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#BeeTheChange A 5 minute chat with Kate from Shakspeare Glass.

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#BeeTheChange is something we’re excited about for 2018. A series of short conversations and discussions about the changes we can all make in our lives and businesses to #BeeTheChange we want to see in the world. We’ll be keeping you posted on the changes we make at Green&Blue and we’ll also be talking to stockists, suppliers and friends of the company about the changes they are looking to make. Starting with Green&Blue stockists and Glass blowers, Shakspeare Glass.

 

Hello, and thanks for taking a few minutes to answer some
questions. Let’s start with who you are and an introduction to your
business.

I’m Kate Shakspeare and my husband and I run Shakspeare
Glass, based in Langport, Somerset. We blow handmade
contemporary glass using recycled crystal. We have a gallery,
factory shop and workshop with a small coffee shop beside the
River Parrett.

How much does sustainability and the environment affect
decisions you make in your business?

Being beside the river in the heart of the Somerset Levels we are
surrounded by beautiful countryside and wildlife. The cranes fly
over us regularly, otters are in the river and kingfishers are a
regular sight from our coffee shop deck. We want to keep it this
way so we are always thinking about our impact on the
environment. As well as our own glass we sell work by other
British makers. Everything is made in the UK, and by small
independent businesses like ours, people who live and work here
and care about the environment. We also supply our glass to
galleries and shops in the British Isles and most of our packaging
materials are recycled.
And I drive an electric car – I love it!

Shakspeare glass logo
Can you tell us about any changes you’re making this year to
reduce your impact as a business, and as a householder as well?

One change we have implemented this January is to try and
minimise our plastic wastage. Our coffee shop is very small and an
added extra for our visitors but we still use on average 10 large
plastic milk bottles a week. That’s over 500 a year! We are now having
milk delivered in glass bottles, the empties collected. It takes more
organising and planning but worth it.

Our son became a vegetarian a few months ago so, as a family,
we are eating less meat and thinking about where what we do eat
has come from and how it is sold to us.
For home, I am buying Lush shampoo and conditioner bars and making better use of the greengrocer for all fruit and vegetables

Is there anything that’s surprised you as you start to make these
changes?

How supportive of change our customers are – even if it means we
have had to put our coffee prices up a bit.
And, how shocking it is that we, as a small business, were
producing so many empty plastic milk bottles.

And if you had one tip to pass on, or one change you would
advise everyone to adopt, what would it be?

Start small and don’t be put off. To begin don’t worry about the
detail as anything recycled is better than nothing recycled, and
then go from there. It is second nature for me to take a carrier bag
with me shopping as it is with so many people now.

British designer and glassblower will from shaksear glass in his studio

Thanks so much to Kate for her time, we’ll keep you posted on how they get on and you can keep in touch via their facebook, instagram or twitter pages. And we’d love to hear what changes you might be making this year to #BeeTheChange you want to see. Join in the conversation and let this be the year we start to make right some of the wrongs.

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