Cupboard Love brings plastic-free shopping to East Suffolk
We are raising money to buy and fit out a van as a plastic-free mobile shop!
Our aim is to help people say goodbye to plastic packaging, with a shopping experience that is affordable, convenient and good for the planet.
Serving the towns and villages of East Suffolk we want to create a zero-waste mobile shop that will provide wholefoods sold by weight so people can refill their own pots, jam jars and containers.
Alongside foodstuffs, we will also offer a range of brilliant personal care and household items that are good for the environment, and allow customers to ditch plastic from their weekly shop, and switch to something better.
Help us scale up and have more impact
Cupboard Love has been selling at markets and pop-up venues at various locations since August this year (from a cramped hatchback car!). Based on the fantastic response we’ve had and with your help, we can scale up and buy a van, and fit it out to reach more people with a zero-waste mobile shop.
We’ve also got a good idea of what customers want and we need funding to expand our product range.
What we sell: high quality stuff with no plastic packaging!
Here are some of the products we currently sell:
Oats, pasta, rice, seeds, nuts, pulses, beans, herbs, spices and more
Soaps, shampoo bars, bamboo toothbrushes, toothpaste tablets and more
And with your help, here is what we’d like to add:
Organic and gluten-free food ranges
Household cleaners, washing up liquid, laundry soap refills
Tea, coffee and other staples that complete the weekly shop
Kilner-style jars and other containers to store the food we sell
What’s the problem with plastic?
Greenpeace says that an estimated 12 million tonnes is entering our oceans every year! That's a rubbish truck full a minute!
We are literally drowning in plastic and struggling to deal with the amount that is thrown away every day, sadly much of it is ending up in the oceans. As a coastal county, we see evidence of this problem daily on our beaches and in the sea.
This sculpture was made by Jason Alexander a local environmental campaigner, almost entirely from non-recyclable plastic collected from the local countryside and beaches to highlight the extent of the problem. It’s a cool dragon, but it’s highlighting a real problem that’s damaging marine wildlife.
On a personal level, my husband and I have tried to cut down on plastic in our shopping and we struggled to shop for daily staples without plastic packaging. That’s why we want to create this option for people to shop in a better way. As a mum, and a teacher of 15 years I feel strongly that it is our generation that must act now to tackle the problem of excessive plastic waste.
Can't we just RECYCLE?
Recycling uses a lot of energy and will not fully tackle the problem, plus so much plastic-packaging simply can’t be recycled. This means that most of what gets thrown away in the UK ends up in landfill or is sent overseas where it can end up in our oceans!
How will Cupboard Love make a difference for the people of East Suffolk?
While the supermarkets drag their heels finding alternatives to plastic packaging, we can all make small changes to our shopping habits. We can choose to REDUCE the amount of plastic we use by REUSING the containers that we already have!
We want to help you take the small steps to:
-DITCH some of the plastic in your day-to-day life
-SWITCH to viable and sustainable alternatives
Based on our research and early stage efforts over 5 months, we think a mobile shop for plastic-free shopping will be a real success in East Suffolk. At each market pitch or event we attend, there are conversations to be had, and experiences to share.
As a mobile shop, we can serve a larger geographical area, and help those that are more isolated, to access zero-waste shopping. By making it possible for customers to shop locally the need to travel will be reduced, community links will be developed and wider environmental awareness can be promoted.
Children do care and we need to show them that we do too, by making simple changes in our day-to-day lives. Once Cupboard Love is fully mobile, I intend to do school visits to engage children and offer help and advice to customers who want to live more sustainably with less reliance on plastic.
Old-fashioned shopping with a modern twist
We want to make shopping with Cupboard Love as convenient as possible so we currently offer different ways to shop:
- You can bring your containers to our regular market pitches and stationary stops in Woodbridge and the surrounding area
- You can order via the website and select home/work delivery
- You can click and collect from a number of convenient pick-up points in local cafes, pubs and shops.
We also do pop-up events and Fill-upper-ware house parties (geddit?) so people can experience this way of shopping shop in their own home with like-minded friends and family, while we share tips and answer any questions that people may have about plastic reduction!
This is feel-good shopping, you can buy as much or as little as you like, and you know that each container you refill means one fewer bit of plastic going into landfill.
Who are we?
We are Mel and Alex Menhams from Woodbridge in Suffolk. We love the people of Suffolk and the wonderful landscape, and we chose to make this area our home 5 years ago.
Mel grew up with recycling and reusing as the norm in her family home and spent 15 years as a Primary School teacher, much of that time at a purpose-built Eco School with a curriculum geared towards sustainability - helping children understand how their actions and decisions have an impact on present and future generations.
In 2018 Mel left full-time teaching to make a dent in the world! And as well as now running Cupboard Love, she has just signed up to be a Plastic Action Champion with East Suffolk Greenprint Forum – to spread awareness of the plastic problem and engage people in the region with actively reducing their reliance on plastic.
Alex is a co-founder of Cupboard love with Mel and shares her passion for sustainable living. A few years back he ran a funding project across Suffolk and the East of England to help communities get funding for renewable energy projects to reduce their carbon footprint. In his day job, he helps organisations build strategic imagination and solve tough problems. At night he makes the G&T’s and helps support Mel and the kids. More info on Alex is available at www.alexmenhams.com
WAYS IN WHICH YOU CAN HELP RIGHT NOW!
- Make a pledge.
- Share the campaign on your social media.
- Follow us on Facebook.
- Tell people about us.
- Come visit us at our regular pitches
How Will The Money Raised Be Spent?
We need your pledges to raise £6,750 to put towards buying our specialised van which we will fit out for easy transportation of our stock to markets and locations across the region. While we already have much of the equipment we need to run a market stall, fitting out a van to be a walk-in mobile shop will need extra storage and some specialised equipment.
We also want to widen our stock to offer more of what our customers are asking for, namely a wider Organic range and the option to refill household cleaning liquids.
As a thank you for your support, we’ve put together some exciting rewards, that will either help you start out on your plastic-reduction journey or offer you an opportunity to be part of Cupboard Love’s future!
We really believe it what we are trying to do with Cupboard Love and we sincerely hope you do too. It would be awesome if you were able to donate and help us with our future plans.
Please help to spread the Cupboard Love
Many thanks in advance
Mel and Alex