Meet James Denton, co-founder of GoodFor
Tell us a bit about GoodFor?
GoodFor is a package-free grocery store that encourages customers to bring their own packaging in store such as glass jars to refill their household pantry goods without creating food or packaging waste. You can get everything for your pantry as well as sustainable merchandise products, personal and household cleaning products.
GoodFor has grown into something incredible already, what was your vision for the brand, to begin with?
Cheers. We wanted to build a brand and experience that was focused on encouraging a change of culture to one where people began to think about their impact on the natural environment. We knew we would only achieve this by creating something incredibly attractive and affordable.
The interior of the GoodFor stores are beautiful, what were the important factors when creating these spaces?
Thanks. We have always aimed to make our stores a relaxing and therapeutic experience so that our customers genuinely enjoy shopping in store. To achieve this we have to have the perfect mix of uniform simplicity and functionality. The main factors to achieving this are the types of materials we use, the colour pallette of the entire space and the positioning of the functional aspects like pencils and paper bags. We strictly go with premium natural materials like steel and solid timber because it works with our brand ethos of considering the "end of life" of that product and it gives the customer the understanding that we do everything to a high standard. We then have kept the colour pallette in line with this theory, either leaving the material as its natural colour or choosing a neutral white, which is calming in itself. To top this off and what we think is really crucial, is our plants. Our plants bring a super fresh feeling to the stores and are great for air quality, although are very hard to maintain!
You've got a few George and Willy products already, what do you like about what we do?
We are big fans of everything George and Willy do. You've got great practical products that fit with our simplistic brand. They save us having to go through the process of designing and manufacturing them ourselves which is expensive & timely.
What has been the best bit about the GoodFor journey to date and what have we got in store next?
Seeing the impact we are having is amazing. We have thousands of customers shopping waste-free with us on a weekly basis and that is a massive amount of waste no longer entering the natural environment, as well as hundreds of thousands of trees being planted through our charity partner. We will continue to open stores around the country and give as many people as possible the opportunity to reduce their environmental impact.
GoodFor has just turned 3! Congratulations! What are your key learnings from the past 3 years of business?
Thanks, it feels like yesterday that we opened the door, time flys. In no particular order, key learning number one is: 1. patience for the right location is absolutely vital. There is no point in rushing to open stores if the location isn't right. One great location beats two average locations. 2. Focus on one thing at a time. We started with about 30 balls in the air when we began this journey and we are now only juggling a few. You have to do what you are doing to an extremely high standard before you move on to something that is also going to take a huge amount of focus. 3. Your team are everything so make sure everyone on your team is aligned with the company vision and mission and then get out of the way and let them do an amazing job.
What's your favourite zero waste tip or product?
My favourite product is our One Good Razor which is a steel single blade safety razor. It will last a lifetime if looked after and works incredibly well. It eliminates the need for plastic razors, which are devastating to the environment, all 5.3 billion of them that are thrown away annually. If you haven't already, make the switch.