Stop – don’t put that in the bin. Whatever it is, we’re betting GoodMine has an idea of how it can be reused, recycled, repaired or donated.
We all want to avoid creating waste but figuring out how to responsibly dispense of things no longer needed can be so confusing and time consuming.
Enter, GoodMine. On their Instagram account, and soon to be brilliant app, you can find out what to do with old, unwanted or damaged sports equipment, swimwear, tents, toys, bathtubs and more! We spoke with company founder Nikki who is on a mission to reduce waste and give things a new lease on life.
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Please introduce yourself and GoodMine…
Hello! I’m Nikki, a mother of two based in North London and founder of GoodMine, a new search engine app that is designed to help us all figure out how to declutter responsibly and quickly!
We are a female-led company working to bring much needed accessibility to the circular economy and help everyone part with their unwanted goods more sustainably.
We’re about to pilot our service in Islington, London. Click HERE to see how the app will work.
When and why did you start it?
I actually started working on GoodMine last year during homeschooling madness! The trigger was really my battle against the mountain of unwanted stuff that my kids are constantly creating. I tend to hoard things until I know where the best place to bring them or sell them is and like the idea that they will be valued and reused for all sorts of reasons such as resource efficiency, cost savings, helping others and avoiding landfill.
Why is it important?
There are so many options for unwanted items – donating, sharing, selling, upcycling, recycling – some of these are obvious, others are only discoverable to dedicated circular economy believers who hunt them down. It can take hours to research options available for a single item, which is totally impractical for most people.
GoodMine does this research at the touch of a button with results prioritised according to the user’s own goals e.g. earning cash or helping others.
Surveys show people are aware of the climate crisis and want to do the right thing – with GoodMine we’re giving them a tool that enables them to act on their intentions.
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Please share a few examples of your clever tips.
On our Instagram feed we share easy ways to declutter responsibly, featuring items that people have asked us to research, for instance old VHS tapes and swimming goggles, and organisations or manufacturers who are providing ways for us all to pass on our old, broken or unwanted items.
Through these features, we’ve discovered some very local options (useful for our pilot of the app in Islington!) and many London-wide or nationwide ones. Locally, we always love to recommend The Toy Project, a charity in Islington who take unwanted toys and give them to children in need.
Nationally, we were excited to discover a company called Wyatt and Jack, who make amazing bags and accessories out of old bouncy castles and paddling pools. It’s amazing what you discover when you take some time to do the research – like Cycle of Good, who recycle inner tubes from bikes, or the fact that you can repair your wellies.
In fact, thank you MotherHood for asking us to find out if it’s possible to repair your teddy bear! It took quite a while to discover the options we did find, which demonstrated to us yet again how time-consuming it is to work out what to do with our old items.
We are so aware, as we are all busy working parents, how convenience and cost drives our behaviour, which is why we want to help make it easier for busy people to do the right thing.
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How can your app help families?
The magic of kids is how they grow and change so quickly, though this creates a constant churn of stuff that they no longer need. Our app should make it easy for busy families to figure out responsible decluttering options… and help with the guilty conscious!
What are your hopes for it?
We are piloting our service in Islington – our hope is to eventually expand so we can help consumers across the UK!
What are the biggest challenges?
As you can imagine, we are collating insane amounts of information on pathways for items, online and locally – effectively a big map for reuse. This is a huge exercise that is very much going to be trial and error. When we launch, we would be grateful for feedback where we can improve!