Somewhat unusually, Julie Brown didn’t have a business plan when she established her retail shop Loose last year.

“I just trusted the universe that the project would evolve as any organic process does and that it would work out,” she says gaily.

The store, at 4 Lansdown in Stroud, requires customers to bring their own containers to be refilled with the products they want to purchase.

It was established thanks to Julie’s vision to encourage the world to become less reliant on plastic and create lasting behaviour change.

“I’m trying to raise people’s awareness around profligacy.

“I was raised by my grandmother in a thrifty household and I find waste very uncomfortable,” she says, adding, “None of my customers leave Loose with any new plastic packaging.”

Julie readily admits she has a mortgage and needs to run her store as a commercially viable enterprise, nonetheless but says she is not concerned if the supermarkets eventually take up her model of retail distribution and ultimately take away her business.

“If retailing products without plastic packaging becomes mainstream then it means that we have succeeded with our aim.”

Furthermore, Julie maintains a mantra of cooperation and non-competition.

“I don’t look at what my competitors are doing. I instead look at what the items cost me and at my margins and try to come to a sensible price.”

Julie has otherwise been cautious in her business outgoings to date, choosing a cheaper retail space away from the high street.

“I started the shop on the smallest budget possible which was less than £5k although I have had extra investment going along.”

Julie’s faith and optimist has certainly served her well so far but it hasn’t entirely been smooth sailing.

“I became quite despondent last September,” Julie admits. “I was thinking that it was all very hard work for no return.”

She gave the business until Christmas and luckily, her persistence won out.

“And now I would say that subsequent to last autumn, the business has been on a gentle, yet uphill trajectory.”

Extending her opening hours helped, as did extending from five to six days a week.

“But I will never open on a Sunday or bank holiday,” she laughs. “Its good to rest and take care of yourself as well as work hard...”