Hello, I’m Natasha, founder of Eco Bonobo. I set up my company in 2019 to help people make easy transitions to plastic free products. Everything is zero waste, cruelty free, ethical and Vegan friendly. I also sell liquid refills (everything from washing up liquid to white vinegar for cleaning) and wholefoods too (you can then buy as little or as much as you want without the plastic or food waste).
What made you decide to start Eco Bonobo?
I have a young family and like so many people, I was concerned about our impact on the world and was desperate to try and reduce our single use plastic consumption. Everywhere I looked in our home, I could see products that would end up in landfill after its short life, and I wanted to do something about it – to find some small way we could do our bit; make our contribution towards fixing the world for our children.
Why do you think being plastic free/ sustainable is so important?
Plastic pollution is a global crisis that desperately needs to be paid attention to – it’s infiltrated our oceans and farming soil, and it’s in the air we breathe and the food we eat. Single use plastic is one of the main contributors to this problem – there are so many easy changes that can be made, but the zero waste market is a confusing one at the best of times. And this is why Eco Bonobo was born – to normalise these products and show people that not only are they more ethically conscious, but quite often better, longer lasting and more affordable.
What are your top 3 products from the Eco Bonobo range (and why)?
It would be so difficult to choose just three products as I’ve been using them all for so many years and love the positive impact they have all made on my family’s life. Our shampoo and conditioner bars are certainly up there – the shampoo bar is just like using conventional shampoo, but without all the horrible chemicals and plastic, and works incredibly well. The conditioner bars are incredible, all totally natural, and can last for a year (think of how many bottles of conditioner just one person will use in a year!). We love our make-up remover wipes and food wraps – both of their single use counterparts are so wasteful. Oh, and our Loofco range – such an easy kitchen swap that makes the world of difference. They are extremely durable, do the job effectively and can be composted after use. And we’re growing our product range all the time… in fact we have some new items going on the website very soon!
If someone wants to start living a more sustainable lifestyle, what’s the best way to get started?
When I began my plastic free journey, I tackled one room at a time. I started in the bathroom – bamboo toothbrushes, shampoo bars, paper cotton buds – you name it, I bought it. But it was tricky – I tried lots of products that didn’t work as well as the plastic equivalent and that bothered me, I didn’t realise that it would initially be so tricky, but unfortunately there seemed to be a few products out there that gave plastic free shopping a bad name. So that’s why I set up my company – to take the hassle out of shopping this way, and to make it a more organic transition. I love chatting to my customers (and anyone else who wants to listen!) about my products, and working on markets give them the opportunity to ask any questions, or to feel and smell them. I have such a wonderful time being able to do a job that I’m truly passionate about.
What’s the future of sustainable products and lifestyle? What changes are we likely to see next?
We’re starting to see a more positive transition to plastic free Vegan products in the supermarkets, which is great. But it’s very slow moving. The information required to make these changes is available, but not yet at a commercial level. This is why I love what I do – I can assist the community in making sustainable changes to the way they shop, whether that be with someone bringing a container to fill with pasta, or washing up liquid, or by advising them on what shampoo bar would suit their hair best. I hope that one day I can open a little shop, but would still love to always do the markets too, as that way I can keep costs down and make the products as accessible for people.
We’re at Tring farmers market (every 2nd and 4th Saturday), Berkhamsted farmers market (every 3rd Sunday), Headington market (see social media for dates), Aylesbury (stay tuned for our return) and more on the very near horizon!
Check out Eco Bonobo here