When did you create Party Kit network ?
I created it in June last year after reading a blog post by sustainability writer Jen Gale about a party kit in Frome (Somerset).
How quickly has the network grown?
It took 4 days to find the first 20 kits - a mixture of searching on Facebook and posting in zero waste / plastic-free groups. Since then, most people have found me rather than the other way around. I have just over 350 kits listed now. I’ve added 100 since Christmas.
How much does it cost to put a party kit together for 30 people?
A basic kit for 30 can be set up for £35 (based on IKEA plates, cups, bowls, 2 jugs from supermarket and a storage box) but it can be done for less if sourcing items secondhand. However, this takes time.
How much do party kit owners charge per rental?
All kits are run independently so content and prices of kit vary. Some kits are lent for free. Others range from 25-50p per person depending on service (for example if washing up is included) and the amount of equipment. Many include bunting and other reusable decorations, but also platters, pass-the-parcel bags and more.
What’s the profile of party kit owners?
Almost all the kits are run by women, mostly mums. Many are run from home by mums passionate about reducing waste. Some are run from zero waste stores, by school Parents and Teachers Associations as a fundraiser, or by small party-related businesses.
Do you have any anecdotal evidence that party kit users are more likely to reduce their waste as a result of borrowing a party kit?
We definitely have a much bigger following within the community of people already working to reduce waste, but do have growing interest from people just getting started. We hope that by making this one change easy and more accessible that more people will look to make more sustainable choices in other parts of their lives.
The average party with a party kit saves between 60-100 single-use items from landfill.
What’s the amount of carbon emissions that Party kit network has saved since its start?
This is very difficult to calculate. Just finding out about the carbon footprint and water usage for a single paper plate has been very difficult - there are so many variables. This is why I have chosen to focus on the message of reducing waste to landfill as this is a more measurable goal. The average party with a party kit saves between 60-100 single-use items from landfill. So on one day, if each of the 350 kits were hired for a party that would be over 21,000 items saved from landfill. That is a very conservative estimate and doesn’t take into account cutlery or decorations for example.
What’s your vision for Party kits network for the next year or so?
I want to secure funding for the network so I can increase the functionality of the website to make it easier for people to book their local kit and for kit owners to manage their bookings. But I’d also like to be able to offer grants to those setting up or expanding kits, as well as working to further spread the message about switching to reusables at parties.