The GreenHouse growing a planet-friendly community on Ripon’s ‘buzzing’ North Street
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The GreenHouse, which opened in March 2022, is located on Ripon’s fast growing North Street.
Founder, Dr Rebecca Cullan, was inspired by the everyday use of domestic home and garden products, much of what people take for granted in their day to day lives.
With a background in medical science, and noticing a gap in Ripon's market, Dr Cullan opened up a refill station to make planet-friendly decisions easier – decisions which can be overwhelming as people juggle several jobs to make ends meet under today’s financial crisis.
Dr Cullan said: “During lockdown we moved back to Ripon from London, and noticed how much less we were using and how much simpler that was.
“We wanted to make it easy for others to make greener choices.
“I’ve done all that research for people at the shop, the for and against, which is time consuming and understandably overwhelming for most people.
Dr Cullan’s background in cancer research also informs the health implications on the products she has on offer.
Dr Cullan said: “Young people are having a really hard time thinking about the future, anxiety about the environment is actually becoming a thing.
“Lockdown meant we could see exactly what we were using and throwing away.
“If we need to make do and mend it.
“Growing your own, or making a duster out of an old t-shirt.
“It's just tapping into all of that, using what's local and not shipping from China in 24 hours.
“Locally sourced products also boost the local economy, it all comes back to you.”
A number of new businesses have recently arrived to North Street, which Dr Cullan affectionately referred to as “the North Street gang”.
She said: “There’s a real trend to it in Ripon at the moment, it feels really buzzing.
“People can be worried about competition but it doesn’t really work like that, more is more.
“For example, if there are loads of homeware shops on North Street, people will actually think ‘Right, I’m going to North Street for that home thing’.
“It's really nice to see more businesses opening up here.
“What I’m interested in is not compromising on things looking good in the home.
“Just because it’s eco doesn’t mean it has to be ugly.
“We put a lot of work into things looking aesthetically appealing, so they’d want it in their homes.
“We pick the best of what's functional whilst making sure that it’s attractive.
“The experience of coming here rather than the supermarket does simplify things. Also you aren’t paying for the bottle, so you get better value for money.
“Obviously some things are cheaper and some aren’t, but it balances out.
“There was definitely a gap in the market in Ripon for this kind of thing.
“We have refilled about 2,500 bottles so far, which makes a big difference.
“Even if it's just one individual, refilling one bottle, it makes a huge difference.”