WELCOME TO GREEN HEART COLLECTIVE
Green Heart Collective also hosts a range of workshops and events that promote sustainable living and offers local businesses an alternative to landfill for their returns, rejects and production failures.
THE GREEN HEART COLLECTIVE STORY
Founded by Andy and Helen Redfern, Green Heart Collective was created in December 2019 and has been selling as Green Heart online via Amazon, eBay and Depop throughout 2020. From 4 January 2021, Green Heart Collective was based on Team Valley, Gateshead. We have since moved premises and opened a brand new shop at 231 High Street, Gateshead, NE8 1AS.
Going forward, the Collective will support and encourage other makers in the area, as well as continuing to upcycle, reuse, rework and recycle whatever comes our way!
Andy and Helen have been exploring together what it is to live and work in an ethical and sustainable way for over 30 years. From those early days of running fair trade stalls and buying ARK household cleaning products through to recent climate activism, the pair have always sought to live life with a green heart. This fresh initiative has arisen from a deep passion to respond in a practical way to the stark reality of the climate emergency that the planet is facing right now. They know that they cannot do this alone and need a community of like-minded people to join them on this journey of courageous action, conscious choices and shared experience.
‘Over the last few years, my dream has taken shape to create a community of people committed to changing the way they live and shop with a view to changing the world – a Green Heart Collective – and there has never been a better time to turn that vision into a reality.’Helen Redfern
MEET THE FOUNDERS
Andy brings his many years of experience as an IT expert in online ethical retail and Helen brings her experience in retail and community work, her copy writing skills and her huge passion for clothes, creativity, and this wonderful world in which we live. Together, their vision is to create a joyful space with a green heart, modelling sustainable consumerism.
Having met at the University of Warwick, Andy and Helen moved to Colchester in 1989, where Helen taught French and Andy worked in London as a computer journalist. They moved to the North East with their two young boys in 1996, for Andy to take up a position with Traidcraft. Having become foster carers in 1998, they ended up adopting three children, so their home pretty soon became a lively, chaotic place! Andy founded Ethical Superstore in 2005 with business partner Vic Morgan, which became part of Spark Etail and is still a thriving ethical online superstore today, selling a wide range of ethical products. After 3 years at Asda Living Gateshead as the Community Life Champion (including a visit to the home of Walmart in Arkansas!), Helen took on the role of inhouse writer at Yogamatters. Andy later joined her at Yogamatters as Operations Director.
Green Heart Collective moved into its premises on Team Valley, Gateshead at the beginning of 2021 and started out on this exciting adventure. Andy and Helen had been talking about this vision for some time and had come to realise it was time to stop talking and start doing! Two years later, The planet is running out of time and the time to act is now.
To get to know Andy and Helen better, read their interview here.
For Andy Redfern’s full bio, click here.
For Helen Redfern’s full bio, click here.
EXPLORE THE VISION
Here at Green Heart, our vision is best described as highly adaptive, as we respond to what is before us. However, the following five objectives will always be at the heart of everything we do.
- CREATE A SUSTAINABLE AND TRANSPARENT SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
- REDUCE WASTE
- CHALLENGE OVERCONSUMPTION
- BUILD A COMMUNITY
- TAKE ACTION
Our values underpin all that we do: all the decisions we make, every interaction we have, every action we take. These shared values are the foundation we intend to build Green Heart Collective upon.
We will put people and planet before profit.
We will treat everyone we meet with the same level of respect.
We will listen and value each contribution.
We will show compassion for all living things, including ourselves.
We will consider rest and wellbeing as important as hard work and achievement.
We will allow time and space for kindness and connection.
We will tell the truth as we see it and not hold back.
We will be transparent and accountable.
We will admit our mistakes and endeavour to put things right where possible.
We will try new ways of doing things.
We will stand up for what is right and speak out for those who have no voice.
We will challenge the existing state of affairs.