I'd like to reach out to as many of you in our community as possible with an update on the future of Day Zero.
Current trading conditions are tough. We’ve ridden the rollercoaster of the pandemic and every other challenge that's come our way since, but these last two and a half years make our first 18 months of trading seem a breeze. We’re fortunate because in the (almost) 18 months of trading which we had pre-pandemic, we were welcomed by this wonderful local community and an extension of that community spring into existence at the shop. The loyalty and support of people who wanted to shop more ethically saw us better positioned than similar businesses who came later elsewhere in the UK, a significant number of which didn't see out the pandemic.
Back in late 2018 we had a vision to create a zero waste shop and we decided to invest some of our savings in its creation. We wanted only to give something that we felt that local people were looking for and we knew that after 2 years we could walk away if it didn’t work with heads held high having done some real good along the way. It started so much better than we hoped and it’s lovely that we’re still here as we near the end of our 4th year of trading. We’ve changed the shop a lot in that time, diversifying and responding to the challenges we didn't see coming. Those changes have been positive and your support for them are the reason we're still here.
The pandemic drove many a shift in behaviour and in shopping habits too. Those patterns have reduced our trade and we need to improve that situation. Convenience means that many people have fallen out of the habit of refill shopping and many keen refillers just haven’t come back. Others though are absolutely as committed as ever (I'm sure many of you reading this are amongst that number) and you make the difference, thank you.
Here's the crux of the issue. While we know it was the right decision for us to offer something so positive to the local community in those first couple of years, Day Zero is at its heart a family business, but it has to function as a viable business. It simply has to provide our family (Holly, I, Merlin and Flora) with the income to meet our family outgoings, and it isn't currently doing so.
I’m not writing to tell you that we’re closing, but we do really have to make a change. I have a really clear vision for what we can create in the next 12 months, and you all have a part to play in it.
I would like to create a new team of volunteers at Day Zero who can regularly help at the shop and behind the scenes. This will benefit us in all sorts of ways and will stabilize things and help the business grow. I had no idea where Day Zero would end up after 4 years, and who knows what we'll be talking about another 4 years down this road.
The volunteer roles will included day to day tasks involved in running Day Zero, but some of the admin too so whatever your skills and interest, there’ll be something for you. There will be plenty of opportunity to get involved in areas you've little experience of as well, picking up new skills along the way. All volunteers will be entitled to a staff discount.
In 12 months time Day Zero will be the same place, where you’ll often bump into people you know, where you’ll be able to get and give advice about ethical products and buy from us knowing we’ve done the hard work in sourcing great products across a wide range of ethical criteria.
We’ll reach more of our local community through organic veg box deliveries and will have strengthened the connection with eLOV to shift more last mile deliveries in Buxton and beyond to electric transport.
We’ll be open for an extra day of the week and with a bigger team will be able to link with other community projects and likeminded organisations and create projects of our own.
If you feel connected enough to the ethos and values of Day Zero to want to help, then you can express your interest in volunteering by emailing email@example.com
I’m really hopeful that there are enough of you who completely understand what we do and why we do it and are passionate enough to be involved.
Regardless, thank you for your support. Lots of individual choices about where to shop really do add up to the success or failure of small family businesses, so even if you can't volunteer with us, choosing us rather than supporting what a local supermarket does will certainly help us thrive (and let's face it, they'll get along fine regardless).
Thanks for reading this, With hope,
Mark, Holly, Merlin and Flora x