Entrepreneur Spotlight: Devana Ng

Protecting Nature: Transforming Plastic into Water

August 7, 2023

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Devana Ng

Protecting Nature: Transforming Plastic into Water

August 7, 2023

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Meet Devana Ng, Co-founder of Invisible Company.  Together with her co-founder Flavien, they are challenging the status quo and transforming the way brands approach packaging with their innovative solution, the #INVISIBLEBAG.

So what exactly is the invisible bag? 

Source: Invisible Company

It's a revolutionary solution that resembles and functions like traditional plastic, yet it completely dissolves in water. This innovative bag is not only biodegradable, compostable, and non-toxic, but it also leaves no microplastics or harmful residues behind. 

To see how it works, check out this video from one of their advocates: Hylo athletics

The impact of their unique proposition has been remarkable, as they have successfully replaced over 5 million plastic bags with #INVISIBLEBAG since the company's inception in 2020. Their dedication to sustainability has attracted the attention and partnership of more than 800 brands worldwide, including prominent fashion brands, e-commerce platforms, and retailers.

🌱♻️ Turning inspiration into impact - Protecting nature

It all started during hiking in Hong Kong where Devana and Flavien witnessed the environmental impact of plastic waste firsthand including food wraps, tissues, and plastic bottles. After countless efforts of collecting trash and cleaning the trails, they quickly learned that this was not the answer. They asked themselves the question: 

How can we protect nature against this? 

As Devana explains:

"We were determined to find or create an alternative solution for brands or manufacturers to replace this polluting packaging." 

Motivated to find a sustainable solution, they went on a research journey, ultimately discovering the material composition for #INVISIBLEBAG: 

a mix of PVOH+Starch+Glycerin. 

Devana elaborates further, stating: 

The main material PVOH was created 100 years ago by 2 German Scientists and has been commercialized in Japan in the 60s for various applications such as medicine capsules, lamination, medical stitches, laundry pods, eye drops, and more

Inspired by this discovery, they questioned, 

"Why don't we develop and apply this for packaging applications usually made of plastic?" 

And that's how #INVISIBLEBAG and the Invisible Company were born.

Invisible bag being dissolved, source: Invisible company 

💪🚧💡Navigating Obstacles - The early days:

The idea of the invisible bag was born in 2019 and the company established in 2020. But like any entrepreneurial endeavor, the early days came with a fair share of challenges. For Devana and Flavien, it was the beginning of the pandemic. As Devana shares: 

“The Pandemic made it very difficult for businesses around the world causing logistic costs to skyrock. This obviously had a major impact developing the roadmap for expanding the business. We had to shift our focus towards the local market. At the beginning it was challenging. No physical meetings were an option. However, something good eventually came out of it. The lockdowns and quarantine made people start to reflect on their own daily plastic consumption. We also learned that a lot of small & medium-sized businesses bloomed with eco-conscious but they didn't have access to sustainable packaging”. 

Recognizing the need for accessible sustainable packaging, Invisible Company made #INVISIBLEBAG available to everyone by offering a lower minimum quantity order than usual manufacturers, with free shipping in Hong Kong. Beyond the product itself, they emphasized the importance that sustainability is all about education. 

“We are committed to creating educational content and organizing hike cleanup days, which serve as the foundation of our mission. Through these initiatives, we aim to empower more people to realize their ability to make a positive impact on the environment and inspire others to do the same. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, it has only fueled our motivation to develop additional solutions and find ways to support brands in educating their end-users. This includes initiatives like the creation of the Invisible Community, conducting #EcoWithAttitude interviews, publishing Sustainable Articles, and more.”

When asked about the journey from idea to market launch, Devana reflects: 

"It took us two years to bring our ideas to life. Our inspiration sparked during a hike cleanup in 2018, and we began conducting research in 2019. Throughout the year, we explored different materials, traveled to various countries, and engaged with different individuals to seek out solutions and conduct research and development. This process allowed us to refine our ideas, transform them into actionable plans, and stay aligned with our vision and mission

As an entrepreneur, making courageous decisions is part of the journey. When we asked Devana about the craziest decision that turned out to be a game changer for the business, she humbly reflects: 

"Quitting your stable job and believing in your idea is nothing short of craziness. Being a mission-driven person to lead the company's growth, especially in the sustainability space where there is so much work to be done, requires dedication and a willingness to open everyone's eyes to the challenges."

By February 2020, Invisible Company had made its market debut, resonating with audiences through their mission-driven approach and ambitious solution.

💡Words of Wisdom - Start with a Purpose

For aspiring entrepreneurs venturing into the world of business, Devana offers a piece of advice: 

You need to start and get things moving. But start with a mission that drives you and creates a positive impact on society and the environment. Be prepared and envision the transformative effect you aspire to achieve. This vision will serve as your daily motivation, inspiring you to face each day with purpose and determination.” 

Devana Ng and Invisible Company stand at the forefront of responsible packaging, reshaping the industry and inspiring others to join the journey towards a more sustainable future.

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