Dartford eco-friendly business Potter and Hare is seeing sales plummet due to rising cost of living

An eco-friendly company has seen sales slow as people can’t afford its most expensive items as the cost of living continues to rise.

Dartford retailer Louise Potter, who runs craft store Potter and Hare Eco Living, fears customers will continue to shop with her as products are generally more expensive.

Louise Potter explains how rising costs are affecting her shop

She said: “I’m in contact with a lot of small businesses and everyone is very worried. I’m worried but personally so far I haven’t seen too much loss of sales.

“April was a bit slow but it’s understandable, the start of the year is slow and then it picks up.

“I’ve thought about it and things like eco-tape, the more expensive side of household items have taken a hit. And in the markets I go to.

“Sales are good for me at the moment. It’s not booming, I’m not going to buy a yacht or anything, but I haven’t seen a drastic drop yet.”

Horton Kirby’s little store sells household items like reusable bowl lids and beeswax wraps and other eco-friendly items like shampoo, conditioner and gift wrap.

Although her sales are still in line with last year, Louise says she is now starting to see her high-end products slow down and expects that to happen for her other products soon.

Louise worries that sales of her other items will eventually decline. Photo: Potter and hare

The online retailer believes people will be forced to become less environmentally conscious in general because they cannot afford to be as the cost of living rises.

She explained: “Eco-bands can cost £7. No one is going to pay that for a band, some people do, but when you can buy five plastic-based sticky bands a pound for a pound, if the money is tight for which are you going.

“I can absolutely see that people won’t have the money and maybe even if they would like to buy the eco-friendly option, it just won’t be plausible and that’s a concern. Not just for me financially but for eco-businesses, what we want to do and what we want people to think about.

“Eco is more expensive because of the natural products and it’s not mass produced. People may not have the amount of money to make that choice.”

The price of raw materials is also rising, which means that its costs have doubled, which means that it will eventually have to charge more for its products.

“It will definitely impact us and what we can and can’t afford and what we have to seriously think about with the cuts,” she added.

Eco-friendly tape is one of the most expensive items.  Photo: Potter and hare
Eco-friendly tape is one of the most expensive items. Photo: Potter and hare

The Office for National Statistics said inflation had risen to 9% in the year to April from 7% in March and was now at its highest level in 40 years.

Louise isn’t the only business owner feeling the brunt of soaring costs of living and inflation.

A Walderslade woman has been forced to close her dream tea rooms after seeing her bills soar by almost £1,000 in just three months.

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