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Sustenance was founded by Katie Pitts a mum and environmentalist (amongst many other things).
We have part-time staff and volunteers whom you will meet at our stall or shop.
There are also many other very kind and supportive people and customers behind Sustenance - without them we would not exist.
Katie - Owner of Sustenance
In 2010 at the age of 25, after working in the city as a personal assistant in investment banking and loosing my job I decided to go traveling.
I had already been volunteering with the London Wildlife Trust working on the ground in their wildlife spots - I had a keen interest in helping the environment in whatever way i could.
My friend mentioned San Blas islands in Panama and so Panama become my first stop on my trip. I googled Panama biodiversity and found some local environmental projects to volunteer at whilst I was traveling, and basically traveled whilst volunteering in environmental or social projects the whole time I was away.
Voluteering with a Green Tree Frog
It was whilst volunteering that I had time to learn more about plastic pollution and started to challenge myself, where possible, to buy plastic free produce.
I also decided I would like to learn more about why we weren't working on the environment collectively and who made decisions about the environment, pollution and climate change and I started to investigate the possibility of doing a degree in development studies and the environment.
8 years later I had completed my degree, had a child and was theoretically ready to go back into the work place.
One of the First Market Stalls
And within thinking about careers the idea of "Sustenance" was born.
During my degree I had learned a whole lot more about the theories and ideas behind the economy, production, politics and how these effected the environment, our health and the health of the planet.
I had already started to buy in bulk - I had tried to start a bulk buying club in my area, but no one else wanted to join my co-operative so I bought bulk bags of organic food, purchased everything else from farmers markets and went to the super markets only when needed.
I had also stopped using chemically based cleaning products, lotions and deodorants as I had been diagnosed with chronic fatigue after having glandular fever in 2012 and wanted to try everything and anything to help clear my body of unnecessary toxins.
Basically, I had a good idea of what a plastic free lifestyle was like already and I loved the idea of running a ethical business that was not just about profit but about doing something good for the local community and the earth.