If you’re a regular reader of this blog or have been to some of our events, you’ll know that we’re huge advocates of environmental responsibility and green living. Another business in Hull that shares this ethos is The Eco Shed, so we caught up with its owner, Kallum, to find out more about what it’s all about.
Hi, Kallum. When did The Eco Shed open and why did you choose Trinity Market as your base?
We technically started in April 2018 by doing little markets and events around the city to see if people were actually interested in what we had to offer. Once we established some repeat custom and a name for ourselves, we started to look for a shop and Trinity Market seemed the best fit. It was newly refurbished and full of niche businesses, with a great food hall, a perfect location and affordable rent. This made it the ideal place to open a physical base.
How did you originally get into sustainable products and the eco-friendly way of life?
Caring for the planet was something that my father always taught me. We are a fishing family through and through, with fishing heritage leading back to the Arctic Corsair – my grandfather is actually in its logbook to this date.
My father always taught me about not polluting our oceans and recycling as much as possible, and as I’ve grown older my passion has developed even further. When it came to starting a business, eco-friendly products were a natural fit.
What does The Eco Shed have to offer?
We stock an array of products that include personal care, homeware, cleaning products, children’s products, fashion and more. These have all been carefully sourced from small businesses around the country. Our most popular products are bamboo toothbrushes, shampoo bars, safety razors, reusable nappies, kitchen and bathroom alternatives, reusable straws, paper bags and backpacks. The shop isn’t huge but we know that visitors will be impressed by the size of our product range.
How has the response been so far? Are you finding that more people are buying eco products these days?
The response has been great and people are asking questions, such as what they can do to become better at caring for the planet. We act as a hub for all things ethical, natural, organic and environmentally friendly and it’s proving very popular.
Why are these types of products so important?
They all make a massive difference to the world we live in. There is no Planet B and people need to realise this. I understand that not everyone wants to go full-blown vegan, but eating vegan meals at least 2-3 times a week will have a large positive impact due to agriculture’s part in harming the planet.
Who is your top eco inspiration?
I suppose like everyone I love David Attenborough and we were always shown his videos in school. Greta Thunberg is also a great advocate for changing the planet. But most of all, my dad was a huge figure in my life and there are also bigger role models than Greta and David who are doing their part but just don’t get as much media coverage.
Either way, as long as they are doing their bit and educating people along the way, that’s what matters. To really make a difference, we need a large group of people at least trying instead of a small group of people doing it perfectly.
What are your plans for the future?
We want to grow into a Zero Waste Store and also expand into other towns, cities and villages across the country.
Aside from buying these types of products, what are your top three tips for people who want to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle?
1. Shop locally and with independents. We are more cautious on where we get our products from and focus on helping one another, plus it’s great for the local economy.
2. Change your current products in your home to eco-friendly versions when you’re ready to buy new ones. People think they should change everything overnight but this isn’t plausible – it’s a gradual transition.
3. Ask questions. If you’re not sure on what you can do, ask! There’s an array of eco warriors on social media, in the street and probably in your workplace. We love giving tips to people so just ask away.
How else is The Eco Shed helping to spread the word of planet-friendly practices?
We take discussions to schools, private groups and so on with our presentation called The Eco Talk, which is an educational session for all ages with the outcome of increasing people’s knowledge on caring for the planet. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, you will learn something new. We go back to the basics of recycling and build from there.