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 Lucy from Good Things Gifts, an online shop selling inspiring ethical and sustainable gifts delivered in eco packaging. As well as helping to protect the planet they also support charities.
Tell me about yourself and the work that you do.
Hello! I’m Lucy and I live in South Devon. I founded Good Things in July 2019. We seek out inspiring ethical and sustainable gifts that support charities, empower people and protect our planet. Then we make it easy for you to find them in our online shop. We send everything in plastic-free packaging and donate 20% of profits to charity.
How or why did you get started?
A few years ago I left my role at a charity to spend some time exploring the world and volunteering on various government and charity projects. During this time I saw for myself how fairly-paid work can end poverty and provide life-changing opportunities for people and their families. On a turtle conservation project I witnessed the devastation caused by plastic pollution. I considered how I could best make my own impact and when I returned to the UK, I founded Good Things; an online shop selling gifts, toys and games that make a difference.
[Photography by Mike Alsford]
What is your favourite thing about the work that you do?
I love coming across amazing charities, social enterprises and green businesses that are on a mission to make the world a better place. Then it’s wonderful to share their products in our online shop and to hear that others are as enthusiastic about their products as I am!
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Believe in yourself, push through the fear and give it a go. Leaving the security of my old life and trying something so different was a gamble. On so many occasions I’ve felt like an imposter but I try to carry on and give things a try. It works most of the time and if it doesn’t you learn and you do it differently next time.
What are your plans for the future?
We’re used to seeing greetings cards shops or pound shops – I think shops where all the products make a positive difference should be just as normal! So my plan is to connect with even more wonderful suppliers, offer even more fabulous products, tell more people about what we do and keep sharing Good Things!
[Good Things supports charities like Neema Crafts who make handmade fabric and wooden crafts in Tanzania. Their Fair Trade products empower people with disabilities]
Can you recommend any other makers or businesses that work in an ethical or sustainable way?
There are so many! Of course I suggest you visit Good Things to find loads of them and let us know if there’s a producer we should connect with!
Do you have any advice for people trying to shop or live more ethically?
It’s easy to feel both guilty and overwhelmed when you’re trying to make changes so start in one area of your life (bathroom / clothes / fridge for example!) and consider your choices as they come up rather than trying to tackle everything at once.
What would be the top thing that you would change about the way we treat the planet if you could?
Ideally I’d bring world leaders together, lock them in a room and not release them until they take the radical and proportionate action we need to respond to the climate crisis.
Assuming this isn’t possible, as individuals I’d like us to consider and value what we use and consume. I think (or hope!) our attitudes are changing. For a long time we’ve valued price and quantity above anything else with harmful consequences for other people and our planet. The way these products have been marketed means we’ve not considered the impact of how they’re made, who made them and what they’re made from. I hope our increasing awareness of issues like the climate crisis, plastic pollution and modern day slavery will mean ethically and sustainably produced products become the norm.
What's your favourite thing to do with your free time and why?
I love getting outside and roaming around by the sea, on the moors or in the woods. I spend a lot of time looking at a screen now so unplugging and reconnecting with nature is really important. Luckily here in Devon I’m surrounded by gorgeous places to explore!
Where can we find you on the internet, buy your work, or join in?
Everything is available in our online shop:
We’re also on