Biz in the Spotlight: Party Kit Network Founder and Mum of 1 Isabel
At Partyora, we are all about collaboration and when we were approached by Isabel from The Party Kit Network, we were thrilled to bits! Read on to find out how a successful career in eCommerce, Mum of 1 from Winchester UK set out to make parties more sustainable!
A bit about Isabel
Isabel has worked in eCommerce for the last 14 years, responsible for delivering web development projects for a variety of UK-based retailers, including Wiggle.
After the birth of her son in 2017, she began her journey to live more sustainably.
Isabel- Party Kit Network
“At home, we’d been using reusable water bottles for a while and were already pretty waste-conscious when it came to food, but it was a friend’s Facebook post about her Who Gives a Crap toilet paper delivery that was the catalyst for me to start making real changes.
I began by trying to better understand the problems with single-use plastic and waste. I was shocked and angry at how thoughtlessly our planet’s resources are wasted – I had naively thought that
someone was just sorting it out, but I soon realised that change must start with us.”
What is a party kit?
It was Isabel’s efforts to live more sustainably which led her to follow the Sustainable(ish) blog by Jen Gale in June 2019, where she discovered the beautiful and simple concept of a reusable party kit.
A party kit is a box of reusable tableware and decorations lent to the local community. It’s a great way to avoid unnecessary waste from single-use disposables like paper plates.
These are run independently by people from home, small local businesses and community groups, such as toy libraries.
The box has everything you need for a party – so no extra trips to the shop or last-minute panics. And it’s often cheaper to hire a party kit than buy the equivalent equipment as disposables, which is a win for both your budget and the environment!
How the Party Kit Network began
Using her background in eCommerce, Isabel had experienced solving problems with technology and so setting up a website to help party planners find their local party kit made perfect sense.
The UK network quickly grew and in just 8 months there were over 400 party kits listed.
In just one day, all the party kits in the network could save over 40,000 single-use items from landfill. In a year, that number could be millions.
The Party Kit Network is now a registered community interest company – this means that it works not-for-profit to promote the concept of switching to reusable and to support the amazing people taking action against waste by setting up a party kit.
Coming to Australia
In June 2020, zero waste author and blogger Erin Rhoads from The Rogue Ginger contacted Isabel about setting up a network in Australia. A few short weeks later together they launched the Australian website partykitnetwork.org
Erin – The Rogue Ginger
“Sharing, reusing, connecting what we already have with our neighbours makes the Party Kit
Network a truly eco friendly alternative.”
Isabel and Erin hope to inspire more party planners to switch to reusables, dramatically reducing the waste from parties and helping to make them more sustainable!
How it works
To save waste at your next party, visit the Party Kit Network website and contact your local party kit: https://www.partykitnetwork.org/find
Once your booking is confirmed, simply collect the party kit (or some do offer delivery within the local area), have a great party and then return the kit to be used again and again!
Thinking of starting your own kit?
Setting up a party kit is a great way to support your community to reduce waste. It can also be a fab fundraising activity for community projects and school PTAs.
If you’re interested in setting up a party kit for your own community there is a downloadable guide available here… https://www.partykitnetwork.org/getting-started
Isabel has included a member offer section on the site where you can find all the items you need to start your party kit!
Keep an eye out for a Party Kit Network members offers on Reusable Pass the parcels, Fabric reusable buntings and Eco party decorations & supplies across our site for your kit from Partyora too!