A Better Place Journal

by a-better-place-journal in Oxford

We did it
On 17th November 2014 we successfully raised £9,020 with 132 supporters in 42 days

We are going to create a website that makes ethical living easier for everyone. Our daily choices have the power to shape the future.

by a-better-place-journal in Oxford

New stretch target

Our Stretch Target: £9000


What will I use the extra money for?

If we raise this extra money, we will be able to pay a lawyer to help us write our official website terms of use and privacy policy, just to make everything that little bit more watertight and official. We would also be able to work with a branding consultant and designer to develop our brand voice and look to be super top-notch professional.


A Better Place mission statement


Have you ever wished you could click to one place to find out about the zero-packaging supermarket, the conflict-free smartphone, and the ethical shopping app?

Introducing A Better Place

A team of practical idealists have a plan to create precisely that: a beautiful and easy-to-use website with listings, reviews, and articles introducing ethical, eco-friendly, conflict-free products, goods, and services, meeting your needs in every area of life.

We think that for environmental and social justice concerns to be a real and lasting part of the way that everyone does business, we need to harness quality and beautiful design to make 'ethical', 'eco', and 'fair trade' second nature and part of the mainstream. As readers ourselves, we know that it can off-putting to read those words, and think that great products and services should speak for themselves (no preaching involved), with the discovery that they have a wider positive impact as a lovely bonus that you discover after falling in love.

Some examples of design mock-ups and ideas for the headers of a few of the sections that will be included on the website, as well as examples of a couple of potential articles (we won't be able to get down to the real nitty-gritty of the design process until we've raised the money to pay the designers and build the website):

Design mood-board: inspiration and ideas

Section header mockup

Section header mockup

Section header mockup

A Better Place article mockups


Our content will enable and inspire mindful consumption of food, fashion, technology, household products, and more. The website will be a platform for promoting beautiful, useful, durable goods and services - things we all want and need - that do good and not harm to people and the planet. We’re optimists, and we’re proud of it; we believe that every little choice we make each day has the potential to change the world for the better, and that by choosing ethically produced and environmentally friendly products, we can harness the power of consumerism and use it to make a difference.


Our project's goal of £6,800 will cover the cost of designing, building, and hosting the website over the next year. We’ll align our business practice with our deeply-held values by working with independent local designers, photographers, and developers. We even want to use a font that gives back to the homeless community in Barcelona (you can read more about this initiative here).

After the website is launched, we’ll work hard to make the it self-sustaining through affiliate links and advertising so that we can continue to provide a high-quality, beautiful, and trustworthy website in the years to come. We will uphold strict selection criteria for any brands and products we feature, and will always do our best to be as transparent as possible, asking the questions that you, the readers, want and need us to ask.


We're a team of young entrepreneurs with big plans and lots of passion and drive. We believe in beauty, curiosity, integrity, and friendly professionalism; we believe in dreaming big and working hard. It's a pleasure to meet you...

Sophie Caldecott

Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Sophie Caldecott

Sophie is a daydreamer and a glasses-half-full kind of girl, and has loved writing ever since she could first hold a pen. Don’t let her happy-go-lucky exterior fool you, though; she’s determined to the core, and when she gets an idea in her head she works tirelessly to make it happen. Sophie has an MA in Magazine Journalism, and has worked as a Section Editor for the Ethical Fashion Forum in London, and with several other not-for-profits in the fair trade and environmental sectors alongside her freelance writing. A Better Place will be dedicated to her father, who died earlier this year from cancer.

Contact: [email protected]

Madeleine Lawson

Products & Research, Madeleine Lawson

Having studied Art History at university, Maddy has worked for a number of nationally-acclaimed UK galleries and has written exhibition reviews for publication both online and in print. In her spare time, Maddy can often be found wandering amongst the vegetable patches of National Trust kitchen gardens – usually in the company of her husband and her camera, both equally loved. She’s happiest when wearing wellies (they even made an appearance at her wedding) and dreams of setting up a green glamping business.

Contact: [email protected]

Libby Turner

Web Design, Libby Turner

Libby started her own website design company, Joy Web Design, in 2012 after running an online vintage furniture business and finding that she preferred building and maintaining the website to sourcing and selling the furniture. She is passionate about working with small businesses, and loves the opportunity to create something truly beautiful.

Rose-Marie Caldecott

Art & Design, Rose-Marie Caldecott

Rose-Marie is a practicing Fine Artist, keen photographer, and songwriter. She studied Fine Art at Falmouth University, where she spent her time either breathing in turpentine and oils, or roaming along the cliffs of the Cornish coast. Rose-Marie is passionate about beauty and honesty, and wherever possible, looks to encourage beautiful living.

Ileana Lund

Digital & Commercial, Ileana Lund

Responsible for making the numbers add up, Ileana has several years of digital experience under her belt. Balancing hard-nosed financials with the creativity necessary to getting a start up off the ground, she’ll be going after every available revenue stream going. A not-so-secret bibliophile, heaven is sunshine, a cool drink and a very good book.

Jessica Bailey

Section Editor (Resources), Jessica Bailey

During the week Jessica teaches History and Politics to 11-18 year olds, very much hoping to empower the next generation to learn from the past and go out to become positive change-makers. It was while talking about their need for an online journal and ethical directory over hot chocolates with Sophie a few summers ago that the idea for A Better Place was first conceived. At weekends, she puts the textbooks aside and rummages around in search of blogs, shops, cafés and other treasures, and will be happy to share these little nuggets with A Better Place readers along the way.

Elizabeth Vather

Section Editor (Food & Drink), Elizabeth Vather

Since getting her degree in Linguistics, Elizabeth has worked in digital publishing and now works to develop Business English language curriculum. She’s a serial language learner (up to 8 at the moment), and she enjoys nothing more than exploring nature, either by foot or horseback. In her spare time, you can find her wielding a wooden spoon, whipping up desserts like chai ice cream and baklava, in her tiny San Francisco kitchen.

Sophie Charara

Section Editor (Technology & Office), Sophie Charara

Sophie Charara is a tech journalist in London who is trying not to ruin the world. She tests gadgets and writes about new apps, innovations and devices for Stuff magazine and was lucky enough to study her Magazine Journalism MA with Sophie Caldecott. She thinks humans can still save the day.

Sarah Glendon

Section Editor (Wardrobe), Sarah Glendon

Few things make Sarah happier than crisp fall days, a good documentary, almond milk lattes, the beach, playing dress up, all things shiny and glamorous, trying new restaurants, and her family. Okay, so a lot of things make Sarah smile, but that’s just how she is - happy-go-lucky and full of wonder. She lives and works in Tampa, Florida with her husband and their rescue poodle (her two greatest sources of joy). Sarah has an MS in Environmental Engineering Science and works for a global engineering consulting firm.

Katherine Button

 PR & Section Editor (Beauty & Wellness), Katherine Button

Katherine has loved writing from an early age and has always, secretly, thought that she might change the world someday. Her first story - a cautionary tale on the perils of littering, which featured an outspoken cast of woodland creatures - was written aged seven. Fast forwarding past a Politics degree and an MA in Magazine Journalism; Katherine is startled to find herself working in PR in a big shiny office and wonders how it all got so grown up. On weekends you may find her bounding about the countryside on long walks, forgetting to go to her allotment, and coveting other people's dogs.


Frances Ives illustration

We are very excited to be collaborating with the talented illustrator, Frances Ives, to bring you some truly beautiful rewards as thanks for your support and donations. She will be designing all of the artwork for your rewards (detailed to the right), as well as some graphics for the website; to give you a little taste of her style, check out her blog and the watercolour creatures, below (please note: she will be creating new artwork for your rewards after the Crowdfunder - these are just examples of previous work).

Frances is an artist and illustrator, who moved from the rural North to South East London in 2012. As a result, culture, heritage and her contrasting environments heavily influence her personal work, which combines observational drawing with gestural mark making to create atmospheric watercolour based imagery. 

woodland animals by Frances Ives illustration

Thanks for your support. We are so grateful for every donation, whatever size; it all adds up! We are also so grateful for your time and all of your shares, likes, and follows on our social media.

If you are interested in editing or writing for us, please do get in touch; similarly, if you're a brand offering a product, service, or resource of any kind that you think might meet our style/quality and ethical criteria, send us a line at: [email protected] 

F A C E B O O K   |   I N S T A G R A M   |   T W I T T E R   |   P I N T E R E S T   |   T U M B L R 


This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£5 or more

£5 Reward

Our heartfelt thanks, exclusive email updates and sneak peaks of our design process before the launch of the website.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

A beautiful, specially designed inspirational quote desktop background for your computer by illustrator Frances Ives.

£20 or more

42 of 50 claimed

£20 Reward

A packet of A Better Place wildflower seeds and the Frances Ives desktop background.

£40 or more

24 of 50 claimed

£40 Reward

Limited edition set of four woodland creature notecards by Frances Ives, plus the desktop background.

£60 or more

9 of 30 claimed

£60 Reward

Small, exclusively designed, limited edition inspirational quote art print (‘Buy less, choose well’) by Frances Ives, plus desktop background.

£80 or more

10 of 30 claimed

£80 Reward

Large, exclusively designed, limited edition inspirational quote art print (‘We are golden, we are stardust, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden’) by Frances Ives, plus desktop background.

£200 or more

1 of 10 claimed

£200 Reward

Special ethical business reward: Have your product or service featured in a slot in the relevant section/listing of the website for 6 months, featured in a photo shoot, and promoted across our social media platforms. ***NB: Please contact us at: [email protected] before pledging so that we can discuss your brand and whether you meet our criteria.

£250 or more

2 of 10 claimed

£250 Reward

Your own, tailor-made and personalised recipe book with seasonal recipes, meal planner template, and local shopping suggestions, designed around your eating needs, dietary requirements, location etc. Plus, the Frances Ives desktop background.

£350 or more

1 of 2 claimed

£350 Reward

Both personal shopper services, detailed above. Plus, the Frances Ives desktop background.

£400 or more

1 of 5 claimed

£400 Reward

Special ethical business reward: 8 months' worth of advertising on A Better Place, including x1 sidebar advert, x2 product slots, featured in a photo shoot, and promotion across our social media platforms. x2 invitations to our launch party, and special mention as a sponsor on the 'About Us' page of the website. ***NB: Please contact us at: [email protected] before pledging so that we can discuss your brand and whether you meet our criteria.

£600 or more

0 of 1 claimed

£600 Reward

Special ethical business reward, PREMIUM: 1 years' worth of advertising on A Better Place, including x1 header advert, x3 product slots, featured in two photo shoots, and regular promotion across our social media platforms, including newsletters. x2 invitations to our launch party, and special mention as a sponsor on the 'About Us' page of the website. ***NB: Please contact us at: [email protected] before pledging so that we can discuss your brand and whether you meet our criteria.

£1,000 or more

1 of 4 claimed

£1,000 Reward

A piece of Frances Ives original artwork, both ethical shopping services, x2 VIP invitations to the launch party, the Frances Ives desktop background, and special mention as a principal sponsor on the 'About Us' page of the website.

£100 or more

10 of 10 claimed

£100 Reward

Your very own ethical personal shopping service: tailor-made shopping lists for your wardrobe, cleaning, and bathroom/beauty essential needs, put together by us after research and discussion with you. Plus, the Frances Ives desktop background.

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