This week’s interview sees us speaking to Tim Molony, founder of Full Circle who provide eco-friendly festival survival kits.
Tell us how you started Full Circle, what was the moment where you decided this is what you wanted to do
I used to attend a lot of music festivals when I was younger, Glastonbury, Lowlands, Secret Garden Party to name a few and I’ll be honest I was part of the problem, I would purchase lots of cheap products that I didn’t mind leaving at the end of the festival. This included disposable plastic toiletries and camping equipment without consideration for the event or the local environment, I just wanted to have fun and get out of there at the end of the weekend!
I think we all owe a lot to Sir David Attenborough for bringing the true impact humans are having on our planet to the forefront of people’s attention in such an incredible way with Blue Planet and now Our Planet, we live in a throwaway society of mass consumption and this seems to be magnified at events like festivals where thousands of music revellers jump in a field for 4 days and leave the place looking like Armageddon.
So for me it was the media attention, seeing the impact single-use products were having globally coupled with the impact festivals were having on their local environment. So we decided to see if we could help reduce this impact whilst also providing a great solution.
Before we started we carried out significant market research asking festival goers what their hygiene routine is, do they take products from their bathroom at home or do they buy travel items, almost all of them said they bought single use travel items, majority were plastic, they were unsure if recyclable and left them at the festival. So, we thought there is a great opportunity here and Full Circle was born.
What do you think makes an excellent Glamping experience?
Glamping is definitely the more stylish alternative to camping but we do prefer an eco-friendly experience with renewable power sources, no wifi so that we can completely switch off and comfort I think is also key to set it apart from a ‘normal’ camping experience so comfortable beds and plenty of covers to keep warm and snug!
There are lots of varying designs of eco-pods coming into the picture which we love to see.
What would you say sets Full Circle apart from other providers?
Firstly we wanted to create a brand which stood for something and holds values that our customers can identify and relate to which we can build long-term relationships with partners, suppliers, charities. For me anyone can set-up a website and fill it with different branded products in a bag, that’s just a pick & post service which is great but there are hundreds of these on the internet.
Our biggest difference that no-one else in the market offers, is our pack doesn’t require running water thanks to our very own no-rinse body wash, which means our customers can wash from the comfort of their own tent, so not only does it mean there’s no need to go to the lovely festival showers (which I hated!) but the more people who use our Full Circle eco-pack, the less water a festival will require, therefore reduce the environmental impact of water at the festival and their costs of getting water on site and disposing of it correctly.
We also work with 2 charity partners with a proportion of profit from every pack going to them. Charity: water who bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries and The RAW Foundation who are trying to rid the world of pointless plastic. Our objective for 2019 is to fund 4 entire community water projects and we are able to update our customers on the progress of the project their donation has gone in to. Our ultimate vision is to be able to send some of our lucky customers to actually go and visit their project in action and see the positive impact their money has had, that would be incredible.
Waste left behind after festivals is a major talking point tight now – what are they main areas you think can be improved on
I’ve only been in the festival market a very short time so can only comment on what I’ve seen of late which is a lot of festivals seem to be heading in the right direction in terms of environmental initiatives, The Drastic on Plastic campaign championed by The RAW Foundation with the amazing Melinda Watson, Shambala seem to be at the forefront with Glastonbury in banning plastic bottles and straws etc.
The reality is there will always be waste because there’s a huge number of people jumping in to a field to escape from real life for 3-4 days so it’s always going to be a challenge but my suggestions would be continued education on what to take to a festival, the environmental impact that certain products and waste has so only take essential items and environmentally friendly where possible.
I would try and make it all accommodation pre-pitched from expensive boutique yurts right down to general admission cheaper tents, the accommodation price is included in the tickets, a deposit is paid so if the tent is trashed the tent company keeps. This would eradicate the whole left cheap tent issue festivals currently face.
No plastic drinking cups from the bars, more deposit led cutlery at eating stations, stainless steel bottles and cups – Less plastic wrappings on food from stalls and plenty of bins everywhere.
What has been your most challenging moment so far?
I’m from a media background so everything is totally new to me. I suppose the biggest challenge so far has been dealing with the different manufacturers in our supply chain and making sure everything is running on time, touch wood so far so good!
How do you see Full Circle developing over the next 5 years?
Our goal is to create products which have a positive impact on our planet, our environment, our customers and the people in desperate need whom our charitable partners help, so in the future we see ourselves creating other products and expanding in to other markets.
To learn more about Full Circle or to buy a survival kit for yourself visit festival survival kit