Words by Smiley Team
Amelia Gammon is revolutionising modern business – and saving the planet while she’s at it.
Her business – bide – makes and sells sustainable, eco-friendly cleaning products, with plastic-free, home compostable packaging to cut down on waste. And it was founded on two guiding principles: to protect the planet, and those who inhabit it.
“Bide was born while I was homeschooling two children, preschooling another and nursing a fourth!” Amelia tells Smiley News. It’s an origin story that would intimidate any other, but Amelia has proved she isn’t afraid of a challenge.
Just months before the pandemic, before bide was created, she quit her job and she, her wife and her children moved out of London to Wiltshire. No longer was she flying around the world to pitch TV shows to executives, worried about her carbon footprint. Instead, she was living out her “closet hippy” dreams, in a household free from plastic, generating minimal waste, and living almost entirely off solar and wind energy.
“The original idea for bide came out of a pitch I did for a TV show,” Amelia says, going on to explain that, rather than selling the idea, she chose to turn it into a reality. “It really was driven by the idea that I wanted to make sustainability affordable and simple.”
By creating bide, Amelia hoped she would give people a simple, accessible, affordable option to be sustainable. But she didn't want to just make a difference to the planet, she wanted to help the people who live on it, too.
The products sold by bide are made in the homes of people around the UK who are in need of work. Amelia and bide work with marginalised communities who may struggle to get regular work, including refugees, people with disabilities, people who have struggled with addiction, and people who have been to prison.
The ingredients for their products – which are all non-toxic, and oftentimes things you might find in your pantry – are dropped off at the manufacturer’s homes on a Monday morning. The finished products are picked up from their doorstep on a Friday, leaving each person to do as much or as little work as they can handle, whenever it suits their specific circumstances during the week.
This completely unique way of working means it is ideal for those who can't work traditional 9-5 jobs. Though the pay isn’t enough to live on alone, it's enough to supplement those on benefits such as Universal Credit, says Amelia.
In fact, 17% of bide’s home manufacturers are refugees. Often when refugees reach their new country, they are unable to be employed for a certain period of time, but because bide’s home manufacturers are all self employed, Amelia is helping to provide them with much-needed financial support.
Between the good she is doing for the planet, and what she is doing to help those who live on it, Amelia Gammon has certainly made a name for herself as someone to watch.
SUPPORT REFUGEES: Help Amelia continue the work she's doing to support refugees by donating to Refugee Action.
LEARN MORE: Find out more about bide and the work it is doing to give back to people and the planet.