It all started with this jacket.
I fell in love with this New Look floral blazer posted by Kate Turner in the Great British Clothes Swap. And then I'm out walking with my dog, messaging Kate with my address and getting her Paypal details and I notice her bio.
And that was me, hooked. I needed to find out more. Kate agreed I could send questions over and here are her answers.
What a woman! I'm delighted I made that connection and cannot wait to receive my jacket!
Meet Kate Turner, Community Hero and Founder of Free & Eco Community Midsomer Norton
Let’s unpack your bio, section by section…
What do you love about Oscar Wilde?
I adore all his plays, books and poems. This man was witty and eccentric and to quote him “be yourself everyone else is taken” is a quote that seems to be a favourite of mine.
What is your favourite cup of tea?
Ahhh, see, this is such a hard question. I love all tea except Earl Grey, however a traditional breakfast tea served in a vintage China cup from a proper tea pot is always the best, especially when accompanied with a slice of cake.
As an eco feminist warrior, what are you fighting for and how are you going about it?
What I stand for is a world that provides equal opportunities to all genders, all races, all God's Children.
Also a world where we as inhabitants of it, the “caretakers of the earth”, treat it with the respect it deserves, and stop polluting it, destroying it and taking it for granted.
How does being a Christian and being a mother influence your passion for eco and feminist issues?
OK, so my belief and faith in God is the reason all of these things are super important to me. As a Christian and having God in my life, I am already rich - no worldly goods could compare.
As I said earlier, God has made us caretakers of this earth we shouldn’t shut our eyes to the devastation we are all causing as we wait for judgement day. I’m currently educating the local churches on how to be more eco, as for years many of us have been screaming at them to stop being blinkered to what’s going on.
Being a mother, I raise my daughter who is three nearly four to know that she is beautifully and lovingly made, that God made everyone equal and in his likeness, so we should fight for any one who is oppressed and not judge anyone and show love and compassion and fight for equality. Also to know her worth and know that she is capable of all things especially when God is for Us.
I first ‘met’ you on the GBCS: how do your values influence your lifestyle choices, for example with the clothes you choose to wear?
OK, so I’m 26 nearly 27 and I have only purchased one new item of clothing since I was 19 -it was my wedding dress. However I chose to buy it on my high street at a small family run business, keeping air miles down and money in the local economy.
And then I embarked on a year of buying only preloved clothing and items. Now it’s a lifestyle, we don’t buy new we only shop at car-boots, charity shops and markets.
Recently we have branched out to preloved online sites but keeping it UK based for air-mile sake.
You mentioned you’d won an award recently: what award was it and what did you win it for?
I recently had the honour of winning the Census 2021 purple plaque award for the commitment to my community. Two years ago I started a Facebook Group called Free & Eco Community MSN aimed at saving items from landfill and keeping items in the community I live.
I also teach on my group which has over 5700 members now about how to live frugally and showing how easy it is to make eco choices. Through this group, the Lord has bought me to hundreds of people locally in need of food, items, times and advice and I have been helping the community for free with all of this and was nominated because of the love I have for my community.
During lock down, I held two free garage sale days at my home and when out of lock down we held out first ever jumble trail. I opened a community pantry in February alongside one of our local churches and have many more things lined up for the future of my community.
In what ways do you seek to reduce waste to landfill in your home and in your community?
So we are a zero waste family. We buy from local refill shops, make a lot of our own produce to reduce plastic; we have swapped a lot of plastic products for reusable recyclable choices; we have our own chickens for eggs and grow our own food. We don’t buy new and buy into such a commercialised world.
Really I teach all of this on the group, how to forage and find food for free, how to make your own cleaning and beauty products and why it’s important not to buy from clothing companies that allow the mistreatment of their staff, mainly women. I show and explain what’s going on in the world in a non complicated way to help more people understand what is happening.
At Christmas, I do a 25 day advent giveaway of eco items or local company vouchers giving many people the opportunity to try out a different Earth friendly items they may not necessarily know existed and the vouchers to keep money in our local economy.
I find it so inspiring that there are people all over the country, all over the world actually, who, like Kate, are making radical lifestyle changes founded in their love for people and planet. We are not alone. A new way of sustainable living is emerging.
Together, we can do this.