Fiona Burrage, founder of vegan body care and fragrance brand, Sop, is organising an inaugural community clean-up event at Sea Palling beach this Sunday. Here, she explains how, during a trial run, they found a pair of pants and an oven shelf
Can you remind readers who you are and what you do?
Absolutely my name is Fiona and I’m founder of Sop, a vegan and cruelty free certified brand, all made in Norfolk and inspired by our beautiful county. I’m the creative director but the team is just me, so I’m master of all trades as they say!
When did you first have the idea for Conservation x Conversation and what’s the thinking behind it?
It’s something I’d been thinking about for a couple of years, having got involved in clean ups myself. I wanted to pull together some of the resources and people I know to get the conversation started about what we can all do.
How does it link in with the ethos behind Sop.?
Whilst young and still a very small brand, we care deeply about our footprint and our location – we have from the start. Wellbeing and sustainability are at the core of Sop so this feels incredibly interwoven.
Have you had a clean-up trial run? If so, how did it go?
Yes, we ran one with a group of friends and it was so helpful to just address practicalities and gain feedback. On the day there was less litter which can only be a good thing, but we still managed to find some more unusual pieces e.g. pants and an oven shelf.
When and where is the first one and how can people get involved?
This Sunday the 27th of August. Arrive for 11am and we’ll send people out in small groups. We are partnering with Mental Health Swims so you can also opt to go for a swim with their group at 10.15am and even enjoy a yoga flow from 10am.
What can people expect on the day?
The opportunity to meet likeminded people, leave the landscape a bit lighter and return home with your well-being a lot better.
What other organisations are involved?
Our products we use are from WaterHaul. We’ve had contributions from Reuzer, Bread Source, Future Food Movement, Veris Strategies, Fire Pit Camp and Stitch Agency. I’ve had a great call with Precious Plastic East, and we are going to be providing them with the applicable waste so that they can repurpose it to make their products. So, we’re making this as circular as we can.
Where can you see Conservation x Conversation going from here?
My vision is to make this a social enterprise and access funding to create a small administrative role for someone. I’d love to then be more involved from a strategical perspective and have a small board helping with the ops. Then locations could also include urban sites too, the dream would be that there is one a week and at selected cleans we could invite people to talk with knowledge to share.
On Sunday August 27 at 10 am, the Conservation x Conversation clean-up will be joining wild sea swimming group Mental Health Swims at Sea Palling beach in Norfolk for the inaugural litter-picking event. If you don’t fancy swimming, join at 11 am for the litter pick. Litter pickers will be provided (limited to one per adult or adult accompanying a supervised child under 16) along with rubbish bags, and the team will take away all the rubbish that’s collected. You just need to sign up, show up, and help out. If you’re bringing your own litter pick, please let the team know when you sign up. (And if you want to dive in, Mental Health Swims offers a free yoga flow at 10 am, followed by a swim at 10.15 am). Visit Sop and Conservation x Conversation (@sop__cxc) on Instagram.
Featured images – supplied