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An Independent Christmas Nothing But Footprints

Banbury’s favourite zero waste shop opened its doors in Castle Quay Shopping Centre in 2019. Now a firm favourite with locals, owners, Dan and Vi, have been educating and supporting people become more sustainable in the way they shop and live. We spoke to them to see how they are getting on and what their plans are for what will be a rather different Christmas for us all.

1. You have been trading here all year, through really tough times, how have things been for you? 

Well it has certainly been a turbulent time to start a business! I think everyone has had to go through varying levels of adjustment as we all try to work out what the future looks like. The town centre has been a strange place over the last few months, we’ve had days where we haven’t been able to fill the pasta up fast enough, followed swiftly by the first day of lockdown, when the only person in the shopping centre was a chap with a 1940s gas mask over his head! I think we are all hoping we can at least try to get back to some sort of normality as we get closer to Christmas.

2. Do you think more people are understanding the message about sustainability? 

I hope so. If nothing else, I know that I enjoyed seeing less cars on the road, the return to our gardens of birdsong, and the sense of community as people went shopping for their neighbours. I really hope that we can learn from these. I would also love to think that we might all learn to slow down and live more purposefully, buying only what we need, working to live, and valuing each other.

3. What has been your most popular product/s this year? 

We’ve been much busier with food this year, especially since we began installing our dispenser wall. Our refillable cleaning products have also been really busy, especially hand soap(!), which is great as these save a huge amount of plastic bottles. Otherwise though our deodorant has been a huge hit, the secret seems to be getting out with that one and we’ve had loads of really positive feedback about Fit Pit.

4. What can people expect from you in the run up to Christmas? Do you have any new products or special offers you can share with us? 

We will be continuing to expand our product range as the shop keeps on growing. We don’t do throwaway tat, so we will be putting together some great gift ideas that are environmentally sound and will actually be used! Otherwise we’ll be stocking up on fruits for Christmas Cakes and spices for mulled wines and some lovely spiced teas… mmm 😋

5. What would be your one tip for a more sustainable Christmas? 

Well having spent so much time apart from our families and friends this year, I think mine would be to put less emphasis on ‘stuff’, and make more time for each other. We’ve all had a tough year, and (assuming we are allowed to) I think I am really looking forward to appreciating my family and friends with a good meal, a drink or two, and a (socially distanced) walk!

Nothing But Footprints is open 6 days a week from 10am – 5pm.