Sustainable wellness and lifestyle store takegoodcare (TGC) has opened its doors at the Needlemakers in Lewes, directly below the office where founder Barbara Rowe came up with the concept during COVID.

“I thought how simple it would be if there was one central place from which I could purchase all my ethical and fair trade products and not have to do any research because someone had already done it, and with that takegoodcare was born,” she explains.

Described as a one stop space for self-care and sustainability which strives to adhere to the three pillars of sustainability, TGC officially launched as an online business in 2021 and was followed by a pop-up shop in Eastbourne in 2022.

People who live in Lewes like to shop in Lewes and are very supportive of small local business, which is perfect for our brand

This year, Rowe decided the time was right to close the pop-up and head back to the town of its origins to open a permanent location. “People like shopping online but they also like to smell touch and feel the products they are buying. Lewes was always on the cards because that’s where we originally started – and it’s been like coming home,” she says. “People who live in Lewes like to shop in Lewes and are very supportive of small local business, which is perfect for our brand because we like to deal with local producers and be as sustainable as possible. It’s a lovely town with a really strong sense of community, which is also what I want to boost by creating a community hub at the takegoodcare shop.”

Describing the TGC range, Rowe says: “In the beginning my focus was on our core takegoodcare branded range skincare, candles and vitamins and water bottle, but we have now expanded and partner with other eco conscious and fair trade brands to sell their products. We have a bookstand and reading corner, and this plays an important part within the shop. I love to promote wellbeing titles and general good reads. After COVID I encountered many people who were suffering from long COVID, depression, low self-esteem and the social effects of lockdowns who were interested in inspirational reads and books full of advice how to improve their health and wellbeing.”

The main criteria when it comes to choosing stock is that the products are planet-friendly and fair trade. “We like fair trade to go both ways, so not only do producers earn a fair wage but we sell to customers at a fair price too,” says Rowe. “We aim for all products to be as sustainable as possible made with organic or plant-based materials and ingredients.”

TGC also supports the local economy and works with suppliers within Sussex. “For instance, our vitamins and supplements are manufactured and packaged in Uckfield and our T-shirts are printed by Fruity in Brighton who use eco natural dyes and provide 100% organic T-shirts made by Earth Positive who are Carbon Neutral accredited. Our soaps are handmade by a homeworker in East Sussex.”

TGC also gives back to the wider community and donates 10% of profits from selected items to mental health charities.