So Charity tell us a little about yourself...
Hi I'm Charity Nichols, and I started Green Tulip back in 2007 after a move to Wiltshire to bring up our children (now 17 and 14) in the countryside.
Alongside the business I still manage play netball twice a week which is great for forgetting all about the busy work day and having some fun. And our new puppy Lola keeps us all entertained at work and is a great way of enjoying the lovely countryside we live in.
What inspired you to start Green Tulip?
I started my career working for John Lewis doing everything from senior store management, buying and branding, but decided i wanted to do something for myself. I wanted to go back to basics by trading fairly, ethically and knowing who i was buying from. Added to this my husband lived in Japan in the 90's and was shocked by how poor the recycling system was when he returned to the UK. Because of this we have always been quite mindful to live with less impact.
Fast forward 13 years and I now have a lovely team of 5 who work at Green Tulip, Slice of Green and our shop The Inner Yard, so life is pretty busy. I do still love being in my shop - seeing people buy the things I've chosen and put out on display.
Tell us about Green Tulip
I have three parts to the business keeping us busy! www.greentulip.co.uk which offers beautiful ethical gifts (which Little Green Wood fits in very well with of course!).
We also have a second site www.asliceofgreen.co.uk which we launched in 2016 and that is focused on clean living.
Finally we have our little shop The Inner Yard, a shop on a farm shop development just on the edge of Salisbury Plain which is a lovely place to send time (we sell Little Green Wood there too!).
What advice would you give to someone wanting to reduce their waste?
I've worked in the eco field for many years now, and it's amazing to see the step change since Blue Planet 2 in Dec 2017. It's really exciting to see how many people are thinking consciously about what they buy and the waste they generate. It is really true that if we all make one or two small changes that WILL have an overall effect. And if we put pressure on the big companies by choosing carefully what we buy they will have to change the way the do things.
In 2020 I really think we'll continue to see a big shift to people being more about conscious consumption and only buying what we need. Try to plan ahead, take your reusables out with you when you go out, and think about whether you really need it before you buy. Then give yourself a pat on the back that you are thinking about it - that's a great start!
We are very active on social media offering suggestions to reduce your waste so follow us for more hints and tips! Or if you're local to us pop in for a chat, we are always on hand to give advice.
What are your most popular products?
Suddenly products that I tried to introduce to customers many years ago but they didn't seem to understand are now in huge demand!
Well - of course reusables like Little Green Wood's make-up wipes are doing really well for us, I love the soft and scrub pads - I think because I like the graphic print and the different textured sides! Also produce bags, reusable containers, coffee cups, bottles, straws etc.
Plastic free bathrooms are becoming more popular with people making the switch to eco friendly balms, soaps and oral care, especially toothbrushes!
We have such a wide range of products you need to have a good look around. We've got a comprehensive eco baby / kids range, a number of fairly traded fashion ranges and have recently added unpackaged cards. We also sell a wide range of gift sets which we put together - they make a very easy ethical gift for someone who needs a treat!
Thanks Charity for taking part, we look forward to seeing more of your fabulous ethical gifts and cute puppy pics soooooo cute!
You can get your Little Green Wood wipes and follow all of Charity's lovely brands with the below links