The UK’s coolest sustainable businesses
As a generation that has a renewed interest in acting for the best interests of the environment, encompassing sustainability into our everyday lives is the ultimate end goal. However, on a budget, and a timetable, and in the first few independent years many of us experience, knowing where to begin in living alone is a massive issue, let alone how to do it sustainably.
It doesn’t have to be impossible though. There are several brands and websites that allow you to integrate sustainability into your everyday life without detracting from your lifestyle, which I’ve put into a handy guide for you:
The Wild Tree Shop is a great example of sustainability integrated with shopping. ‘We offer reasonably priced, yet contemporary and stylish alternative to everyday items,’ states the website, which sells plastic free products such as make up removers, shopping bags, straws, cups, toothbrushes, lunch boxes, and water bottles.
The Kind Shop is another good shop, selling UK products that are organic, vegan, sustainable and plastic free. These included skincare and beauty but also food and chocolate, which can be found here: https://www.thekindstoreonline.co.uk/ . Another cool thing The Kind Shop offer is The Kind Box which allows customers to choose from gift boxes, or create their own with a variety of sustainable products which can be personalised with a card and sent to a lucky recipient of up to 8 cool items.
OrganiCup is a greener alternative menstrual products that aims to reduce the 200,000 tonnes of waste in packaging and wrapping produced per year by replacing it with 1 reusable cup that can be used for as long as years. Made of ‘100% medical grade silicone,’ as an available mineral on the planet, even the packaging avoids waste, being made of recyclable carton with instructions printed directly on these to prevent extra waste. So far over 369 million disposal period products have been avoided, and the company is also involved in initiatives with 600 England schools.
PHB Ethical Beauty : is home of 100% organic, natural, vegan and cruelty free products according to their website, which advertises that 20% of their profits go to Charity. They also have a specific section of products for vegan, cruelty and palm oil free makeup too!
BYO/Bring Your Own: BYO is a shop in London, Tooting Market that offer the local citizens a way to shop with less packaging and food waste. The shop operates with 4 simple steps: bring your own jar/container etc; weigh it; fill it with whatever you wish to buy; then pay based on what you have brought. There are several other similar shops throughout the whole country, and a list of over 100 Zero Waste shops and where they are can be found here : so you can find a shop near you!
Lucy and Yak is a fashion brand with a distinct look and sustainability ethos. With an emphasis on traceability, they incorporate ‘fully traceable cotton,’ currently in 2 of their dungarees, as an addition to the other certifications they enact on their clothing to make sure it is environmentally and socially responsible. Each tailor sews a number into the dungarees produced by Lucy and Yak which can then be traced back on the website to see exactly who made your clothes. And if products aren’t up to standard, for example a button that popped off or a top that comes out a bit smaller than it was supposed to be made, you can also head to the company Depop page where these products are sold with a full description of why they were declared faulty so you can still procure them.
Rapanui Clothing is another brand, with a focus on reducing the waste from over production of clothes. Using natural materials as opposed to plastic, they make products as they’re ordered from the customer, using renewable energy to power the production as well. After production, all products are printed and sent from the UK in plastic free packaging that’s actually designed to be coloured in by the lucky customer. At the end of use, when your products are worn out, you can send them back and the materials are recycled back into new products as they’re ordered.
Wearth London , specialising in eco-friendly produce, has a different approach to shopping sustainably where they amalgamate other smaller sustainable businesses into their platform. Currently with over 250 UK brands involved, they are an online shop that specialise in ‘environmentally friendly and ethical shopping,’ which are vegan and cruelty free.
https://cookingonabootstrap.com/ is an example of a great sustainable website for reducing food waste. By Jack Monroe and described as ‘the #1 budget recipe website,’ the link will take you to recipes for soups, lentils, pasta, rice and even microwave meals from as little as 34p per portion meals which incorporate ingredients you’d specifically have in the back of the cupboard, such as ‘Microwave Marmite Mac n Cheese,
https://toogoodtogo.org/en is ‘the #1 anti-food waste app,’ on the net. With 44.4 million users so far, resulting in a saving of 91.2 million meals saved since 2016, the app connects the user and their house to shops/restaurants that have food that hasn’t sold. Their website also has a blog on how to reduce food waste from several angles, including ugly produce, understanding expiration dates and storing food in the best ways.
The Olio App , is similar to Too Good To Go, but allows users to snap their own photos and set pickup destinations to share with others around them, and does not limit to only food. Also allowed via the Olio app are handmade crafts (these have to meet certain standards to be sold), plants, cosmetics, medicines and pet food, however note these also need to meet certain standards depending on which type of product it is, such as being within a use by date.