It all started with 2 years travelling around the globe. The kind where you pack a rucksack, book a one-way flight and hope the rest takes care of itself. We are Amy and Ricky. Both in our (very) early 30s, we have a genuine passion for travel and exploring new cultures. The nomadic lifestyle and the spontaneity that pursues excites our flesh and heightens our senses in a way nothing else does.
Some friends and family think we are crazy. We quit our jobs and spent the money we’d saved for a house deposit on improvident travel. For us, it was a simple and straightforward choice. We wanted to explore before we settled down as a homeowner; before we settled down with a family. The outcome? A wealth of culture and experience that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. We could sit and talk for hours about where we went and what we did, but from experience, we’re always more excited telling and reliving our stories than the listeners on the receiving end (We do have a few travel video’s of our time in India here if you wanted to see a little glimpse of our time on the road!).
The Hard Truth
Yet after two years travelling around some of the most beautiful corners of the globe, there was a pattern that emerged that shocked us to the core. No matter where we went, there was always evidence – a ‘footprint’ – of our human existence. We would find it on the sides of the road, in small streams, and on the beaches we swam on. Litter and rubbish was everywhere we looked, and there was no escaping it.
We hated this harsh reality. We wanted to hide from it, and we felt embarrassed by it. Although we would consciously put our rubbish in the bin, it was clear this wasn’t enough. It was unsustainable, and we didn’t want to be part of the problem anymore.
We made it back home in the UK in 2017, and we decided right then that we would do more to reduce our own waste. We wanted to live the life we wanted to see- a world with less waste and a cleaner environment. Instagram was (and still is) a huge educational source for us. It’s inspiring to see how many people out there feel the same way we do. A whole community of individuals and families trying to live a zero lifestyle, and without plastic.
A World Full Of Plastic
Learning more about the negative impacts that plastic has on our environment was another huge turning point. With the realisation that every piece of plastic ever made was still in existence somewhere on this planet today was a massive wake up call. And this same plastic will outlive another 5 generations to come. We now actively seek out plastic-free alternatives in our shopping basket and pack them away in reusable tote bags. This is not always the gentlest on the purse, but a small price to pay for sustainable living.
The past few months have been quite the whirlwind. Setting up an online ethical and eco-conscious shop and then trying to get people to come and visit it is by no means easy (lesson number one). And regardless of capital, you will always spend to your means and it will still not be enough! (Lesson two). The idea came to us after a year or so living more sustainably. Why not set up a business that can help others to reduce their waste and live a more zero waste life?
Regardless of the steep learning curves and (sometimes expensive) lessons learnt, there is nothing more rewarding than setting up a business within an industry you’re so passionate about. The support has been overwhelming, and with regular orders coming through each day, it’s incredibly satisfying. Knowing others are actively seeking zero waste products that we’re able to offer them is one of the best feelings (on par with travel!)
We stock a lovely range of natural and organic beauty products, from natural deodorants, organic skin care and plastic free dental care. Then we have our On The Go range with zero waste and reusable lunch prep, water bottles, coffee cups and so much more! Plus a Home, Kitchen and Gifting categories to top it off. We seek out new and exciting brands to work every week who share the same strong set of eco-values that we do, and who’s ethos are aligned with our own.
The Ethics That Drive Our Business
With a strong stance on ethics, we’re able to support fair trade and local communities through the work with our brands. We want to ensure all our brands are working towards a greater good in much the same way we are. This means doing our research into their manufacturing processes so we can promise our customers that what they are buying from our shop really is ethical and eco-conscious. We try and support the little guys- local businesses working with and supporting local communities. That’s our promise. And that’s our point of difference.
We’re still a very new company. Friendly Turtle was set up at the back end of last year. Our drive is to help others make a difference to our environment…and the initial response has been overwhelming. With more and more people changing their shopping habits and the way they shop, we really believe that we can clean up some of the mess we’ve made. We’re all fast learning that the convenience we’ve been enjoying for so long is no longer viable nor sustainable. Ditch the single-use and switch to one of the many reusable and sustainable alternatives out there. Bit by bit, we really can create some positive change.
The Happy Dance
You can learn more about our mission here, and what we hope to achieve. And if we’re lucky, you guys might come and check us out some time too. We’re not writing this to try and get more sales. This isn’t a pitch to drive traffic to our shop. We’re here trying to get the word out about our fragile environment and the plastic oceans that is the reality of today. There are a number of different online shops much like ours doing amazing things, just as we’re trying to do. There’s enough room for all of us in this world. Go and support us all- the little guys trying to do honest things and improve our currently bleak situation. It’s a much nicer way to shop than clicking ‘buy now’ over on Amazon. You get a personal touch. You get a friendly service. Plus, every time you buy from a small business, we all secretly do a little happy dance whenever a new order comes through. Give it a go and see!
We’re sure most people who are reading this are already taking gigantic steps to help our planet- we know the type of readers of A Life of Lovely. We would love it if you could show your support for us and give us a little follow on our socials @friendlyturtlecompany (Facebook & Instagram). And since we love our cousin’s blog A Life Of Lovely so much (yes, Lu Is Ricky’s cousin), we would like to offer her readers a 15% off coupon for your first order. Just use coupon code alifeoflovely15 at checkout to redeem it. We would love it if you’d come give us a visit and say hi!
Thanks so much for taking the time to read our story. Give it a share if any of it resonates with you. Stay amazing everyone. There are some good changes on the horizon.
Ricky & Amy