Oct 06, 2017
GoodFor – a plastic free experience.
In March 2017, Auckland saw the opening of GoodFor – a plastic free, zero waste, bulk wholefoods shopping experience. MINI spoke to GoodFor’s founder James Denton and General Manager Paul Denton, who are currently driving the new MINI Countryman plug-in hybrid.
> What is the concept behind GoodFor?
James - GoodFor is a package-free grocery shopping experience where customers are encouraged to bring their own packaging such as jars, bags and bottles to fill up their pantry items with. The benefit being that thousands of kgs of plastic packaging is eliminated from our landfills.
> How was the idea born? And how long did it take you to get from the initial idea to your shop opening?
James - The idea was born out of frustration with the fact that highly unsustainable, convenience supermarket shopping was so normal and there was no desirable alternative. From idea to opening took only 7 months, but it was a very intense 7 months with not much sleep and zero socialising.
> What are your main challenges?
James - The obvious business challenges never go away - cashflow, staff, suppliers, the list never really ends. The challenges with changing people's habits is that it’s a very slow process and you need to take a different approach to simply just telling people it’s great to shop at your store because it helps the environment. We are painting a picture to the public that this way of shopping is totally normal, trendy, sophisticated and a better way of life. We want New Zealand to become a cleaner society that is an example to the rest of the world and sometimes that starts with how you consume.
> Why did you choose the MINI Countryman plug-in hybrid?
James - Firstly, we believe zero emission travel is something we should all be aiming for as soon as possible. We’ve always admired MINI for its creativity and personalisation also - you never seem to see the same MINI twice! Our goal has always been to create a business that is sustainable end to end, including how our buildings are powered and how we travel on the road. The MINI Countryman plug-in hybrid gives us the ability to travel fully electric in our daily travel, but we also have the range to drive further when we need it. To us, the MINI Countryman plug-in hybrid has all the class that we have admired in a MINI but it's also a statement that a sustainable lifestyle is just around the corner, and for those who can, it’s achievable right now.
> What is the drive like?
James - When I drive this car I turn into a new man. It’s so much fun to drive because it’s super agile with great acceleration, and the technology is so easy to use from hooking up your phone, maps, temperature control, right down to adjusting your seat. My perception before having this MINI was that MINI’s were small, but that’s simply not the case. Through the week we’ve been using it for all of our Auckland online deliveries and on the weekends my whole family fits comfortably in the car (baby seat and all!). I also love the higher driving seat position – I feel safer in the car than the last SUV I drove. The best part is that with a full charge I can pretty much do my whole day’s driving around town on just electricity. If I am heading further away I fill it up with fuel and get the best of both worlds. It’s a seriously cool car that just makes you feel good!
> How do you relax and recharge your own batteries?
James - Often you get engrossed in a company and you forget about your own personal wellbeing but I am beginning to realise that taking a step back and recharging your own batteries ends up helping you do your best work. So for me, the answer is simple, I go surfing and sleep!
Paul - Since opening, life has been pretty much 100% focused on the work. However, when I get a chance I absolutely love to be on the golf course. It’s a great place to just switch off, take in some fresh air, but also provides some friendly competition at the same time!
> What are your wishes for the future? For a better future?
James and Paul - We would love to see a serious change in culture around sustainability, where both consumers and business’ start to put convenience, price and profit down a few notches on the priority list and replace them with taking responsibility to clean up the world we live in, which essentially gives us everything we have. The great thing is, electric travel, renewable energy resources and package-free stores are coming in thick and fast and before long, they will be the new normal.
> What can we expect to see from GoodFor in the near future?
James - You can expect stores nationwide within the next two years giving every Kiwi access to a package free life. These stores will continuously be updated and improved in order to make them undeniably the best option for consumers. We also want to get more involved in the handling of waste in our communities so that New Zealand develops into a zero-waste nation and sets an example for the rest of the world.