We were absolutely chuffed to chat with Ellie, the inspirational founder behind Go For Zero – a low waste and toxin-free store that’s on a mission to educate and motivate people to make positive changes, that are better for themselves and the planet. Find out what inspires her, her top 3 tips to live more sustainably and how waste-free living can save you some serious money!
Hey Ellie, can you tell us about your “aha” moment with Go For Zero?
I grew up in a small family-owned hotel where my parents would do anything to help their customers. To give you an example, they would rent out my room for people who would arrive at night who needed a place to sleep. That was before the days of AirBnB, so I grew up seeing business as very customer focused.
When my daughter reacted so badly to mainstream products, I discovered and researched the harsh ingredients, unethical processes and greenwashing. I genuinely could not understand why our wellbeing wasn’t the core focus for these brands. That lit a fire in my belly to start a company that chooses right over easy, for people and our planet.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who gave it?
Make decisions with your heart and your head – advice shared by my grandma. When I was struggling in a long term relationship funny enough, but it applies so much to business too. If I’d only decided with my heart, I would not have a business. If I’d only decided with my head, I would not have the great relations I cherish so much today. This is always a good reminder for me as a business created from a strong passion.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to kickstart their own business in the sustainability space?
I would advise them not to forget the ‘head’ part as mentioned above. Don’t forget to test your idea and talk to people about it. Before I launched Go For Zero, I set up a pop up store. Nothing fancy at all, my aim was to listen to customers and ask questions! I wanted to know what questions they had, why they love the products, and even why they don’t love the products. This was a really important step that I continually enforce in my journey.
What are your top 3 tips for living more sustainably?
Find your ‘why’: this might sound cliche but ask yourself why you want to make changes. Is it all the climate disasters, the future of your kids, to save money? When you know this, you’ll be more motivated to take steps.
Do a bin audit: Look at your bin and decide what the main waste is, this is even a great starting point to find your ‘why’. You may see a reoccurring wasted item from your own home and set out to look for a solution.
Progress not perfection: Don’t just toss your products for eco-friendly options. It is not only expensive, and a huge waste, but it’s unrealistic! Rome wasn’t built in a day. So just give it a go and start, no matter how small. Once you start with a swap you will see it’s easier than you think – we like to say progress over Pinterest.
What inspires you?
Women that kick in doors! I love reading about women who dare to try things, think outside the box, can take a hit, and women keep going to make change – it fuels me!
What’s one thing you wish people knew about zero waste living?
It saves you so much money. Think about a plastic water bottle for example: if you buy 2 bottles a week for $2.50, you’ll save about $250 a year! I haven’t purchased cling wrap, baking paper, paper towels, plastic water bottles and ziplock bags for years now. All these small changes add up. Not to mention the zero waste cleaning alternatives available, that avoid you even having to go down half the aisles at the supermarket anymore!
What are your plans for 2022?
Gosh, pick one? I’d say our B-Corp certification. I launched the business on the principles of B-Corp because I knew I wanted to do good, but we grew so fast I never made it a priority. This year it is a huge priority, and we are so close, I can taste it!
Ready to Go For Zero, get started here.