Interview With Amelia Gammon, Founder at Social Enterprise Company: Bide

bide is a brand with purpose. Producing eco-products that have social impact. Instead of making our eco-cleaning products in factories, we bring factories into people’s homes, removing barriers for unemployed and marginalised people to earn a living.
 
 
bide boxes | bide boxes
 

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

 
Ten years ago I started to rethink what impact my lifestyle had on the planet and decided to relocate to Wiltshire, convert my home to run on solar and air source, start growing my own food and live a plastic-free existence.

Spurred by my own experiences I wanted to help more people adopt more sustainable lifestyles.

The original idea for bide was a curated sustainable subscription service, and the plan was to use my 10-year sustainability journey to inform the product selection. But when looking into the manufacturing method of these ‘eco’ goods, I realised that they weren’t as green as they seemed and also offered little opportunity to have social impact.

I believe that the intersection of the environment and society should be the focus of new business. bide’s home manufacturing model was developed with my sister in mind; providing flexible working opportunities allowing single mothers to work from home whilst supporting their families. Unsurprisingly, 90% of the bide home manufacturers are single mothers.

Through my own personal journey, I have now established an organisation that provides marginalised groups in society the opportunity for paid work in creating green, vegan domestic products and helping people switch to a more environmentally and sustainable way of cleaning.
 

 

How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

 
bide was formed in reaction to the pandemic. At our core, we care deeply about the people and the people who inhabit it.

bide was established to address two major challenges impacting all of us: exponential growth in unemployment, expedited by COVID-19, and the climate crisis calling for mass adoption of sustainable practices.

We thrived during the pandemic because our business model is rooted in the two major trends of the period; remote working and e-commerce shopping locally. We didn’t need to pivot our organisational structure because we built the pandemic into our operations.

In May 2021, we raised 22k in crowdfunding and since then we have grown, partnered with employment charities, and even won Ethical Consumer Magazine’s Best Buy label.
 

What can we hope to see from Bide in the future?

 
We will continue to expand our reach with strategic partnerships with employment charities to reach those most in need of our work opportunities. bide will move into other verticals, offering environmentally and socially sound consumer goods. And you can expect to see international expansion where we will use the UK operation as a template for other markets.

Corporately my vision is for bide to set the tone for how all successful businesses should be run; with transparency, respect and flexibility.