Lucy Ewles: The Hatch Graduate Celebrating Christmas Sustainably

Hatch Graduate Founder Lucy Ewles with her sustainable christmas crackers. Lucy is a white woman with long blonde hair. She is looking at the camera with a smile while holding one of her crackers up to show us.
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Lucy Ewles, Hatch Incubator programme graduate, is championing a sustainable Christmas with her business, Kaneo Crackers.

Read on to learn how she transformed her passion of party planning and reducing waste into a business.

Sustainability Mindset : Why we should all have it

"14 million Christmas crackers are still thrown away every year in the UK"

The holidays, and Christmas in particular, are particularly wasteful times of the year. Although it can be difficult to change our mindset, especially one that is overwhelmingly sold to us during the holidays, Lucy challenges us to shift our vision from short-term to long-term. 

Millions of consumers world-wide are actively looking to be more eco-friendly with their purchasing habits, now being one of the deciding factors in choosing a product or brand over another.

 Unfortunately it’s not as simple as wanting to make the change and no longer paying for throw away items. Shifting our mindset into the long term involves a lot more foresight and planning to avoid last minute buys, for example, something I’m sure we are all guilty of. 

Picture of Kaneo Crackers in dark green with a Kaneo card in front of them and a felt dog with a santa hat on tree decoration.

Buying reusable items can be a real challenge when considering the higher upfront costs, especially on a smaller budget. However, when considering cyclical societal factors that impact our socioeconomic status, such as the boots theory, it can be easier to challenge our perspective.

The Boots Theory

On a smaller wage, a person will likely buy affordable boots which will often have to be replaced. On a larger wage, a person can afford quality boots that will last for years. In the same time, the person with a smaller salary will have spent double for less quality.

In the same way, buying reusable items such as Kaneo Crackers are an investment which will not only save your pocket, but also the world in the long run.

Start your sustainable Christmas with some Kaneo luxurious and reusable christmas crackers

Lucy's Lightbulb Moment

I had a really big Christmas party with lots of friends and family, and at the end of the day there was like, backpacks full of waste from all the crackers.

Picture of Lucy Ewles with her sustainable christmas crackers.

Lucy had planned on having a lovely celebration with her friends and family where she gave them personally made crackers. Although the crackers were really well recieved and appreciated, Lucy was left feeling torn due to all of the waste she had accumalated over the course of the night.

She started looking for re-usable options that fit what she wanted to recreate, sustainably; a re-usable, refillable cracker with a snap that had personalisation options.

Unfortunately, these didn’t exist before Kaneo Crackers.

With the spare time Lucy found during lockdown, she decided to materialise her vision, teaching herself to sew from Youtube, and experimenting with different ideas.

The Joys of Being a Founder

Hatch Graduate Founder Lucy Ewles with her sustainable christmas crackers. Lucy is a white woman with long blonde hair. She is looking at the camera with a smile while holding one of her crackers up to show us.

Lucy didn’t set out to start a business out of her endeavours. 

When she first made her reusable crackers, she received an overwhelmingly positive response from her friends and family, so she decided to turn her passion into a product that could change other peoples’ lives as well.

Before becoming a founder, Lucy found herself hitting a brick wall in many of the places she worked at, not being able to follow through on the ideas she had due to bureaucratic systems in place. 

Now, she is able to make the decision to follow through on her ideas, fighting against climate change and challenging fast consumerism with her truly sustainable product, all while having the flexibility to look after her young toddler, Jasmine.

Sharing the Magic

Kaneo Crackers are official partners with Salvation Army, with 10% of all sales supporting the charity. Every box of crackers that sells pays for the Christmas dinner of a person experiencing homelessness. So while you’re enjoying your crackers with your friends and family, you’re also helping someone else feel the Christmas spirit.

Lucy Ewles with Hatch Enterprise

I was so impressed with the quality of the sessions. We had experts speaking about all different subjects, helping with finances, PR, legal, like… everything that you need as a business owner.

Lucy found Hatch Enterprise after her first busy season, when things felt incredibly overwhelming as a new founder, and only her husband, who had his own intense job, as a reliable source of support. 

When she first joined the Hatch Incubator programme, Lucy, like many others, experienced imposter syndrome in the midst of other founders, but she soon found that most experienced the same issues. 

During her time with hatch, Lucy was able to build a supportive network of like-minded people for support.

So for example, one of my hatches the other week, messaged me to say she'd seen a journalist request for luxury crackers. So I got in touch with it, and it was the Independent and now my crackers have been featured in the Independent.

The Independent: 11 best luxury Christmas crackers: From Jo Malone scents to tipples from Fever-Tree

“Hatch taught me that there’s a person behind everything and what you should really be doing is trying to make these personal connections. So actually the opposite of what I was trying to do. “

“The other thing would be finding ways to help other people. Always thinking and bearing in mind other people, and trying to help them out. Not because you’re expecting anything in return, but it’s like… what goes around does come around.”

Lucy's cracker Fillables: Mini Sloe Gins

Lucy's refillables. In the picture there are four jars, filled with bottle stoppers, felt dogs, and small bags.

One thing Lucy enjoys to fill her reusable crackers with, is mini bottles of Sloe Gin.

Here’s how to make your own!

1) Go foraging for sloe berries (often found in late autumn around the UK, especially around train tracks)

2) Wash your berries, and put them in a bottle or any air-tight container with the cheapest gin you find, to ferment for a few months.

3) Decant into mini bottles and add to your reusable cracker.

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