I'm Kerry and I'm hoping to raise £10,000 to launch a refill emporium Food for Thought in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. Food for Thought will make it easier to give up single-use plastic packaging by refilling everyday food, cleaning and personal care items using containers you already have! Intrigued...? Let's find out more!
Did you know that studies have shown that we eat and breathe in at least 50,000 particles of microplastics a year*? Plastic is synthetic and never goes away. It just breaks into smaller particles that pollute our environment and our bodies.
So why not cut our plastic use?
A Eurostat commission on plastic waste pollution states* that in 2017 each person in the UK produced roughly 468kg of municipal waste with the average person in Europe producing 31kg of plastic waste. Think about it, where does that go? We're running out of space.
We're hearing more about the damage that plastic does to our environment; whales with plastic bags in their stomachs, dolphins caught in trawler nets, turtles strangled by our rubbish but there doesn't seem to be much changing in our day to day life to remedy that!
It's not just wildlife that's being affected. Microplastics have been found in human organs*. What does that mean for our health?
Why do we use to much plastic? Loads of reasons. It's strong, durable, cheap and because it's what's on offer. If we're honest finding an alternative takes effort.
I've always hated the thought of landfill and I can't stand walking into shops where there's row upon row of single-use plastic packages but when my daughter Harper was born, I became consumed by the state of the planet. I felt helpless and I wondered what I was doing bringing a precious little life into it.
I was tired of there not being a convenient way to help me cut out single-use plastic which never goes away and that we use once! And I couldn't stop thinking about it. I'm a great believer in being the change you want to see in the world so if there wasn't anything locally, why not do something about it?
It was like the flood gates opened... I had a million ideas keeping me up at night. Harper steals enough of my sleep so I gave in, jotting ideas down, ways I could create a convenient hub, somewhere I'd want to shop where it was easy to get what you want just without the plastic.
Putting the idea out into the wide world was scary but the response was brilliantly encouraging and Food for Thought was born! I've been researching how it'll work for the past 18 months and am desperate to launch!
Food for Thought will be a zero waste shop.
Zero waste? It means that you'll be able to find many of the items you find in a supermarket but they won't be pre-packed in plastic.
You'll bring your containers (don't worry if you forget, we'll have plenty you can use) and refill with just the right amount of food and cleaning products for you!
The aim is to
- fight plastic pollution & stop adding to landfill
- celebrate local produce and producers
- make it easier and more convenient for all of us to live more sustainably
- create a community & develop a tribe!
I love food shopping (come on... you get scrummy!) but I know that not everyone feels the same. What if I could make your weekly shop a bit more joyful?
I'll do this by offering you:
- a wide range of refills of beautiful food, cleaning and self-care products cutting single-use plastic packets out completely! Joyful!
- the ability to stock up with exactly the amount you need, no food waste. Joyful!
- lots of organic wonderment so no nasties in your food, your body, our environment or our wildlife. Hear the bees cheer! Joyful!
- ethical, fair trade suppliers who support sustainable processes, caring for people and the planet. Joyful!
- the change to look wildlife in the eye... you won't be choking it up with plastic and nasties. No, not you my friend. ALL the joy!
Ambitious, yes, but we’ve got to start somewhere.
TOGETHER WE CAN DO THIS!
Just think how much of your general waste is food packaging. Rice, pasta, crisp, nuts, dried fruit packets... even if you only bought those items without packaging just think how much you'd reduce your landfill contributions over a month, year, lifetime!
So far this year I've found a premises (wahoooo), lost that premises (booooooo), cried a lot, found the perfect premises (huzzah!), only to have that snatched away (oh come on!). Queue more tears and soul searching. I really want to be open by the end of the year so I've had to cast my net a little wider than Northampton which was my original search area. Who knows, I might even have an update by the end of this campaign...!
I've found it. I've got my dream premises! Food for Thought's first home will be in Nene Court retail village in Wellingborough. It's a beautiful space and has so much character. The retail village is surrounded by fellow independents who are all local so it's a brilliant fit. I'm so excited to get started and show you around!
I'm running a 'keep what I raise' campaign. Food for Thought is happening no matter what but every penny raised gets me open earlier so you can get what you need to be plastic free sooner!
It's taking about £50,000 to start up this little beauty.
Your money will be added to the money I'm putting in and a rather sizeable loan in helping to buy:
- a buck load of containers - I need approximately two hundred containers to house the lovely produce on the shop floor and that's without looking at the store room! £5000 I also want to avoid plastic even where reusable but it's more expensive
- sexy equipment like fridge so that I can offer fresh produce, coffee grinders & nut butter/milk maker to make your life more delicious (give me an oooooooow) £3000
- stock - the biggest outlay is getting all the produce I'm going to sell. I need to get a wide range of products so that I can offer you as many waste and plastic free options as possible. It'll be the biggest shopping bill I ever have at around £25,000. Gulp!
It's important that the equipment and resources used are pre-loved wherever possible. What's the use of making something new when there's already something out there? It should also be cheaper than buying new, keeping costs down.
Unfortunately I don't get to keep all of what I raise. There are fees that are taken:
- Crowdfunder fee (they're the host): 3% plus VAT
- Transaction Fee: 1.67% + 25p +VAT on UK/EU cards, 3.25% +25p + VAT on non-UK/EU cards.
A total of £5.90 would be charged for a pledge of £100 (with a UK/EU card) so I would receive £94.10 (or £92.20 if it's with a non UK/EU payment card).
I'm taking part in Natwest's Back Her Business which aims to reduce the gender gap in business so (with a few Ts and Cs) if I set a target of £10,000 & I raise £5000, Natwest will give me £5000 (no fees), taking me to my target! Obviously anything over that would help me to give you even more choice.
Check out the wonderful rewards on offer in exchange for a donation (to the right, to the right).
It could be a treat for you, a gift for a loved one, a way to show that your business cares about the planet... If you've read this far hopefully you understand what it will mean to me but most importantly to the planet, wildlife & local business you'll be supporting. Be part of the solution, not the pollution!
Follow and share the cause on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter (links under video).
Talk about us and spread the word.
You can keep me motivated by saying hello and sharing my campaign. Don't keep this to yourself. Think of two other Zero Heroes who want plastic free to be the norm and tell them about what I'm doing.
I'm also very motivated by tasty food... hint, hint!
“I think this is an absolutely fantastic idea. I’m so pleased you're doing this. Even though I try and do my best when it comes to recycling and trying to buy as much as possible without impacting on waste too much, I know there’s plenty of room for improvement. And I'm constantly thinking of everything that gets thrown out, I want us to do our bit on helping us to reduce out waste. I hope your business venture thrives.”
"We support you all the way. Your idea is fantastic and it is much needed all this hard work will pay off"
“I am trying to reduce waste but there isn’t anywhere to refill etc so this would be amazing”
“Think it’s a great idea, am letting people know about it already”
“I think this is brilliant & just what we need! I wish you every success & I can’t wait to visit”
“I think it's a great idea, and I would definitely be interested in trying to move to buy from a zero waste food shop...”
"I was excited when I first read about your proposed shop earlier this year, several people I know were too just to let you know it’s a brilliant idea and it will be well used..."
We've had great coverage locally on The Chronicle & Echo, regular appearances on various shows on BBC Radio Northampton and magazine Northants Live.
So join the tribe! Please donate if you can and spread the word. I'm so thankful!