For the series Good Folk on this blog I have sent interview questions to some really wonderful people who are either making things, running shops, or generally promoting sustainability. I think you will enjoy reading their answers as much as I have, and I hope they inspire us all with the knowledge that there are people doing good in the world!
This interview is with Bryonie from No Plastic Shop, based in the wilds of Dartmoor offering plastic free essentials for the home, including the best that Devon and Cornwall has to offer.
Tell me about yourself and the work that you do.
I’m Bryonie, I live on Dartmoor with my family and I run an online plastic free shop, the No Plastic Shop. I am also a freelance social media manager and writer.
How or why did you get started?
I have always been interested in environmentalism and sustainability and pursued this through my career, working with NGO’s, such as WWF and Greenpeace International.
I was delighted when I was asked by a new online plastic free shop in 2018 to help grow their Instagram following. When personal circumstances meant that the shop had to close in 2019, I knew that there was still so much potential for the shop to encourage people to choose a more sustainable way of life, so I took the plunge and took over the business myself. I relaunched the shop at the beginning of 2020 with a focus on Dartmoor plastic free producers alongside more well-known ethical brands.
What is your favourite thing about the work that you do?
I am truly in charge of everything to do with my business. I am a one (wo)man band and as such, I update the website, shoot the images, manage the marketing, write the newsletters and choose every item that is stocked. I am constantly learning and improving what I do.
Do you have a motto or quote that defines your practice?
My intention is not to make people feel guilty about their purchasing choices, but instead, to encourage them to make small plastic free swaps. There is a quote by Desmond Tutu which to me sums up why these small changes can do so much; “Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
What’s your favourite thing to do with your free time and why?
I am so lucky to live in a uniquely beautiful part of the UK and I walk the moors daily with my dog, Meg. I am a firm believer in the power of spending time in nature (and with dogs!) to boost your mood and your health.
What would be the top thing that you would change about the way we treat the planet if you could?
I would force governments to stop businesses putting profit before the planet.
Do you have any advice for people trying to shop or live more ethically?
It can be easy to get overwhelmed when starting out, so remember that no-one is perfect. Make one small change, like moving to a green energy company or making a plastic free swap in your home and see where it leads.
Can you recommend any other makers or businesses that work in an ethical or sustainable way?
I am lucky that we have some amazing producers in the South West and I am happy to stock some of them in the shop, like bamboo toothbrush company, Truthbrush; Cornish based skincare producers, Scence and some beautiful Dartmoor soap makers.
Where can we find you on the internet, buy your work, or join in?
You can browse the shop here www.noplasticshop.co,uk
You can join me on social media here:
You can sign up the No Plastic Shop newsletter for exclusive news and discounts here