Go-Greener Fund’s ‘People’s Choice’ award winner announced

A shoe designer and retailer on Clifford Street has been chosen by the people of York to feature in a special film to highlight North Yorkshire’s ambition to become a net-zero carbon economy by the 2030s.

The eponymous Angela Bare shop is among 10 small business in the city to receive a £2,000 cash boost from the York Go-Greener Fund, set up by First York with support from the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) in York & North Yorkshire and the York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub. It is to help small businesses in retail, leisure, hospitality, health & beauty and other consumer services encourage eco-friendly high street spending and boost customer-led sustainable growth.

These 10 businesses took part in a people’s choice online vote last week (27 June-1 July) to decide an overall winner. After coming top in the vote, Angela Bare will now appear in the film which is being made by the York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub and includes some of the world’s leading voices on climate change.

Angela Bare said: “We’re chuffed to pieces, to be honest. To have been chosen as one of the businesses to get the funding was amazing, but now to win this public choice against all the other finalists is incredible.”

The store owner plans to use the funding to improve packaging, ensuring all outgoing packages use recycled products and no plastic.

The win has come at just the right time. On Monday, Angela took delivery of her first dress designed from recycled materials and a debut range of vegan shoes is due to arrive later this week.

“We are aware of the impact the fashion industry has on the environment,” added Angela. “Although we are only a small business, we have taken huge steps to ensure we keep the environment safe. We don’t use ink on carrier bags. We stock vegan footwear as well as launching our own vegan range with the funding and a dress we have made with recycled fabric.

“We will continue working with ethical brands and keep doing our bit. If we can do it as a small business then larger companies can hopefully do more too and continue to make the planet a better place for the future. We’ve seen a big change in the shoe market in the last four years – growing demand for vegan footwear and brands recognising they need to react to this.”

Congratulations from judges

Ian Humphreys, Managing Director of First York, said: “Congratulations to Angela and her team and well done to all 10 finalists who made it to the vote. It has been a tremendous two months since we launched the York Go-Greener Fund. The response from businesses and the public has been fantastic and has achieved what we hoped; raising awareness of environmental choices when shopping and enjoying leisure time in the city and its communities.”

He was joined in deciding the 10 successful business to receive funding by Carolyn Frank, the FSB’s Development Manager and Sue Jefferson, Chair of the Business Board at York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, which manages the Growth Hub.

Sue Jefferson said: “Well done to Angela Bare and all these York businesses winning hearts and minds, showing their innovative ideas can drive social and economic success with environmental considerations at the centre. Thank you to First York for shining a spotlight on such ventures and together with York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub, providing support for further opportunities in this vital area.”

Carolyn Frank added: “This has been an inspirational project to support. York’s smallest businesses are driving the local economy forward thanks to their passion and resilience, and despite difficult economic trading conditions, are taking steps to protect the planet too.  

“Small businesses across the UK are accelerating progress towards net zero and understand the benefits to their business and communities that taking steps to become more sustainable offers. Thanks to First York funding even greater change in York has been achieved, and the entrepreneurship and vision of businesses like Angela Bare are what makes York so special.”

All entrants who applied to the Fund will be offered advice on sustainability from our team at the York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub. If you would like to know more about introducing sustainable practices in your business, take a look at our ‘6 Benefits to Business’ guides or get in contact with our helpdesk advisors who can talk you through the support available.

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