We are The Package Free Larder, Portsmouth's first (and only) volunteer-led plastic-free supermarket, and we need your help!
"IF YOU'RE A SHOP, WHY ARE YOU LAUNCHING THIS CROWDFUNDER?"
After three-and-a-half successful years of being open, we’re at the point now where we want to make The Package Free Larder a more permanently sustainable alternative, and take it on to the next stage of its journey, ensuring our long-term success.
So many refill shops around the country have closed in the past 18 months, including our nearest neighbours in Southsea (Wild Thyme), Petersfield (Refill & Replenish) and Fareham (All Good Things of Fareham). We are heartbroken that these shops didn’t make it, and we are determined to do everything we can to ensure The Package Free Larder stays open and is financially and operationally sustainable.
We have spent the past year trying to absorb our rising operating costs without passing this on to our lovely customers. This, as we’re sure you can imagine, isn’t a sustainable strategy, and to turn us back around we’re reaching out for support from our community - THAT’S YOU!!
"SO, WHAT'S YOUR PLAN?"
Our brilliant team of committee members have been calculating what we need to become financially sustainable in the face of these challenges, and we’ve created the following plan:
- Firstly, we’ve reviewed our pricing structure and made amendments to ensure that we are covering our running costs through sales
- Secondly, we're asking our community to donate whatever they can (through this crowdfunder!) to help us remain fully stocked and open
- And thirdly, using those same funds raised, we will be starting a marketing drive around the city in an effort reach new areas and people who may not have heard of us yet.
"OKAY, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO USE MY MONEY?"
We are asking for £7000, that will be split in the following ways if we reach our goal:
- £4750 to get us back to a stronger financial position and enable us to manage our cash flow more effectively
- £2250 for a marketing campaign to get more people to shop with us (social media, posters/billboards, radio etc.)
Any help you can provide will enable us to reach a wider clientele in our great city, helping us to survive and thrive, bringing the benefits of plastic-free shopping to a new group of people in Portsmouth.
We have decided to go with a “Forever-Funding” approach, to ensure that we can receive the funds as promptly as possible and maintain the funding drive for as long as necessary.
There is a bit of loss regarding fees (2.4% plus 20p per donation), but with the Forever Funding approach the funds come from you directly to us.
"AWESOME! WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?"
By donating as much as you can, no matter how little, you are ensuring we stay open to serve our community and reduce Portsmouth’s plastic consumption and carbon footprint. We understand that not everyone can donate, and you can help us out massively by also:
- Sharing this page! We raised £43,765 the last time we ran a crowdfunder (see below!) and that was mainly through amazing people sharing us on Facebook and Instagram, so this really does help us immensely
- Shopping with us! If you’ve not tried us, please give us a go. We have an abundance of products all free from single use plastic, from crisps and snacks to washing-up liquid, home-made ceramic mugs to herbs and spices, pastas and pulses to olive oil and soy sauce, all refillable or plastic-free. We’re open 7 days a week and offer click & collect too if you’re in a rush
- If you already shop with us, please tell your friends, colleagues, neighbours, and communities about our campaign and that we need support. We have grown so much from positive word of mouth and it really does work to get more people through the door
- Volunteer with us! Either in-store or on our steering committee, we always welcome and need volunteers to keep us going!! To learn more about volunteering, please visit our website www.packagefreelarder.uk.
OUR STORY SO FAR:
Since we opened in 2020 (after raising an incredible £43,765 on Crowdfunder.co.uk, from 905 donations and in just 56 days!!), we have been bringing package-free shopping to the seaside city of Portsmouth and creating invaluable connections with members of our community.
We are predominantly run by volunteers and have been from the very start, when a steering committee of 12 volunteers raised the money to build our beautiful refill shop. Now, in addition to all of our wonderful shop volunteers who all chip in to staff our store, and our hard-working volunteer committee that lead the larger management decisions and tasks, we employ three paid staff members to ensure the store opens every day, and undertake the daily management of the store.
This is just some of us in 2021 at our 1-year anniversary picnic (the July rain didn't stop us from celebrating!).
As a social enterprise, we exist not for profit but for a purpose, and any revenue we make after covering our costs goes towards furthering this project, as opposed to being paid out in the form of dividends or to shareholders (as we don’t have any!). We are also immensely lucky to have a group of amazing regular customers who keep us open, make us laugh, share tips on reducing waste or local green projects, who help us create this beautiful community project every day.
Together, we can make the city we love a cleaner and healthier environment for us all to enjoy!
For more information, please visit our website: https://www.packagefreelarder.uk or email us: [email protected]
You can also follow us on social media:
Facebook: The Package Free Larder
Thank you for your support and for keeping us open, we are so proud of what we’ve achieved so far and hope to stay open for as long as we possibly can <3