A new eco-friendly store, Green Earth Lovers, has opened in Stirling’s Maxwell Place.
The shop, run by Maria Okulowicz, sells a wide range of household products, including shampoo, body lotion, laundry liquid and washing up liquid, with customers encouraged to bring their own bottles to fill up with these essentials.
Maria also offers eco-friendly and sustainable choices for everyday goods such as shampoo bars, stainless steel straws, toilet cleaning bombs, compostable sponges, toothpaste powder and bamboo toothbrushes.
Her aim is to cut down on plastic waste and offer customers products which are better for the environment with many of the goods she sells made from plant-based formulas as well as being biodegradable and compostable.
She says: “I want to help people reduce the number of plastic bottles they use by refilling and reusing them over and over in the shop
“This will help to save the environment as well as saving them money.”
Maria opened Green Earth Lovers in mid-July taking over the premises at 2, Maxwell Place which was formerly used as a newsagent. She previously worked as an agent with the Provident and on facing redundancy decided to start selling green goods.
She began by setting up a stall at local car boots sales then once her redundancy package arrived, she was able to consolidate her success by leasing premises to open a shop.
She says: “I knew that redundancies were coming and decided I wanted to do something different and something which was good for the Earth. I’ve always tried not to use too much plastic and to buy things for myself that were better for the environment – particularly for goods like cosmetics and shampoos.
So, I had a good idea about what was out there and thought that the idea of selling green products was worth pursuing and looking into more. After doing my research and sourcing goods, I began selling at car boot markets in Alloa and Falkirk.
Customers found me quite quickly because my prices were a lot lower than the shops and I was able to build up a following. People would bring along bottles – and I would save small water bottles which they could fill up – and I would be in Alloa on a Thursday and Falkirk on a Sunday.
I started doing that in May and then began to look at shops after people seemed keen to keep buying my products and told me to go for it.”
Maria took over the shop in June and renovated it from top to bottom before opening Green Earth Lovers the following month. Trade has been steady and she is enjoying running her new business.
She says: “A lot of people pass the shop and come in for a look and to check what I’ve got and then they will come back later with empty bottles to fill up which is great. It’s going slowly but in the right direction and I’m enjoying it because I like meeting people and having contact with them.
I also know quite a lot about nature, herbs and essential oils so I can chat about that if it’s something someone is interested in. I’d invite anyone to please come along and check us out – everyone is welcome here.”
Green Earth Lovers is open daily from 11am until 5pm on Monday; from 10am until 5.30pm Tuesday to Friday; from 10am until 4pm on Saturday and from 11am until 4pm on Sunday.
There are details of the available products on the website – Green Earth Lovers (gelovers.co.uk) – and Maria offers a delivery service to anyone who prefers to shop that way.