Thursday, 13 August 2020

Eco-business to move from dining room to town centre

Eco-business to move from dining room to town centre

A ZERO-WASTE sustainability business started by a mother from Watlington is to move into the town centre.

Steph Van de Pette set up So Sustainable just over a year ago to provide refill products and sustainable alternatives to common household products.

She is currently based at her home in Spring Lane and holds pop-up stalls and trades online.

But this month she is set to move into a unit in High Street currently occupied by Harriet Holgate Interior Design.

She launched a Crowdfunder appeal to raise £6,000 to fit out the shop and has already raised that amount.

She now hopes to raise another £6,000 for containers in which to store and dispense her range of products, which include environmentally friendly cleaning products and detergents as well as natural toothpaste, sun cream and beauty products and a range of organic dried foods and loose leaf tea.

Customers are encouraged to bring their own containers so they can buy the exact amounts they need without the need for packaging.

The new shop will allow her to display her stock of around 100 products. It will be fitted out by carpenter Kristian Lucas using salvaged and upcycled materials.

Mrs Van de Pette, who lives with her husband Mathew and children Henry and Clara, said: “We have been wanting to get into a proper retail premises. It would be nice to get out of the house and have some space back. At the moment we’re in what used to be my dining room.

“Watlington high street is such an incredible space and was what gave me the inspiration to start the business. I didn’t look for a shop elsewhere and when Harriet’s place came up, that was perfect.

“The position, right next to the town hall, means all that passing traffic, of which Watlington has quite a lot, will see us so it will be great for footfall.”

During the coronavirus lockdown she has been serving people through a window at her home and has had six volunteers making deliveries. Once she’s in the shop, she plans to run workshops and events on a range of subjects, such as natural cleaning, make-do-and-mend, macramé, vegan cheese and wine nights.

Mrs Van de Pette said: “I’m so excited but also a bit scared because I never envisaged myself as a shopkeeper or anything like that.

“It was just an idea I had to provide a service that people might like and now it’s a proper business and a shop. Because everyone in the community is just so supportive and lovely, it doesn’t feel like I’m doing it on my own.”

For more information, visit so

To donate, visit www.crowdfunder.

• Harriet Holgate will continue to run her interior design business from her home in Watlington.

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