What Every Party Needs to Get it Started…

If you have children then you will relate to two things I am about to briefly mention. Firstly, losing many of your long-awaited weekends to attending what seems like an infinite number of their friend’s (lovely, of course) birthday parties. And, secondly, the challenge of avoiding unnecessary excess and waste, not to mention cost, when their own birthdays come around.

One brilliant business local to us, Eco Party Kit, based in Swallowfield (close to towns such as Wokingham, Reading, Bracknell, Fleet and Basingstoke), is here to help with at least one part of that puzzle.

We have all hosted or attended parties where rubbish sacks seem to be filling with ‘single-use’ plates, cups, cutlery, platters, table cloths, decorations and similar – and it is of course frightfully wasteful. That waste will either find its way into landfill or an incinerator, or if you are unlucky, the environment. None of them are great destinations.

As Eco Party Kit’s founder, Lianne, explains: “We provide a simple tableware hire service for parties. Instead of buying disposable tableware for a party, you can hire a kit which contains everything you need. We include in all our kits plates, bowls, cutlery, jugs, sharing platters, serving bowls, tablecloths and bunting!

We offer backdrops for hire, pre-loved foil balloons, paper decorations, cake toppers and fabric pass the parcel bags too, so that you can hire and return items without anything going to waste.”

Lianne also runs what she calls a “costume library”, with fancy dress items for hire for just a £1 donation. “The concept behind this is the same – I am trying to discourage people from buying a new costume when it may only be worn once or twice and then disposed of,” she enthuses.

Eco Party Kit was born in 2020 when Lianne came across the ‘Party Kit Network’ on Facebook and realised that there wasn’t a provider in the area. “I also have a background in event planning and in particular an interest in sustainable events so this fitted my interests perfectly,” she continues. 

Describing the challenges, other than of course a certain pandemic, Lianne says: “The main one is getting the message out there and getting people to understand how easy it is to hire a kit. People are still programmed to head to the supermarket and buy a load of disposable items, hoping they can be recycled, or because it’s the most convenient option.

I have been pleasantly surprised about how much people love the concept. Now that parties are back on the agenda, things have really taken off. I am getting lots of bookings and together we have saved over 2,000 single use items from landfill just in the last six months! And we have repeat customers who use a party kit for birthdays, family barbeques, baby showers, christenings and other celebrations.” 

Looking ahead, Lianne is also turning her thoughts to how Eco Party Kit can support larger events but points out that there are a few practical issues, including items disappearing, to be overcome. She also feels that there is a gap for eco-friendly party bags (we agree) and adds: “Watch this space!”

Eco Party Kit welcomes bookings from anywhere, although most orders come from Wokingham, Bracknell, Reading and the surrounding areas. We are already booked in for our youngest son’s birthday this summer! For further information, please visit www.facebook.com/ecopartykitswallowfield.

You can find us on Facebook by searching for Plastic Free Home or at www.facebook.com/plasticfreehomeuk.

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