It has been quite a journey from the first inkling of an idea for a sustainability marketplace to what you see before you! Let’s start at the beginning…
I had just finished my business degree through the OU and suddenly found myself with free evenings again. I was bored, scrolling through Instagram on the sofa with the dog and saw a post detailing simple swaps we could all make in our homes to alleviate some single-use plastic. The one that seemed simplest to me was switching to bars of soap rather than pumps, so I started browsing the internet for some nice artisan soap, thinking why not support a small business at the same time? It was strangely difficult to find what I wanted. When it eventually turned up, my soap was wrapped in bubble wrap.
Something so simple as soap really shouldn’t cost the earth – that was my lightbulb moment. I immediately purchased my domain and It Won’t Cost The Earth was born.
My background has always been in business, I’ve never claimed to be an eco-warrior and I’m not planning on starting now. I don’t think any of us should preach because we are all so far from perfect. I’m a mother with a vision to help other families live sustainable lifestyles with minimum effort. If you’re anything like me, you’re working two jobs, bringing up kids and just trying to get through each day. It isn’t easy to then bear the burden of eco-guilt too! Sometimes it just felt too hard to make the ‘right’ choice when I purchased things. This is why I wanted to create this platform, I hope it removes the stress from shopping sustainably for you and makes your life that little bit easier.
I’d like to be able to say that I teach my children about the significance of looking after the environment, but the truth is, they teach me. People talk about the importance of protecting the planet for future generations, but I think there is a more pressing urgency – protecting the planet for the current generation. The emergency is here, it’s happening right now. It’s not about safeguarding the world for the future anymore, it’s about sorting out the huge crisis we are currently in.
I’ve learnt so many important lessons during this process. Firstly, that nothing ever happens on time and that things worth waiting for never, ever come easily. I had to put our launch date back so many times! Also, I’ve learnt I am a complete perfectionist and a bit of a control freak. I’ve struggled to let anyone else handle any decisions, even tiny ones. I’ve learnt to trust my instincts and ignore people who try desperately to knock me down. I’ve recognised the importance of having a great support network – women who I have met through The Thrive Collective networking group have been an absolute godsend. So supportive and generous with their time and expertise and I would like to thank them wholeheartedly for welcoming me so warmly.
I’d love to give a huge shout out to all the small business owners who work with us. They are working so hard, quietly making a difference which I find truly inspiring and extremely humbling. I hope you enjoy reading their stories on our ‘Trader Tuesdays’.
My greatest ambition is to see IWCTE help to grow and support hundreds of small businesses across the UK. It’s difficult to focus on advertising and growing your business when you are also trying to develop products and sell them. I’d love to alleviate that stress for all our sellers so they can concentrate on the amazing things they are producing. I’d like sustainable living to be commonplace in our homes. It would be great to see everyone reduce their dependency on single-use plastics and instead look for quality and longevity in their purchases.
I hope you enjoy what we’ve created here and that shopping sustainably no longer feels like a chore, but dare I say it, a bit of a pleasure?