I have been busy working away at my online platform In Green’s, hence why my last blog post was quite some time ago. In Green’s is a place where we can buy everyday essentials in their reusable form and nothing (bar the lids of the essential oil) is made from plastic. My motto it:
be plastic free. be green. be happy.
It would be difficult to pin point exactly when I conceived the idea for a plastic free shop. I started toying with the idea with the formation of this blog in 2011. At the time it was a hazy plan for the future.
When I fell pregnant in 2015 with my son (he’s now a very bossy 2-year old!) while I was working as a digital marketing coordinator for an e-Commerce site, a role in which I got to be very creative and also gained a lot insight into the world of managing an online shop I decided the time could be nigh…? Being pregnant with an idea in hand that could potentially mean a better work-life balance (more autonomy at least, perhaps not a huge amount of extra time given what I have already found), and all the while I would be doing something I am fiercely passionate about- raising awareness of a less wasteful and as plastic-free as possible, lifestyle- all seemed to make a lot of good green sense to me.
As time went on, and as I would breastfeed for hours at a time, horizontal and only my phone for company, I set about ‘sourcing’ ideas for the items I would off you. Fortuitously, the time I spent breastfeeding afforded me a LOT of research hours, that might otherwise have felt cumbersome or neglectful if I were doing it while my baby was busy being awake. In time my idea grew firmer and I my curation for my future shop grew more vivid and real, and I began to set out a strong criteria for the products I would sell. They needed to replace a mainstream equivalent, in a positive way. They also need to be one or all of the following:
- made locally or made in UK or made ethically
- and never ever made from plastic
Curating my shop:
I went about ‘sourcing’ the products. This process felt really natural and a lot came about accidentally. I was already living as #zerowaste as I possibly could in Bristol, and had already been living without plastic 95% of the time for a long while. Therefore, I looked around at all the purchases I had made to adapt my own life to a life with less plastic and waste and this was the beginning.
Instagram has played a huge role planning for this project of mine, as there are so many determined and inspiring zerowaste accounts that inspire us as they share how they live their daily life by treading very lightly on our planet. There are so many accounts that have been invaluable in sourcing the products I have.
I knew that water bottles, cutlery and cotton and reusable produce bags needed to be core product on my site if it was going to try to serve the purpose I intend it to: to replace the most wasteful, unnecessary and pollutant forms of plastic, those that are commonly found in beach clean-ups. I also knew that solid soaps, shampoos and other ‘essentials’ needed to be there in a natural form to eliminate yet more ubiquitous plastic we have grown accustomed to and see are normal. Therefore these products needed to be:
- chemical free
- SLS free
- Cruelty Free
- Palm oil free
My objective is also to help customer reduce their exposure to hidden nasties, and unwittingly become victim to pseudo science- products that generally contain, albeit small amounts of harmful chemicals! Like What? Like deodorants with aluminum or home cleaners with chemicals that have side-effects that have been connected with carcinogens and some found in the breast tissue of women suffering breast-cancer…the list is endless and it’s not intended to scare-monger, but to highlight the dangers the modern world poses to our personal health, as well as the health of our planet, including her eco-systems.
Snail slow, no money:
Because I haven’t taken out a loan or borrowed any money, this has obviously effected what I was able to buy, and also how quickly it could get off the ground. I started buying products way back in Feb of this year, ones that could not perish, like my bamboo straws, and from here gradually my stock grew, as did work on my website.
I decided after much actual confusion to go with WooCommerce as I am really familiar with WordPress CMS and didn’t know much about the other options such as Shopify.
I also have a shop on Etsy and Ebay!
If you are interested in taking a peak, please visit my website: www.ingreens.co.uk
If you have any thoughts about my project please do get in touch, it’s always great to hear your feedback no matter how you feel, it’s all good!