Founded by Lucy - September 2018
Hello, I'm Lucy and I started Coconut and Cotton in 2018. The motivation to start was when I saw plastic pollution first hand in the pacific and also being fed up with the lack of alternative products available. My friend came to visit me in Indonesia on my gap year and bought me my first shampoo bar and solid lotion bar. This was around June of 2018 and from that first experience of a plastic free alternative I began testing a wide range of products which then became the first items Coconut and Cotton sold in November 2018.
The trying and testing of products before selling is a big part of what I like to do and many people trust the products we sell due to this process we have. This also involved extensive research in to the supply chain, transport and origin of our products which we are always keeping an eye on and looking to improve.
From spare room to retail store - December 2018
For the first month the whole business was run out of my flat's spare room online. A small unit in Shaftesbury became available on short notice and I opened up 3 days after getting the keys for the late night shopping event on the 3rd Decemeber. It was so quick I didn't even have a card machine for two weeks! Luckily the people of Shaftesbury were happy to pop to the cash point and still support me in those early days.
Tripled the shop size - July 2019
After our first 8 months in swans yard, one of our neighbours was moving on and we were allowed to literally knock through the wall and expand our shop to double the size (plus a stock room!). It was another tight schedule again as we compeleted the renovations in a week and did everything in a sustainable way. We even managed to re-use the same dividing wall which stands today for our stock room!
This was a huge step as it was the first time we had a stock room, and even the luxury of a sink and kettle which was very popular with the staff! This meant we had more room to manage the online orders as well as bring new products in store.
The shop today - 2021
Over time we've expanded our range of products and also been able to brand the shop more. We had a little re brand at the end of 2019 which includes our new logo and colourful leaf illustrations. These now feature above our door and in store using only eco friendly paints.
The ethos of the shop has always been to minimise our impact as a business. This is why the majority of out shelving and furniture is reclaimed. Most of our tables and our counter is made from old doors! Our most recent addition is a beautiful rusty blue ladder in our big window.