Ethical is the new black! But buying ethically and living sustainably can be hard. One of our aims as a business, is to make ethically living easier. And we love working with brands with the same ethos. One such brand is the lovely My Ecobox, an eco subscription box. We managed to catch up with My Ecobox owner, Cara. To ask her a few questions on what made her start the brand.
First, can you tell us a little more about yourself?
I’m a law graduate, keen traveller and mum of one living in the Scottish Borders. I love walking, hiking, surfing and snowboarding and just generally anything that involves being outside and active (but only when the weather is nice!). When the weather is miserable, which feels like all the time in Scotland, I love to knit and drink too much coffee. Every year I try and visit two new countries and I think it is this love of travel that also made me passionate about the environment and preserving the world’s natural beauty.
What made you start My Eco Box? And when did you start?
I recently returned from living and working in New Zealand. A lot of my Kiwi friends were passionate about the environment and it was something I hadn’t been exposed to as much here in the UK. The kiwis are passionate about keeping their country and its beauty clean and free of rubbish. This passion rubbed off on me. When I returned to the UK I knew I wanted to do something a bit different than my usual 9-5 especially as I was becoming a mum. Running my own business seemed like a great option. I noticed a problem with sourcing sustainable products here in the UK from mainstream shops and supermarkets making it difficult to lead a low waste lifestyle. However, I also noticed there were many amazing small businesses selling eco friendly products.
My solution was to start a subscription business to bring these products from different businesses together and let people who wanted to start their zero waste journey try them out. Basically I wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to lead a sustainable lifestyle while showcasing all the great small businesses we have here in Britain. So at the end of 2018 I started creating my website and building the brand for My Ecobox. Trading began in April and it was a very busy couple of months with my son being born in March and the first boxes were sent out in May!
What inspires you when choosing product for the box?
When choosing products for the box I try to come up with a theme and pick the products to fit that. I think about my own personal experience and the different areas of my life where I have reduced single use items and waste. I also follow a lot of great people on Instagram and read a lot of blogs of people who are really passionate about saving the earth and committed to a sustainable lifestyle. Sometimes I see products through these channels that I’m drawn to. There are some products that I have found which I just think wow what a clever idea. Other times the supplier has drawn my attention to their products but the great thing about small businesses is I have had such a great experience conversing with suppliers and everyone I have dealt with so far has been so lovely and helpful.
What is your favourite part of the creating each months box?
I have so much fun creating each month’s box! And I always get really excited about sending the boxes because I put so much effort into choosing products which I genuinely think my customers will love. I think my favourite part is getting my deliveries and putting the box together because I can finally see my idea and the theme for that month come together. Also, I make a little leaflet for each box which I quite enjoy as I get to explain why I chose each product and how it can encourage sustainable living.
Do you have a favourite item you have had in a box so far?
I think my favourite item has to be the rCup. I knew I wanted to include a coffee cup in the starter box but I didn’t want a run of the mill one and the rCup is just such a clever design. It is made from old coffee cups and it is leak proof which was a selling point for me because I have spilled coffee all over myself and my car more times than I can count. The fact that they have found a use for some of our old waste though is just great and really paves the way for future materials.
Why is eco important to you?
As I mentioned I love travelling and it breaks my heart to see the pictures of the plastic strewn oceans and beaches because the world is just such a beautiful place and its so scary to think that could be ruined permanently. I just get this huge feeling of guilt when I see the damage being done because it is all done by humans and was completely avoidable. I also think since having my son I worry about the future. If climate change continues at the rate it is going I hate to think what his future could look like.
How do people get involved with My Eco Box?
If you would like to get involved with My EcoBox you can visit our website www.myecobox.co.uk. You can subscribe to our monthly service or buy one off boxes either for yourself or as a gift. If you are just starting out I would recommend the monthly subscription but if you have already made a good start on sustainable living you might want to keep an eye on our gift boxes to make sure you aren’t doubling up on too many items.
If you were luckily enough to get a July box you will find some of our wildflower seeds in it. Alongside some other lovely ethical gifts.