Getting to know: Coconut and Cotton
For this month “Getting to know local sustainable businesses” I will be introducing to Coconut and Cotton. If you are an experienced conscious consumer or just starting out on your sustainable journey, Coconut & Cotton is the perfect store for you to get all of your eco-friendly needs. They are a well-stocked and affordable store for earth-conscious consumers and are plastic-free even down to their parcel packaging! Their online shop is amazing but if you're in Dorset go check out their storefront and even have access to refills! Coconut and cotton is a business with honesty and sustainability at its core and they only stock items they believe in. Lucy (the mastermind behind this wonderful store) spent three months before she even chose the store name ordering and testing products making sure that she has tried everything that’s she stocks. She also sends them to friends and family which I think is a great idea because you get a range of perspectives on the same product.
In terms of her personal journey to a sustainable lifestyle, Lucy has a commitment to earth-conscious living even going so far as to resort the recycling and reusing as much as possible! This lifestyle is difficult to stick to when everywhere we look food and produce is wrapped in plastic, so for Lucy buying loose veg from local shops is key. As is being prepared when you leave the house, making sure you have your reusable essentials like a water bottle, coffee cup and cutlery. After checking out Coconut & Cotton’s Instagram and watching Lucy’s daily videos around the store I can see that she really does live with these values but also enjoys trying out and sharing her favourite products. I asked her if she could remember what her first sustainable swap was, and she said it was a shampoo bar and a lotion bar given to her by a friend. I have never heard of a lotion bar so I will have to investigate that one and see what I can find.
As Lucy is a good experience conscious consumer I asked her what products she would recommend as the best sustainable swaps. She recommends Coconut scourers – “I use coconut husk and scourers all-round the house now for cleaning and they are so versatile for scrubbing!”. She also recommends safety razors (Lucy’s tip is not to press down so much but use the weight of the razor), and menstrual cups. “Menstrual cup.. Total game changer for me…I know it’s going to make such a difference, not just for the planet but also comfort and convenience”, I would recommend this as well. The menstrual cup was a game-changer for me and I would never go back if you want to read more about menstrual cups I have a blog about them and another on how to use them. My favourite recommendation by Lucy is the Stainless steel pint cup. This is something that I hadn’t even considered and it goes to show that she really is a pro! These are perfect for festivals and when buying smoothies. Think how much single-use plastic is used at festivals from pint glasses actually I don’t want to think about it. But this all comes from preparing before you go out and taking what you might need. Since Covid Lucy has noticed that more people are looking for reusable options, especially their face masks and natural baskets for organising your home. This is wonderful news, hopefully, a good side to Covid will be making people more aware of reusable and sustainable goods. I asked Lucy what her favourite things to sell are and this is what she said- “It’s got to be stuff made from coconut! We have quite a range of coconut wood and husk products now. I personally love all the coconut husk scourers and also the coconut bowls and cutlery. In most cases, the husk and shell is a waste product (from making oils and culinary coconut) so seeing it being repurposed as bowls and utensils is awesome! I’d say a really good starter swap is a wooden scrubbing brush for washing up”. I have recently encouraged my parents to get one of these scrubbing brushes and they love it so I would agree with Lucy and totally recommend it!
It's funny that what Lucy recommends isn’t exactly what is popular though as Shaftesbury has taken to coconut& cotton wooden nail scrubs and bamboo toothbrushes! She said she can understand why toothbrushes are popular because everyone needs one, but she finds the popularity of her nail brushes to be quite amusing. She says “…we sell so many every day and often in pairs! They are so popular locally and I guess at £2.50 each the word has spread that we are the place to get a ‘proper’ nail brush!”. So everyone if you need a nail brush you know where to shop!
What I love most about Lucy and Coconut & Cotton is that she really has done her research, so you can trust everything she sells. I am a fan of Coconut & Cottons socials but with this kind of success can lead to some pressure and I asked if she feels like she needs to follow eco trends. Because of the nature of social media trends, there can be a feeling that you need to keep up with or buy/supply the latest eco products. However, Lucy never rushes to stock something unless she has done her research and tested it out for you first. This makes her shop a reliable eco store and you never have to worry about greenwashing. Convenience is something we are all too used to in this day and age, but the things we use for our convenience can be what is damaging the planet (i.e single-use plastic cutlery and pint glasses or face masks). Lucy is a great role model for making sure that you are prepared before you leave the house so you make save the planet with better habits. I think the stainless steel pint glass is an amazing recommendation and it’s things like this that people need to consider more in order to fight the war on plastic. Lucy makes being sustainable fun and exciting, and I would recommend you go and follow her on Instagram to see her daily videos! They always make me smile and she points out many useful things like the pint glass that you might be able to incorporate into your life as a sustainable swap!
As Christmas is quickly approaching keep an eye out on her online store and he storefront to see what eco-friendly gifts and goodies that she recommends! I know I will be.