How far do you Londoners need to travel to shop sustainably?
Updated: Aug 11
What lovely news to hear about that quirky, eclectic sustainable shop selling aromatic Fair Trade coffee and a carefully curated collection of pre-loved items, isn't it?
Until you learn it's a 50-minute tube journey away…
Here's the thing - sustainable shopping should be straightforward and handy. It's easy to expect everyone to spontaneously evolve into their best selves and adopt sustainable shopping habits, all without any help. But, wouldn't it be better to lend a hand to simplify this process for everyone? That’s where Ganddee steps in, helping you shop your values. And guess what? You can lend us a hand, too!
At Ganddee, our mission is straightforward - we want to make sustainable shopping a breeze for everyone. After all, as our Founder, Antoine, shared in a recent interview with our friends at Inspiration Space, "we are beasts of convenience”. If something is not easy, we don't do it. So, we're working hard to develop technology that makes sustainable consumption convenient and accessible. We don't believe it is viable and constructive to expect us all to become sustainability experts and carry out research each time we want to buy a coffee or some groceries. Having a 9-5 job, a family and other obligations is more than enough to keep us all busy, we don't need the extra burden to do advanced due diligence on everything we buy. So, with Ganddee, we meet you where you are, making it easier to access businesses’ credentials, sustainability pledges and charity work. As a community-based, data driven platform that maps sustainable shops in cities around the world, Ganddee and its community do the research, and you reap the rewards.
It's all about convenience.
When we talk about sustainable shopping, there are different components to this idea of "convenience". Of course, the most sustainable good is the one we don't consume (and don't produce), but, hey, we need to eat, drink, dress etc., so unless we all produce or repair everything we need to live our lives, we still need to buy things.
Now, what does sustainability even mean? (see our criteria) How to find shops that are sustainable? How to make sure they aren't greenwashing us? Where shall we even look for information?
We've talked to a lot of Londoners, and the same questions pop in every discussion. Finding information is hard, time-consuming, and requires some knowledge of what you’re looking for.
So, ok, Ganddee makes it easier to retrieve businesses’ sustainability credentials etc. via the map. But there's more to the story. Location matters. If the shop is far away, will you visit it often? Probably not. Hence, sustainable shops need to be within an easy reach.
That's why we've been studying our data, including insights from Ganddee Maps, to see how far Londoners need to travel to reach sustainable shops. We've been focusing on London areas that are a 15-minute walk or cycle ride from shops on Ganddee Maps.
Preliminary findings are interesting. North London, particularly the area ranging from London E8/E1 to SW6 passing by (N)W1, hosts numerous shops listed on Ganddee Maps, making sustainable shopping more accessible for residents. So, the good news is, some of the most densely populated areas of the capital (according to the 2021 census data) are pretty well covered by Ganddee Maps. Most residents of the central boroughs can easily access second-hand, rental and other shops listed on Ganddee. However, Ganddee Maps’ coverage of areas like Newham, Brent but also Harringay (Seven Sisters, Tottenham, etc.) isn’t quite matching the relatively high density of such areas. This is a call for action on our side to increase coverage in these boroughs.
We believe that everyone, not just zone 1/central London dwellers, should have easy access to sustainable shops. That's why we aim to leverage our data to better analyse the location of shops listed on Ganddee Maps. This could help business owners reach more customers, and aid city planners in making informed decisions to support such enterprises, all while allowing us to deliver on our mission to bring sustainable consumption to every home.
How can you help?
Here's how you can help. We're inviting the Ganddee community to help us list more sustainable shops on Ganddee Maps. You can tell us about any shops you know via this form. Each time we update Ganddee Maps, our research map will be refreshed too.
Together, let's make sustainable shopping accessible and convenient for all.