We talk to the owner of leading ethical goods websites Earthbits

We talk to the owner of leading ethical goods websites Earthbits

All questions have been answered by owner Fran Castaldelli – www.earthbits.com

Born from a mission to become a leading brand for plastic free every day’s essentials, EarthBits aims to make sustainable living and eco-friendly products accessible to as many people as possible. The site stocks products with packaging that is completely plastic free and recyclable.

Please explain, the start-up of the store and your brand ? How did it begin?

EarthBits started as a side project in early 2019. I was running another online business at the time, but I had also started being more environmentally conscious of my personal shopping habits and using eco-products in my personal life. So, I decided to launch EarthBits as a place where people like me who were seeking sustainable, plastic-free and ethical products that don’t cost the earth. One of the main drivers of launching the business was the realisation that eco-friendly more often than not is also synonym of “elitist”, in the sense that products can be a lot more expensive than plastic packaged ones, and therefore not very affordable for the majority of people. I wanted to chance that and made my mission to provide good quality products that are not only good for the planet, but that are also accessible to a vast number of people.

How has the business grown to be where it is now? What has contributed to your success?

We have grown from only stocking other makers products to launching our own branded products.   We now have over 100 EarthBits products, from cleaning eco-essentials to bathroom and beauty products, and we are constantly adding new products and new ways to be eco-friendly to our store.  I think part of our success is linked to our honest connection with our clients. No matter how fast we grow, we are still a family business in the way we operate” we believe in offering a personalised and warm customer service to our customers and want everyone who trusts us with their eco-products to have the best experience, so we are always ready to help. We also feel part of our mission is to motivate people to do their best to ditch plastic and choose more sustainable options, while also believing that no matter how small a change, it matters and needs to be celebrated. We are not just a business, but also a community for people to share ideas, feedbacks and progress.

What inspires you and your product choices ?

We only use plastic-free packaging and compostable materials that can be reused, recycled and or composted. That is also true of all the products we stock, and we promote vegan alternatives and plant-based materials whenever possible. To keep costs down and pass that saving onto our customers, we use very minimalist packaging, brown labels and simple designs. Most of the costs of a product go into packaging, which does not have any functionality, so we want to avoid this unnecessary waste while at the same time keeping our products affordable to as many as possible without compromising our sustainability standards.

Now you have become recognised online for your product selections and ethos, have you any new brands or products that will be launched this summer you can share with us ?

We have lots of new products coming in next few months, from new plantable greeting cards made with seeded paper (we will also offer bespoke designs for weddings and special celebrations) and eco-friendly stationary. We are also going to have some new cool kitchen essentials coming in a  couple weeks, all made with reusable and recyclable/compostable materials. And the big launch will be our Christmas Plastic Free Crackers which will probably be available for sale from early September!

How has the advent of social media impacted on you; I can see from your online presence you seem to embrace this?

We started the business less than 2 years ago, so social media has been a presence since our origins. We embrace it as a tool to connect with our customers, listen to their needs and requests to improve our products or design new/better ones, share our ethos and values and motivate people to live as sustainably as possible, in whatever way they can.

What type of products are your best sellers to your customers ?

Our shampoo bars, deodorants and greeting cards are definitely our best sellers, followed by eco-sponges and vegan soaps!

How do you stay relevant and current, where do you get your inspirations from?

We think being humble and trying to learn from other successful and experienced businesses is key, so we are always learning to see how we can do better while also staying true to our unique mission and identity We are always signing up the latest courses on what’s new in marketing, SEO, operations, leadership etc.

We believe running a business doesn’t mean having to be a pro at everything we do, but we truly believe having knowledge of how each cog works in the business engine is the best way to coordinate each and every person working for us and with us and get the best out of the talent of our team.

We are also always asking feedback to our customers. They know what they want and if they think we could do things better, we are always listening to them and ready to adapt and improve.

Which projects are you really excited about for 2021 are there any future plans you can share with us?

There will be more focus on our own branded products and lines,  and we are looking at expanding in new markets for the future, but for now it is all top secret as we don’t want to spoil the surprise, sorry!

Why is your site and its ethos and product selection so different to other businesses within the industry? Explain to myself what an EarthBits customer gets ?

Everything we do here at EarthBits is constantly driven by two mantras:

1. If it is not reusable, recyclable or compostable, then we don’t sell it.

2. We want sustainable living to be AFFORDABLE and ACCESSIBLE to as many people as possible.

Our customers get a no-nonsense experience to sustainability. Lots of brands who are claiming to be sustainable still use lots of synthetic ingredients that are still polluting the waterways or are made in unethical supply chains. Packaging is also another very wasteful element in products, and this is why we try to keep it to a minimum whenever possible, especially when it is used only for marketing purposes.

How has the last year impacted on your business and how have you adapted to meet the new challenges?

For the most part, the pandemic and its restrictions have just made things a bit slower, as we work with smaller and ethical suppliers; production and re-stocking of products have been a bit slower than before the pandemic started. However, that has also made us focus more on our own branded products, and we have been expanding our own product lines exponentially in the past few months, with a lot more in the pipeline for 2021. There are some exciting ideas boiling for the next few months here at EarthBits HQ!