Beeswax Wraps: The plastic-free and reusable alternative to cling film
- Credit: Archant
From making a cling film alternative in their kitchen to stocking products in over 1000 independents in the UK and in Oxfam, we talk to Carly and Fran, the founders of Nailsworth-based Beeswax Wraps
Beeswax Wraps are the beautiful, plastic-free and reusable alternative to cling film. They last over a year and just need to be washed with cold water and washing up liquid in-between each use. You can use them as you would cling film, but not with raw meat or fish or in the microwave. We work with our lovely designer Jo to create designs that make going plastic free beautiful. At the end of their life you can re wax them with our Beeswax Wrap Refresher Block or you can compost them.
We (Carly and Fran) began making beeswax wraps in early 2017, we were both trying to cut down our reliance on single use plastics, but the one item we found really hard to find a viable alternative was cling film. Whilst living in Australia, Carly had seen beeswax wraps so suggested we have a go at making them ourselves. We bought a block of wax from the Stroud Farmers Market and began to play with different ways of making them, each time getting a little bit better, we did ruin three irons and Carly's kitchen floor along the way though! Friends and family then asked us to make some for them, this lead us to doing our first market in May 2017 where we sold out, completely to our disbelief.
Carly and I were both working at the time, me as a Marketing Manager and Carly as a substitute music teacher. We saw it as a fun hobby that we could do in the evenings and weekends, so we built a website and launched our social media channels. Quite quickly we stared to build a following, with bloggers such as Lizzie Loves Healthy giving us great support from the start. Later in 2017 Blue Planet was aired and the awareness of the issues around plastic really started to build, our sales saw a big uplift and we continued to grow. In March 2018 we hired our first full time employee. By May we had moved to a larger workshop and employed three more people. By November 2018 we had become a team of ten.
We are now stocked in over 1000 independents in the UK and in Oxfam.
In November 2018 we also launched our vegan version The Vegan Food Wrap Company.
For both Carly and I our key mission is to build a company that not only offers a better alternative to single use plastics but to also build a company that makes a positive impact on everyone that comes into contact with it.
We have recently become B Corp Certified, a process that audited all aspects of our company from our supply chain through to how we look after our employees. We are extremely proud to have been awarded the B Corp certification as it really shows we are a company who are practicing what we preach. With every decision we make we always ask ourselves, can we make a positive impact? So, we only buy UK beeswax to support our British Beekeepers and we donate all of our fabric off cuts to Project Linus, a charity that makes quilts for children in hospital. Last year we donated over £5000 to charity through sales of our limited edition charity packs, raising funds for Surfers Against Sewage and The British Beekeepers Association.
A big mission for our business is to engage children in making plastic free swaps. We have run two Plastic Free Schools competitions and will be running more in the future. Children get to create their design for a Beeswax Wrap, the winning entry then has their design made into 50 Small Kitchen Packs which we donate to the school, they can then sell the wraps raising £500 to go towards funding more plastic free initiatives in their school.
We also want to help everyone on their journey to living free of single use plastics, we have a Zero Waste Shopping Map plotting nearly 300 plastic free shops in the UK, we also have our Milk Refill Map showing all of the milk refill and vending machines across the UK. To find your nearest, visit beeswaxwraps.co.uk/plastic-free-map.
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