how it all started…
Darwin's General Store is a zero waste, plastic-free company established in 2018 with a home base in Wilmington, North Carolina. Founder and Wilmington native, Kristen Crawford, provides zero waste consulting for both residential and commercial entities while her e-commerce store supplies plastic-free home and lifestyle products for the eco-conscious consumer. Even the shipping aims to reduce waste as goods are shipped in repurposed cardboard boxes with recycled paper labels even sealing the deal (and boxes!) with paper tape.
Before creating Darwin's General Store, Kristen worked as a pharmaceutical data analyst. Shortly after starting this position in 2017 she learned that recycling was not implemented or a priority. Subsequent inquiries to management on the matter lead to an opportunity to research and present recycling options. It was during this research that she discovered approximately 70% of items in the New Hanover County landfill are in fact compostable or recyclable. Further research revealed that recycling is not the solution, and to date only 9% of all plastic has ever been recycled. Municipalities across the United States are now throwing paper, glass, and plastic in the landfill instead of properly disposing of these materials.
Numerous studies have linked plastics to potential health risks that negatively affect all life on erf. Kristen's mother, Beth Crawford, passed away in late 2017 from a rare, aggressive type of cancer. Questions emerged concerning a correlation between endocrine disruptors commonly found in plastics and if this was a factor in her mother's illness. Beth's consistent life lessons about composting, recycling, reusing, repurposing, and an overall respect for nature laid the foundation for Kristen's environmental passion. Inspired by her mother and the current environmental crisis, Kristen knew it was time to leave her job and tackle this problem through education and viable solutions. Eight million tons of plastic are being dumped into our oceans annually which is the equivalent of a garbage truck being dumped every minute. 80% of this plastic is being leaked from land-based sources. Having been born and raised in the coastal community of Wilmington she knew started her company here to be on the front-line (pun intended) of the plastic pollution crisis. After all, small changes make big waves.