Interview with Lucie from Silo a refill and Eco

Today we talk to Lucie who runs Silo in Maldon in Essex.
Can you tell us what Silo is?
SILO is a refill and eco shop. Customers can bring their own containers to stock up on dried food, cupboard staples and cleaning products. We also sell a range of local, sustainable products.

When did you get the idea about silo?
I've always been concerned about our impact upon the planet and kept waiting for someone to open a shop like this in Maldon. When it didn't look likely, we took the matter into our own hands!

You recently won the pride of Maldon along with another independent shop, Maldon books, do you think people's attitudes are changing to green issues even in a traditional town?
I do think attitudes are changing in Maldon. We have noticed a big increase in shoppers supporting local businesses, shopping in independent business and being more aware of green issues. Maldon is such a lovely town and people are working hard to preserve the charm and individuality. After all, we want our future generations to be able to enjoy this town.

What would be your top three eco tips be?
1. Use what you have. It can be tempting to by beautiful eco items but nothing is more sustainable than using what you already have.
2. Make changes gradually. Doing too much at once can leave you feeling overwhelmed and its easy to slip back into old ways. It's better to make smaller changes and embed these into your life before moving onto the next thing.
3. Before buying anything, think about how long it will last. I wish I could have told myself 15 years ago to buy fewer but better quality items. I now have lots of stuff that hasn't stood the test of time and now I'm burdened with finding a way to recycle it responsibly.

A tough one but do you think that political views hold too much sway over people's perception of green issues, Maldon has long been a Conservative constituency whereas green views are often seen as left wing?
I completely agree that green opinions are often seen as left wing or radical. The issue of the environment needs to be a concern for everyone. Working together is the best change we have of making the necessary changes in society. I do hope that this moves up the political agenda rather than being seeing as an issue only a handful of hippies care about!

You recently moved to a larger shop, what else does the future hold for Silo?
The move had been fantastic, the extra space has meant we are able to stock a wider range of products and the high street location has brought many new customers.
We hope that we will continue to support the community reduce their waste and carbon footprint.
My dream would be to open a vegan deli and café but we are a little way off that at the moment!
Thanks so much to Lucie for taking the time to talk to us. Their Instagram is @silo_refillery and their website is silomaldon.co.uk.

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