Closing Down?

I heard a couple of weeks ago of another refill shop closing down, this time in Fleetwood, just a few miles away, and it breaks my heart! It also reminds me how vulnerable we are. Those of us who were driven to start up refill shops aren’t in it for the money anyway, but with overheads and stock that goes out of date, we can't survive without regular sales.

Let’s face it, there isn’t much profit in selling oats, especially when trying to price match supermarkets, but why am I even trying to do that? I’m not a faceless supermarket who answers to it’s shareholders, I’m a single Mother who answers to my kids.

I don’t buy oats by the million kilos and drive farmers prices so low they struggle feed their families, I buy the best Organic and Gluten-Free Oats that I can, because that not only means a more sustainable product that’s better for our planet, a happier grower that can keep growing good organic products as they’re paid fairly, it also means more goodness for you and your family!  

I don’t stock five different brands of oats, from companies with heavy marketing budgets that can design a packet that makes their oats appear tastier, I buy just one type of rolled oats, in a 20kg paper sack, then dispense them directly into your own containers, or into plain paper bags. The oats speak for themselves, they’re organic, they're gluten-free, they're good!

 

And it’s the same for all of our products. They’re the best we can get, because we deserve to feed our bodies the best, why would you want to put anything less than the best you can into your body. You need to take care of it after all. And I help to make doing that affordable by missing out the expensive branding and packaging waste. But that additional quality and care doesn't necessarily translate into being more expensive to purchase. Did you know for example that our organic chia seeds are cheaper than non-organic chia seeds from Tesco? And our Minor Figures organic barista oat milk is usually cheaper than in all the supermarkets?

I read a meme recently (Col loves it when I read out memes to her, I think it must be a generational thing) which said "Instead of asking why health food is so expensive, you should be asking why JUNK food is so cheap" and that's the rub of it isn't it? As a nation, we compare the cost of good, wholesome, nutritious food to the cost of junk, rubbish, trash, with little nutritional benefit and often so many additives and sugar that it's actually not even just lacking in nutrition, but actually detrimental to our health. "But it tastes so good" I hear you yell.  But I really don't see it as an either/or scenario. It's not that junk food tastes good and healthy food doesn't. It's more than possible for healthy food to taste even better than junk food, AND be topping up your reserves, increasing your mineral and vitamin intake and helping to increase your life expectancy by a decade or more. Just try my Chocolate Chia Pudding recipe if you don’t believe me.

But that's the assumption, that good, healthy organic food will be too expensive. But there is more to cost than money. Cost to health. Cost to our planet.

And that bring us back full circle to why I'm here.

Those of us who have started refill shops are in this because we were called to it, called to be someone to step forward and help others to live without plastic waste, called to help others to live a more zero waste and sustainable lifestyle, because we wanted to live that way ourselves and wanted to create a way to make it easier. 

So, let’s start again shall we?

Hi, I'm Rachael, and I have a passion to bring you the best GOOD products that I can through my refill shop Zero One. GOOD for you, GOOD for your family, GOOD for the planet, GOOD for your wallet and GOOD for the producer. I feel it's the only way to be truly sustainable as any other way leads to somebody missing out and being let down, and in the majority of cases, that's the consumer (you) and the producer! The supermarkets will always win, they distance themselves to appear blameless in every way. Until more people realise they're a big part of the problem and start changing their shopping habits, they'll just keep going. We need to vote with our hard-earned money and spend it with those who we see doing good, making a difference.

 

(For example, one large supermarket chain is this week advertising that why’re committed to reducing food waste by 50%, by 2030! That’s over 8 years away! Why not now? Why not immediately? Why not next year? Why do they want to continue to contribute to food waste for the next 8 years and think we should all accept it and be happy with their targets?)

But each time one of the ‘big chains’ starts to sell an ‘eco’ product (that probably isn’t all that environmentally friendly, but is in a nice green packet) they’re applauded, get a wave of new customers and us pioneers are left to wonder where another of our regular customers has gone. And meanwhile the greenwashing continues.

 

But everyone loved their local stores during lockdowns. I regularly had a queue outside the shop and was so inundated with orders to deliver that my daughters and I only had 1 day at home during the first lockdown. But old ways have slipped back in, we've gone back to shopping for convenience, from big corporations that offer empty promises, and with same day delivery. And I get it, convenience rules. We have busy lives and if it's not so easy that we don't have to think about it, then we don't have time for it. 

But did you know I have a fabulous new website? Did you know it's SO easy to use, and you can even pay by Paypal or Klarna? Did you know I plant a tree for every order you place? Did you know that by shopping local, you're directly impacting on a local family which also shops local with other independent businesses?

With the crazy Black Friday sales, there is so much waste and more money that isn't necessary going to the big corporations that are more interested in space travel than saving our planet, our home!. For the last four years, we've run Green Friday and offered an alternative with savings and special offers that will help our world.

As you know, I'm all about the colour! My favourite colour has been rainbow for the longest time! That's why this year, we've joined in with Holly & Co's Colour Friday, a national campaign to help people to recognise the difference they can make to our local communities.

Did you know for example, that buying one gift each from an independent business instead would reallocate a vital £2.7 billion. And with over half of small businesses, including mine, not knowing if they'll survive past Christmas, there has never been a better time to swap your shop. 

So let this be the year that you commit to shopping local, supporting your local makers, shops and artisans. You have the power to directly impact your local community and their families! How amazing is that? 

Love Rachael x

 

 

1 comment

Hi Rachael,
Really enjoyed looking around and purchasing items from your lovely little shop. I’ll certainly be back for more goodies!

Colleen

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