A Truly Green, Green Home

Green Green Home was conceived back in 2005 when we, Rob and Sarah Gilby, were working together in London as environmental consultants and had been for the past 7 years.

When Sarah fell pregnant in the summer of that year, we took the major decision to downshift to have our first child. We had always been passionate about the environment and ethical consumerism and felt that we now had the chance to “do our bit”. Our idea was driven by our interest in where everything that we purchased had come from, what it was made of and who had made it. We strongly feel that these were important factors for consideration before buying anything if we are all to make a positive difference to our environment and fairtrade. In December 2005, we turned our back on our 10 year consultancy careers, had our baby girl in February 2006 (Ria who is now 16 months old) and in July of that year Green Green Home was launched and our plans finally became reality.

We now live and work in Kent and via our online shop and events across the south east, we sell fairtrade and eco-friendly interior accessories and gifts ranging from natural skincare products to photo frames, wooden bowls, cushions to recycled juice carton bags and recycled blankets. In sourcing the items for the virtual shelves of our online shop, Green Green Home, we wanted to embrace style, creativity and, most importantly, we wanted to bring goods to the UK market sourced from across developing world that would blow away the common misconceptions that fairtrade goods are restricted to chocolate, coffee and bananas.

Unlike many high street chains, we don’t do “mass-manufactured” and we definitely don’t do “all-new materials”. What Green Green Home does offer is a range of handmade and fairtrade interior accessories and gifts that all have a story behind them, something which we think is difficult to find in the many faceless mass-produced items found along the high street.

Take for example, our farmprint cotton handbags. Not only are they great looking, stylish bags, they are manufactured by a workers cooperative in southern India who have fully embraced the principles of “trade not aid”. Through their self-funded welfare initiatives (education and healthcare) they continue to reward employees, their families and wider communities with a better quality of life than they previously knew.

Informed Choices

Spending on the internet in the UK continues to grow year on year and is now safer than it has ever been. With a reported 18 million domestic PCs in the UK, web sales reached £32 billion in 2006 representing 10% of all retail sales (source: IMRG). With what almost seems like an infinite number of e-retailers, it is now easier than ever to find a great range of quality green products that provide sustainable and ethical alternatives to many high street equivalents.

Online is the place to shop if you want to be sure of the ethical provenance of the green products that you purchase. Green Green Home feel strongly that this information must be provided not only to ensure that the customer makes the right decision for them, but also to educate consumers too. It seems almost bizarre that even now, equivalent levels of product information are limited at the point of sale on the high street when compared to their online equivalents.

If you are serious about “doing your bit” for the environment and ethical trade, consider carefully where you purchase and ask yourself where do they come from, who made them and what they are made of. Do your research, take your time and start your personal drive towards making a positive difference. Happy shopping!

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