Interested in the back story? Read on…
All Good Market vendors go through an application and review process to ensure they meet minimum sector standards and are good for people and good for the planet. In that sense, Good Market has always been a curated platform, but there have been a lot of changes since the first Thursday event at Diyatha Uyana. The site was developed in response to two of those changes.
New Types of Vendors
In 2012, people applied because they wanted a stall at the weekly event. When the shop opened in 2014, we began getting applications from people that weren’t able to participate in the event, but wanted to have products in the shop.
Over the past year and a half, a new type of vendor started to apply. They don’t have products for the shop, and they don’t want a stall at the event. They are trying to do something good for people and good for the planet, and they want to be part of the community. They want to be recognized as a Good Market vendor.
Many of these new applicants are outside of Colombo (some are even outside of Sri Lanka). They cover a wide range of sectors: renewable energy, ecotourism, ayurveda, ethical fashion, green construction, sustainability consultants, alternative education, volunteer networks, and more.
The Saturday Good Market, which has about 60-80 participating vendors each week, is just the tip of the iceberg. There are currently more than 300 Good Market approved vendors. The online community platform makes it easier to find them.
New Types of Questions
The Good Market community has always asked a lot of questions, but over the years, the types of questions have changed. When the market first started, the questions were basic. “What time do you open?” “What time do you close?” “Where is it?” “Is there a market this week?”
Now people ask, “Do any of the vendors install solar panels?” “I’m going to the East Coast, are there any vendors there?” “I have some land that I want to convert to organic. Is there anyone who can help?” “Are there any vendors with volunteer opportunities?”
Social enterprises and responsible businesses tend to prefer like-minded business partners so we get a lot of questions from vendors looking for other vendors. “Where can I get eco-friendly packaging?” “I want to source more organic ingredients. Who should I talk to?” “Do we have any vendors that provide business development services?”
We have also started to get questions from overseas. “Do you have any vendors with organic certified coconut?” “I’m coming to Sri Lanka, can you recommend any places to stay that meet Good Market standards?” “Are there any vendors looking for impact investment?
We spend a lot of time during the week answering these questions, introducing vendors, and copying and pasting contact details. The online community platform makes it easier for people to connect directly.
We are incredibly fortunate to be partnering with Calcey Technologies to develop the site. Over the next few months, we will continue to roll out new functions and features, and we look forward to incorporating your ideas and feedback.
Here’s how you can get involved…
- Search the site and choose to support enterprises that are trying to make the world a better place. As Anne Lappe said, “Every time you spend money, you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want.”
- If you are part of a social enterprise or responsible business, check out the application form and join the community.
- If you know an organization that should be included, help spread the word.
- If you’d like to participate in focus group discussions or product testing, get in touch by email or social media.
- Play around with the site, and let us know what you think!