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!
I am so pleased to bring you this interview with Holly from Bin Thinking About You, which she describes as a 'quirky little High Street putting a new lease of life into old things that were otherwise destined for the bin or washed up on our beaches'. I think it's a brilliant way to categorize the businesses, brands and people working in this area. I am all about giving a second life, or extending the life of a material, especially if it cannot be easily recycled.
Tell me about yourself and the work that you do.
I am Holly and I am the Thinker behind binthinkingaboutyou.com. I live in North Devon and keep myself busy working as a wedding and event concierge and cleaning holiday homes. I am also mum to my two children and dog Rango.
In the past, I put my hands up to being a bit of a pointless shopper. not always needing what I was buying and just getting a buzz from having something new, a sucker to a nice bit of packaging without giving it much thought. Now I couldn't be more different, I have turned a full circle and developed a little obsession with keeping my bin as empty as possible and only buying what I need.
We have all become so busy in our lives and 'convenience' has become somewhat of a necessity rather than a luxury. Big supermarkets and online giants sell everything we need so face to face shopping is gradually becoming less and less.
Upcycled Street is a friendly platform where you can go shopping for Upcycled gifts and meet the people behind them.
How or why did you get started?
Recycling is huge now and most people do it, but we all know only a percentage of what we put out to be recycled actually gets recycled.
The world is brimming with 'stuff' that's already here, discarded or just not loved anymore, but thankfully 'Bin thinking' people are popping up all over the place, turning old things into something new again. Leather coats lovingly made into new bags and wallets, The dreggy ends of candles that don't burn anymore, collected and re-melted into brand spanking new ones and washed up decade old plastic and glass made into beautiful jewellery.
Having my children and wanting their world to be natural and as beautiful as it was for me growing up is also something that drives me.
I love creative people and just wanted to do something I genuinely felt passionate about.
What is your favourite thing about the work that you do?
The fact that nobody is ever treading on anyone's toes, everyone has the same end goal to improve our planet and quality of life. It is also great playing a part in helping small businesses get noticed.
I find that so much of today's news is negative and I never feel good after watching it. Building this project is having the opposite effect and constantly reminds me of all the good people out there. So selfishly it's quite good for me too. I have worked in some very fast paced media jobs in the past and as fun as they were, the people I am meeting from doing this and seeing what changes are taking place really excites me.
What is the most challenging thing about the work that you do, or the industry that you work in?
Doing it all by myself and learning to manage my time, The industry is fine, I am the challenging thing. Having a lot of things to do at once is overwhelming but luckily being passionate about something really does help steer you along.
Do you have any advice for people trying to shop or live more ethically?
Ask yourself do you need it, and is there an alternative? There are so many brilliant eco sites on the internet with better solutions. If we all slowed down and spent our money with people that genuinely care and put the planet before profit, the big plastic supermarkets and their 'plastic packaging decision makers' might actually regroup and re-think their actions sooner.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Getting everyone up! Mornings are challenging! Lots of coffee, kids to school then walk the dog, work as quickly as I can in that tiny school day window, my day job is working at weddings and events or cleaning holiday lets. Get the kids from school, spend time with them, avoiding screens as much as sanely possible without causing a meltdown, swimming, football clubs i(f they are on) another dog walk, dinner.. and then when that's all done I work on binthinkingaboutyou.com until my eyes sting and the coffee doesn't work anymore.
What are your plans and hopes for the future?
To grow Upcycle Street, and offer a wider variety of items to buy. Help influence more people into buying sustainable choices and hopefully brand 'Upcycle Street' as the place of sustainable gifts.
I hope to eventually be in a position to be a regular supporter for Plastic Free North Devon and donate funds to both them and other projects needing help.
I also hope to one day walk into a corner shop and never see a solo banana or apple wrapped in a cling film blanket ever again!
Where can we find you on the internet, buy your work, or join in?
You can find me and all the sellers and Artists in Upcycle Street at www.binthinkingaboutyou.com and you can also follow us on Instagram and Facebook @binthinkingaboutyouI am of course always looking for new Upcycling creators for the Street so please get in touch via the Post Office if you do.