ULRIKE GOTTSCHAU

JUST SWAP IT. Sustainable bamboo mug.

Where were you born and raised?

I was born and raised in Dresden. I have been living in Berlin since 2000.

When and how did you come across reusable cups?

By observation. That was a few years ago. At the end of 2014, the topic caught my attention through a rather everyday situation: While walking past a café I saw people with paper cups sitting in front of the café and drinking their coffee. From paper cups! They didn’t even use it to set off straight away, but just sat right in front of it and drank their coffee. They could just as easily have used the café’s cups. The whole scene just seemed absurd to me!

What was your career path to your location?

What can i say? Try it out, move on and have a long breath. I just couldn’t let go of the topic of sustainable to-go consumption. Now the idea is to turn a simple reusable cup into a surface for artists. I would like to realize that with our special edition series. Here an everyday object becomes a special lifestyle product, which shows the flag for sustainability and also for social commitment.

In your opinion, what makes your cups so special?

We intentionally based the design on the shape of a normal disposable cup. We wanted to ensure stackability and easy cleaning in the dishwasher. What makes us different is that the volume does not adhere to the standard values. Back then we asked baristas about the optimal volume for the often sold cappuccino. This is how our small model with a total volume of 210ml was created. Here the barista can easily pour the optimized proportions of his coffee creation up to 180ml filling height into the cup without blurring the optimized proportions between coffee and milk or having to offer the customer a half-empty cup. Most of our cups are made from renewable raw materials such as bamboo and corn. The haptic experience when you touch it is reminiscent of the surface of an eggshell. We are aware that the synthetic resins that must be used for stabilization can raise health concerns. So right from the start we had the material tested for harmful substances by an independent German special laboratory for food safety. Successfully 🙂

Tell us the story behind your brand and your name “JSI”.

Short and good. JUST SWAP IT. that is to say – swap the disposable cup for a sustainable reusable cup, swap carelessness for sustainable consumer behavior.

What’s your general philosophy?

I follow my intuition. Much of what is practical is not sustainable. I only find inspiration for aesthetic and beautiful products in nature. Expansion and growth need not be the only yardstick for a successful company.

What is your biggest challenge as a producer for you?

We have relatively small warehouses and then the long delivery times from our producer to us are often our biggest hurdle.

What is your favorite café in Berlin?

Depending on where I am and what mood I’m in. I like to try. My indicator is actually always whether the filter coffee or the cappuccino is good or not.

How do you spend your days off?

With my family or friends. Gladly also alone.

What would surprise people if they found out about you?

I have a one-woman company. The only thing I need to work is my laptop and my network. I also prefer to drink my coffee in peace and quiet from a beautiful ceramic cup. I’m really something of a cup fetishist 😄

What would you do if you didn’t make a living from mugs?

I would want to work more with colors, surface structures and light. So be something like an interior designer.

How do you define success?

I don’t need a big company to feel successful. JSI was never looking to expand. I always wanted to be able to go my own way independently and freely. This also includes saying no to certain things and being able to have more time for things outside of work. That I contribute something to the responsible use of the world’s resources with my work is very satisfying. That’s luxury for me.

What should we be more aware of?

That we create our own reality. I always have the choice to adapt a perspective and thus create new room for maneuver. Our inner universe is part of what we can ultimately experience outside.

How do you think the world can be a better place?

When we open our eyes and our hearts, we will see and feel what really touches us and what is important. We can be much more generous with gratitude and love. These are feelings that can gush out of an infinite source once you have found this source in you.

JSI SPECIAL EDITION

Tell us more about your project and why we should be aware of it!

I find it very exciting how such a simple everyday object can become a projection surface. There are a lot of limitations for the artist. The printing area is limited, she / he can only design with one color, must not be too filigree. This reduction produces interesting results. We are coupling the sale of the current special edition no.2 – Jo to a donation for a non-profit social association. We want to do the same with the upcoming Special Edition editions. I want the person who buys one of our cups to connect with it and use it often and with pleasure. Because only a reusable cup that is often used with pleasure is a useful reusable cup. I would like a rethink and an awareness of the way we consume and how we can all contribute.

What is your motto in life?

Stay curious and go through life in amazement.

Would you like to share something with us, did you ever want to say and never had the opportunity?

I find the idea that there are different parallel realities very interesting. Which we experience could be influenced by our inner attitude and our decision.

Thank you< 3

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