The owner of EcoTree, the newest shop in Carlisle's The Lanes Shopping Centre, has described his delight at joining the high street.

Previously a stall trader at Market Hall, Ed Pendrous made the move to his new city centre store last month after the success of his stall.

The origins of the business began from the purchase of just one product, he explains: "I used to be a musician and then I had a serious illness. I was on Facebook one day and spotted a meme about using bamboo toothbrushes as a different way to quit using plastic!

"Cutting a long story short, they weren't available in the UK and I had to order them in from China. I thought if I'm going to order them in from China, I might as well order a lot of them and see if anybody else wants them.

"I sold them on Ebay and they started flying off the shelves. I then started selling things like travel mugs, shampoo bars and built it from there.

"I then went onto markets and fairs, before starting at a stall at Market Hall. I was there for about a year and a half before the opportunity came up to come to The Lanes. It's amazing, I can't quite believe we're here!"

EcoTree is the second local environmentally friendly business in the past couple of months to make the move to The Lanes , following the arrival of fellow eco-led store Re:Plenish.

"It's amazing for Carlisle that we have these eco-friendly stores," Ed vows.

"I believe that it's critical that we have stores like this. I look at things like the Great Garbage Patch in the ocean and people were shocked by that but maybe over time we become more desensitised to those images.

He added: "I think a lot of bigger change can start on an individual level, even if it's in a big business it only takes one person to make a decision that can make a massive impact.

"People need to be reminded that this is a very serious problem. Just simply shipping off waste isn't really an option anymore so I guess this business is also a reflection of wanting to help people to have an alternative of plastic free options."

So far, Ed confirms that the support from both the public and the operators of The Lanes has been very encouraging.

He said: "I've had some very lovely feedback from people. It's been very encouraging. You get to know your customers in a way that sometimes staff do not at larger chains.

"The manager of The Lanes has been helpful, they've been popping their heads in to say 'Hi' and they've given us some good advice on how the shopfront should look, so they've been really good!"