speaker photo

Tessa Clarke

Co-Founder and CEO - OLIO

OLIO connects neighbours and local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. This could be food nearing its sell-by date in local stores, spare home-grown vegetables, bread from your baker, or the groceries in your fridge when you go away. For your convenience, OLIO can also be used for non-food household items, too.

At OLIO they believe that small actions can lead to big change. Collectively – one rescued cupcake, carrot or bottle of lotion at a time – they can build a more sustainable future where our most precious resources are shared, not thrown away.

They collected from more than 5000 sites every week including Selfridges, Tesco, Pret, Eurostar, Deloitte…

The ‘lightbulb’ moment came on 17th December 2014 –Tessa explains:  I remember it well. I was packing up our apartment in Switzerland, getting ready to move back to the UK. Despite our best efforts to eat everything we had, we were still left with 6 sweet potatoes, a whole white cabbage and some pots of yoghurt. The removal men told me that all the food had to be thrown away, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do this. And so – much to their frustration, as we still had a lot to pack up – I got my newborn baby and toddler dressed and set off armed with this food to find someone to give it to. Unfortunately, the lady who I had hoped to give it to wasn’t in her usual spot outside the supermarket and I got quite upset. I thought about knocking on my neighbours’ doors to see if they wanted it, but the problem was I didn’t know if they would be in, and even if they were in, I didn’t know them, and it might be a bit awkward if they didn’t want what I was offering. Feeling thoroughly defeated, I thought to myself – “This is absolutely crazy…. this food is delicious. Why isn’t there an app where I can share it with someone nearby who wants it?” And so the idea for OLIO was born.

At OLIO they have a responsibility to practise what we preach, too, which is why they take steps to ensure OLIO is run as sustainably as possible. OLIO is currently carbon negative (which means we remove more carbon from the atmosphere than we generate). They were recently awarded a B Corp certification for maintaining a high standard of social and environmental performance.

By empowering local communities with a free, accessible, and effective solution to reduce waste, they are confident that we will be able to have a lasting, meaningful impact on the world one share at a time.

65,312,492 Portions of food have been shared

3,626 Radio, TV and press pieces

62 Countries OLIOers have successfully shared in

Winner – Best Sustainable Travel Initiative in 2022

The Best Sustainable Living App of 2022 Category: Lifestyle