India, founder of the cutest Australian eco-friendly store, called One Small Step Store, shares with us her passion for protecting the environment & her exciting journey as an entrepreneur.
one small step store
What inspired you to found One Small Step Store?
The idea for One Small Step had been in the back of my brain for years and I just couldn’t shake it. I always wanted to shift towards a lower waste lifestyle but I struggled to find products in my budget. There were a few really beautiful zero waste brands out there but they were just so expensive!
After some time off work in February and some soul searching I finally took the plunge. I wanted One Small Step to be a zero waste store for everyone. To make reducing waste easy for all of us!
What is your mission?
Our mission is to be budget friendly and accessible. We want all Australians to be able to buy zero waste and plastic free products no matter their location or budget. If we can all take one small step towards zero waste we can and will make a difference and that is what matters.
Can you tell us a little bit about carbon neutral shipping and why is it important?
The transport industry is a major contributor to greenhouse gasses. In the process of transporting parcels to our customers we create greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon neutral to us means that we are reducing our emissions where possible and we compensate for the remaining emissions by investing in carbon offset projects.
At One Small Step we want to reduce our carbon footprint as much as we can and it’s incredibly important to us that we do that in the way we transport our parcels too. Providing carbon neutral shipping was a no brainer for us and it’s one of the little ways we believe we can make a difference.
What are the main problems you see in the fashion sector today?
There are three main problems that we’re seeing right now in the fashion sector: the sustainable sourcing of materials, fast fashion and the ethical treatment of the people who are manufacturing our clothing.
In the last few years, lots of brands in Australia have started to make a change in the way they operate. They are becoming much more transparent with their customers. Australians are realising where their clothes come from and they don’t want to support brands that use sweat shops or unethically sourced materials.
Customers are investing in products that are a little more expensive and are high quality. Products that will last. Brands have finally caught on and realised that we want sustainable pieces and they are making a change towards this. It’s a small but fantastic step in the right direction.
What made you want to focus solely on conscious brands?
I wanted to focus on conscious brands because I believe that we can make a difference. We don’t all have to be perfect plastic free goddesses, who never touch plastic again. That’s unrealistic. We can’t be zero waste 100% of time time. What is important is that we try our best and do what we can.
How do you choose what brands to work with?
What is great about being in the business of zero waste is the fact that we all want the same thing. We want to make the world a better, more sustainable place. When I source products for One Small Step I really try to make an effort to find other brands with similar ethos to my own. Brands that want to make it easy to buy plastic free and sustainable goods.
Have you ever turned down a designer or brand?
I have turned down brands before. I have so many amazing brands that approach on a daily basis and I truly wish I could say yes to every single one. But I’ve taken a pretty hard stance on what brands I stock to make sure we have the same vision and values.
Some people think that ethical and sustainable fashion is too expensive. How do you respond to that?
I like to think of it as an investment. Take our silicone food pouches for example. These babies can replace, cling wrap and plastic zip lock bags. Imagine not needing to keep buying them because you’ve paid a little bit more to buy one product that will last. It’s about quality products that can replace single use ones.
In saying that I do try to have a wide range of product alternatives at different price points, that way if my customer is on a budget then they can still afford to buy sustainable and ethical.
October looks different this year. How has the pandemic impacted your business?
I’m so lucky that I started my business in February, right at the beginning of the pandemic. I’m so new to all of this so every month is a wild ride for me!
Being off work for months due to COVID and my work being closed, gave me so much time to put into my business that I’m really grateful for.
In Australia at the moment our postal system is facing massive delays. This means that buying our stock for the festive season will have to be carefully planned and done a little earlier than usual. I don’t know what the festive season will look like, but I think because of COVID many of us will shift to buying Christmas presents online rather than going into physical stores.
Be sure to check out all the charming products offered at onesmallstepstore!!