1STEP, Ramapo’s student environmental club. In the Spring of 2017, she co-founded Ramapo’s Garden Club, seeing a need for more student involvement in the campus gardens. When she’s not busy organizing and planning for Ramapo Green, she’s managing communication with customers at Package Free, in addition to running her own business.
Through her business, Redo Lab, a design innovation lab that aims to invent and redesign products, Ysabella creates compostable heating and cooling packs that are handmade using herbs and other natural ingredients.
What brought you to start Redo Lab?
“I didn’t start redo lab on purpose. I was making a lot of products for myself because I couldn’t find them the way that I wanted. My whole life I’ve suffered from extremely sensitive skin, which forced my mom and I to start making our own detergent, lotion, and deodorant to make sure it only consisted of the most natural ingredients possible. Ain’t nobody have time for toxins! My parents always told me that it is okay to complain, but only if you do something about it. By making my own things, I was taking control of what goes in, on, and around my body.”
How did your business become connected to Package Free Shop?
“Fast forward to the summer of 2017, I was working for a company called The Simply Co., which is owned by Lauren Singer of Trash is For Tossers, a zero waste blog. At this time, Lauren and her business partner, Daniel Silverstein, were opening a zero waste lifestyle shop called Package Free Shop. On one of my last days working in the office, I gave Lauren and Daniel one of my heating and cooling pads. To my surprise, they wanted to carry it in their store! Everything kind of took off from there.”
How can design influence sustainability?
“I am a strong believer that great design is human centered and makes the human experience better. The burden of waste should never fall solely on the consumer. As a maker of things, I take pride in designing products that don’t litter our earth with unnecessary materials. I also believe waste is a design flaw and any great product should be invented with its impact in mind.”
You can find Ysabella’s products at Package Free Shop in store and online. If you want to keep up with all of the great work she is doing with her sustainable business, check out her instagram @redo_lab.