• 18 April 2024

  • Customers

Meet Our Customer: Smaller Footprints

Smaller Footprints zero waste shop advocates avoiding single-use packaging, to leave smaller footprints on our earth.

Please introduce yourself, and your business

Hello! I am Grant and in November 2018 I opened the doors to Smaller Footprints, a refill/zero waste shop in Bristol’s Clifton Village. 

How did your business start? 

Two moments got it all going. I was once in need of four avocados and I realised I’d have to pay an extra £1 if I wanted to buy them loose (at £1 each) rather than buying two packets of two for £3 total, which would have forced upon me four (4!) bits of unnecessary and non-recyclable packaging.?? 

Soon after I wondered if I’d met with an original thought but of course I hadn’t. The thought was... “If people can bring ‘Bags for Life’ to the shops then why not reusable bags for the things they want to buy too?”. Thankfully it wasn’t an original idea because I needed to learn from the pioneers, people like the legends Earth.Food.Love in Totnes, in order to really get moving. 

What is unique about your company? 

The smell and the music and the calmness of the space are commented on often and we love hearing that. All independent high-street businesses are unique but they’re common in bringing virtues that are being slowly lost due to supermarket dominance: community connection, warmth, transparency, accountability. Let’s all help ensure no independent shop is ever truly unique! 

Who and where are your customers? 

We could sell online and reach people further afield but we’re all about the refill, and community. So our customers are exclusively people that live close, who most often reach us by foot, some by bicycle and few by car. They are cleaners and presenters and gardeners and artists and coders and students and teachers and therapists and musicians and carers and they all care about making good choices. 

How’s the future looking for you? What are your plans? 

Good question! There will come a time soon(ish) when I personally look to handover, but only to someone that’s dedicated to energetically continuing our single-use avoidance mission. In the meantime, another make-your-own nut butter machine would be good! 

Why do you buy from Organic Herb Trading? 

They’re Taunton brothers and sisters. I went to secondary school and college there and that’s the reason. Really though, the products are quality, the prices are fair, and they’ll supply sans plastic!? 

What do you buy from Organic Herb Trading? How do you use it, and what do you like about it? 

Teas! High recommendations go to the breakfast tea, earl grey, chamomile, St. John’s Wort, peppermint, rooibos, green tea, and the lemongrass and ginger. 

Why is organic/provenance important to you? 

Pesticides kill insects — leave ‘em be! Also, I understand that artificial fertilisers are the worst for depleting soil health. 

Do you have any heroes? 

Caroline Lucas. 

What is your favourite cup of tea/or long cool relaxing drink? 

Lemon and ginger for me. Heavy on the lemon. Heavy on the ginger. 

Please feel free to tell us one unusual fact! 

Fish have been observed to form orderly queues in emergencies. When evacuating through narrow spaces in sketchy situations, schools of neon tetra fish queue so that they don’t collide or clog up the line. Scientists interpreted this behaviour as showing that fish can respect social rules even in emergency situations!