This post was kindly sponsored by Etsy UK – as always, I only collaborate with brands I love and believe you will too. Affiliate links featured throughout.
Last weekend, I was invited to speak at The Etsy Good Store – a three-day concept shop in Covent Garden featuring a curated collection of UK Etsy sellers who through sustainability, craftsmanship and wellness are putting the “good” back into consumer goods. Alongside talks, panel discussion and workshops the aim was (and still is!) to encourage mindful shopping in the lead up to festive period.
Displayed on the beautiful wooden shelves were items such as reusable gift wrap , organic cotton wash bags, knitting kits (the octopus is too cute!), vegetable tanned leather purses, washable paper iPad holders, hand made soaps and my personal favourite – wool drier balls made from 100% British wool and designed to resemble the breed of sheep the wool originated from (I may have run home purchased these after the event!)
As well as an array of thoughtful gifts, The Etsy Good Store hosted various workshops lead by artisans for people to try; from calligraphy to painting ceramics plates, there was something to help you fall in love with craft once more.
At 11am it was time for me to start my talk! I’m still new to the talking game but I have a couple under my belt now and I really enjoy them. I spoke about how I discovered the zero waste lifestyle, what swaps and habit changes I’ve made as well as sharing what has worked and what hasn’t (I’m looking at you DIY mascara!). Etsy has been a go-to resource for me when it comes to finding zero waste or plastic-free alternatives along the way so I shared some of the products from Etsy that I personally use.
I rounded up my talk with some ways to reduce waste at Christmas (you can find a lot of them mentioned in this blog post I wrote) followed by a Q&A from the audience. It was great to see so many people already using reusables and finding ways to avoid disposables in their daily lives and I really enjoyed having a chat with everyone afterwards.
In the evening, I returned to be part of a panel discussion with long-time eco warrior, journalist and anti-plastic campaigner Lucy Siegle (she co-made The True Cost documentary, writes a green column for the Guardian and has a new book out: Turning The Tide on Plastic) and Sarah Turner, an Etsy seller who gave up her corporate career to sell her 100% British wool drier balls online full-time under the name Little Beau Sheep. We talked gifts, “stuff”, reducing waste, craftsmanship, conscious consumerism and plastics as well as encouraging the audience to join in with any comments or questions they wanted to share. It was great fun and hopefully everyone left feeling a little warmer and snuggly inside knowing that with a little consideration and supporting independent makers consumer goods really can do good this Christmas.