Her sustainable dream empowers people to have a better life!

The cottage industry may be a new phenomenon for today’s consumers. But in Britain in the pre-industrial revolution days, it was the driving force behind many vibrant and economic community endeavours.

So, how is the cottage industry from yesterday creating a brighter future today?

“It all starts at home,” says Amelia Gammon, founder of Bide Planet. Amelia first created a sustainable household for her own home before embarking on a journey that is positively impacting women across the UK while creating eco-friendly cleaning household goods for everyone.

Here she tells us how she first created her own sustainable environment before embarking on an exciting journey of developing eco-friendly household cleaning products which are empowering women to create better lives for themselves.

Sustainability

“I think the biggest challenge that we have with sustainability is making it sustainable,” says Amelia, “It is funny how we use the word sustainability, but it does not mean you are sustainable in what you are doing.”

Start small

“My advice for consumers embarking on this journey is to start with a small habit that you can sustain for a lengthy period.

“Look around your home and decide on one aspect you can change that will have a positive impact on starting you on your sustainability journey.

“You then make that one change for a month or two, and if after this you are still doing what you started, then add another one to your list.

“And eventually, over time – those baby steps will equate to a really significant change in your lifestyle.”

Habits become habits

“The first step that I took was ditching shampoo and conditioner in plastic bottles and moving to solid bars of shampoo and conditioner.

“I basically started in the bathroom with my morning routine. I then also stopped using shower gel and moved onto recyclable toothbrushes and jars of toothpaste as opposed to plastic tubes of toothpaste.

“I then moved to the next part of my morning routine, which is making coffee and switched to using a coffee machine that utilized ground coffee, ditching my coffee pod machine in the process. From there, I gradually moved through the rest of my day and adapted accordingly until my whole day, and that of my family became sustainable.”

Plastic-free household

Another key aspect for Amelia is living in a plastic-free household.

“Avoiding plastic is important in our household,” states Amelia, “by reducing our reliance on this substrate is a powerful way of demonstrating that you want to be part of the climate action response.

“So, I have no plastic containers at all in my house. I prefer using metal and glass containers, and it is easy to do this at home, but the challenge is when going to the supermarket. But if you plan and rethink how you shop, you can identify the products you need that you can purchase without using plastic.

“Buy your fruit and vegetables loose as opposed to prepackaged goods. Take your own containers and ask the butcher or cheese-deli operator to place the products in them instead of wrapping them in plastic.

“There are also several brands coming out with cardboard boxes as packaging for their goods in the frozen aisle. So, my advice is first to see if the products you are looking for are boxed in the freezer; if not, then rather purchase loose vegetables.”

High-flyer to eco-warrior in reviving cottage industry

Though she enjoyed a high-flying career in media and television, Amelia viewed herself as an eco-warrior, and when the Covid-19 pandemic arrived, she decided it was then the right time to move to the country and follow her dream.

“I started environmental practices 15 years ago, and I then started thinking about the waste I was producing and how I could reduce it. And bit by bit, those small changes I was making to my life started to overtake my whole life, and I started to spend most of my time finding out how I could live a more environmentally lifestyle.

“I was a closet hippy for so many years – so on the weekends, I was trying to live a sustainable life, but during the week, I was living in the corporate world. And the two did not really mix, and I really wanted to change it. I wanted to take my business acumen and experience and apply it to sustainable and social practices.”

And so, Bide Planet was born that creates a range of eco-friendly cleaning products by making use of an age-old British tradition, the cottage industry – which once upon a time thrived throughout the UK.

In Britain, prior to the industrial revolution, the cottage industry thrived in this country, enabling rural communities to create productive industries. Amelia says she is effectively tapping into this scenario.

All the cleaning products created by Bide Planet are literally made on kitchen tables across the UK. And every product sold has the name of the person who made the product.

“The women involved in the cottage industry we have created in manufacturing our products were trained by us in how to manufacture these eco-friendly products. We deliver all the raw ingredients to them, and we only use vegan, non-toxic ingredients sourced within the UK. Also sourced within the UK are all our packaging and labels, which can be recycled.

“Once the products are manufactured, we then collect the finished goods. Our army of green manufacturers comprises mostly women, with a large number being single parents with most of them living on universal credit. Our ‘green team’, as we call them, also comprises refugees, prison leavers, recovering addicts and many people with disabilities.

“Personal circumstances may have prevented them from getting work, but they are incredible, passionate and hardworking people.”

Amelia believes it is critical that the manufacturing of the Bide Planet eco-friendly household cleaning products should also have a positive social impact on society. So, all the products have been handmade by somebody who has been marginalized by society.

The future

“For too long,” states Amelia, “we have been told bigger and faster is better – but I think we are at the beginning of a new movement that is saying that is not the case.

“Consumers want to know more about companies and why they do what they do. What goes on behind the scenes? Is the company ethical, are they environmentally sound? And are they transparent?

“And it is important that we, as a UK business, can reflect the way people should be conducting their business.”

Amelia’s advice for those looking at how they can create a more sustainable lifestyle for themselves is to rethink how they live their lives and start making small yet positive changes in creating an environmentally friendly life.

“Good habits can set us all on the path to a sustainable lifestyle benefitting everyone,” concludes Amelia, “so take the first step today.”

“If you are serious about following a more sustainable lifestyle at home, then you should have a plan that involves changing your habits for the good of our planet.”