Small Business Saturday: Meet Wasteless Market

As part of our ongoing celebration of Small Business Saturday, this week we’re celebrating small businesses from our community that have inspired us.

Each of our winners will receive £100 to spend on freelancer service to help grow their business. Over the course of this week, we’ll introduce you to each of our worthy winners.

Yesterday, we spoke to the design collective Ten of Clubs. Today, we’re introducing you to Wasteless Market – a multi-vendor marketplace that empowers sustainable vendors in the UK and makes eco-friendly shopping accessible to everyone. We caught up with Founder Teresa Ewart – single mum of three – to find out her story.

Why did you start your business?

I started my journey to find more natural products than were offered on the supermarket shelves after losing my sister Paula to breast cancer. She was only 36 years old when she started having breast pain, and after visiting her GP, who found no lumps, she was reassured that it was her hormones and that was that. 

She didn’t seek a second opinion and by the time she had other symptoms, it was too late and she was given a terminal diagnosis, thankfully Paula had a further 4 years. She leaves behind a very important message, she was too young for the mammogram screening program and had no lumps, but if she had listened to her body, she may well have been here today.

How did you set up Wasteless Market?

I became very conscious of the chemical-laden products I was using on my family and decided to change to products with fewer ingredients. This led me to items that were free from single-use plastic and often handmade, where the sellers were hugely passionate and committed to reversing climate change. 

It was a struggle to find these products in one place and so I brought the Wasteless Market to life, firstly as a zero waste popup in South East London. It was a great success and after 7 events, I decided that I wanted everyone to have access to the benefits of more natural products, whilst also taking action against climate change and so the Wasteless Market platform was born. 

We launched a crowdfunding campaign but decided to put it on hold when Covid-19 struck and instead I took out a loan and have been bootstrapping during the first lockdown, which has been tough as a single parent, but we got there in the end.

How is the business doing today?

The Wasteless Market multi-vendor marketplace launched at the beginning of August 2020 and aims to support our UK eco-friendly small businesses by offering them a platform to sell their wares. 

We want to give back as much as possible and for us to come together to fight climate change as one. That’s why we donate a percentage of the marketplace fees for every purchase to planting trees and supporting Gold Standard certified projects that are in line with the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) to transform our world.

How have freelancers helped grow your business?

Using freelancers has been a very positive experience for us, there are no contracts or payroll to worry about. We have used a wide range of freelancers, from logo creation to marketing. PeoplePerHour has saved us a considerable amount of money by offering us the chance to work with so many freelancers. 

Congratulations to Wasteless Market and Teresa on being one of our Small Business Saturday winners! A truly worthy winner and a great sustainable business concept. Keep your eyes peeled for the rest of the week as more of our winners are revealed.