This week on Cocoon Conversations we’re heading across the pond! I caught up with Megan and Helen who run Sol + Spirit, an online store featuring sustainable and eco-friendly products. The lovely mother and daughter duo are on a mission to reduce our impact on the environment. Here’s what they had to say…
Tell us a little bit about yourselves…
We are a Mother and Daughter team dedicated to spreading awareness about the environment and to reduce plastic used day to day. We started the business together because we both are committed to reducing our impact on the environment, and wanted to help others do the same. Megan has a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science, which has helped her to understand our impact on this earth and what we can do to reduce our ecological footprint at small and large scales. We want to share our knowledge in the hopes that others get inspired to do the same. We are here to encourage and to make positive progress, no matter how big or small.
What was the motivating factor that made your start Sol + Spirit?
We founded Sol + Spirit with one goal in mind: to provide the highest quality, zero-waste and eco-friendly products to sustain a green lifestyle.
I (Megan) studied Environmental Science in University, but my passion for understanding our impact on the planet and how we can protect it stemmed from the daily reminders from my parents as a kid about the importance of the three R’s. As we got older, we began sending each other innovative, eco-friendly products that we thought the other would love. Over time, as we continued to learn more about the current environmental state, and share news articles and stories about the deterioration of our planet, it became more of an alarming wake up call that we need to do something about it. We realized that reducing, reusing and recycling is a good start for most, but it shouldn’t end there. There is so much more we can do!
Living a sustainable life involves planning, preparation, and mindfulness. It means being conscious of every choice you make, and being aware of where things go when you throw them away. Living greener can sometimes be difficult, depending on where you live (or who you live with!), so we wanted to make this transition to sustainable living as easy and accessible as possible. We provide our customers with useful tips, life hacks and sustainable goods to encourage others to take that first step.
What have people’s responses been to your business?
We have had an overwhelmingly positive response from the eco-community about the quality of our products and how they have dramatically reduced their plastic consumption. Not only that, but it makes them more conscious of other areas in their life where they become more eco-friendly. This is what we love to hear, and is our ultimate goal. We frequently receive messages from mothers and daughters who love to share eco tips with one another, and who have stumbled across our brand and love that we started our business together. I think it’s wonderful to share a passion like this with your parents, and even more so important that we continue to educate and learn from one another. This is one of the things that make our business so special.
What’s the best thing about being a mother and daughter team?
The absolute best thing about being a mother and daughter team is the fact that we get to share our passion and the things we love to do with each other. We work together every day, sharing ideas and coming up with new plans for the future. You could say my Mom is the yin, and I’m the yang. We both bring valuable skills to the business, and we encourage and teach one another as we go along. I really couldn’t ask for a better business partner.
What would be your number 1 tip for anyone looking to lead a more ethical and sustainable lifestyle?
That’s a super hard question!! We would have to say that getting educated and training your mindset to become a more conscious consumer is key. This means that you will want to understand and discover where your purchases are really coming from, is it sustainable or ethical? It’s important to experiment with new ways of living, perhaps reuse that pasta jar and use it to collect bulk foods on your next market haul. Learn to live with less, and try to not buy new. Be conscious of how much electricity, water and gas you use in the house, and see how you do with using less. We look at eco-friendly living almost as a challenge. We test ourselves to see what changes we can make in our daily lives to reduce our consumption, and how we can improve it the next time. It’s also important to not be so hard on yourself. No-one is perfect, and no-one will judge you if you forgot your reusable produce bags at the market that one day. The key is to just learn from your mistakes and get better.
Tell us about some of your favourite US brands and why you love them.
- Patagonia – I just love this brand because of their honesty in their efforts to being environmentally and socially responsible. The company also donated their $10 million tax break to various environmental charities. Giving back to the environment is always a plus! They also use sustainable fabrics for their clothing, and they have an awesome program that offers credits for trade-ins called Worn Wear.
- TenTree – I’m sure most people know about this brand, and they should! If you didn’t know already, TenTree plants ten trees for every item purchased. They are also a certified B corporation, which means that they are required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. They aim to be the most environmentally progressive brand on the planet, and they have a goal to plant 1 billion trees by 2030. As of today, they have planted 30,368,050 trees over Madagascar, Nepal, Haiti, Cambodia, Senegal, US and Canada! They even use eco materials, such as organic cotton (our fav!), recycled polyester, cork, and coconut. They have some pretty sweet gear, too. LOVE TenTree!
- Tesla – Elon Musk is a revolutionary genius and we don’t deserve him… but the Earth certainly does. Elon constantly pushes the boundaries of where we can go and what we can do. Not only are Tesla vehicles absolutely stunning, but they are so progressive and eco conscious that it kills me I can’t afford one (lol!). Their vehicles have saved more than 3.5 million tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, and their solar products have produced more than 10 billion kilowatt hours of clean energy across the globe.
What are your plans for the future?
We plan to become a one-stop stop for all eco-friendly products! Currently we are providing products to reduce plastic consumption when food shopping, but we also know that there are many other areas in your day to day that are difficult to make the transition and require the same amount of love. We hope to expand to kitchen products, bathroom products, and anything else you can think of. We are all ears when it comes to listening to our customers and hearing what they have to say, as we are ultimately trying to provide products that make their lives easier.