Green store project launches crowdfunder to help change the way we shop

Sophie Taylor in her Thornham Gift and Eco Shop Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

Sophie Taylor in her Thornham Gift and Eco Shop Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Photo: Keith Mindham Photography

An eco-friendly grocery shop is being developed in the heart of an ancient Suffolk woodland to encourage shoppers to change their habits and protect the environment.

Locally sourced arts, crafts and household items for a sustainable lifestyle are the key to the Thornham Gift and Eco Shop’s project.

The aim is to help alter the public’s approach to shopping – and now the organisers have launched a £15,000 crowdfunder appeal to fulfil their dream.

Today (Sunday, September 6) people will be able to find out more when Thornham Estate has an open day for its Red House Yard businesses at Gislingham Road, Thornham Magna, from 10am to 4pm, with painting demonstrations, eco-cleaning demonstrations, spoon carving, and refreshments, to name just a few of the fun activities.

After time to reflect during the coronavirus pandemic, owner Sophie Taylor wants to develop her shop in the Yard further into a sustainable and eco-friendly grocery shop helping people to stay shopping locally, stocking far more sustainable eco-friendly products, including household cleaning and personal care products that can be refilled rather than simply used once, reducing the amount of waste going into landfill.

Crowdfunding cash will help to transform the shop – and those donating will receive thank you hampers or products for their support.

Sophie, a trained massage therapist, said: ‘‘We are now seeking help in funding the materials, equipment and stock to move the project much further forward and help us all in simple but important changes to the way we shop.

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‘‘By shopping locally and seasonally you decrease C02 emissions into the atmosphere and you are also supporting your local producers, makers, and farmers.

‘‘We have wood spirits carved by hand from branches collected while walking round the woods at Thornham and we have hand carved wooden spoons made from wood found on the estate.

‘‘Our fudge is made in-house, the wooden crates come from recycled timber and then, at the other end of the scale, we have exquisite paintings and work by local Suffolk artists and crafts people.

‘‘But it is more than just a shop and there are courses available in making collages, mosaic jewellery and wooden spoons to help everyone make something unique.’’

Sophie’s partner John Chapman, who helps in the business, said: ‘‘During the coronavirus lockdown there has been more opportunity to think and take stock of our world and to consider how to make it better.

‘‘We have thought about global warming, the amount of waste directed to landfill sites, overconsumption, pollution and health, the conclusion being that it is necessary to change the way we shop.

‘‘Therefore we encourage people to only buy what they need. This will prevent waste and also save you money. Buying raw ingredients from eco shops is preferable to prepackaged over-processed foods, which can be detrimental to our health.’’

To support the shop visit its crowdfunding page.

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