Sustainability with One Swipe: Shelley Gifford


I have an appreciation for ease and simplicity when it comes to cleaning my house. Chores at home can go so much smoother with a few sustainable swaps. I stumbled into Shelly Gifford from Orono Ontario in my Buy Nothing community who was giving away catalogs; works for a clean green company called Norwex and a few other retail companies. 

Shelley Gifford


Shelley is 67 years old and worked as a nurse for 45 years. She is an amazingly sweet lady, full of energy who multitasks and keeps in touch with the community. One of the great things she is doing for the planet is being a part of Norwex by educating folks about how they can clean with safe products. The company has been around since 1994 and by far is one of the most successful sustainably based companies.

What made you decide to start a business in retail?

“My friend asked me to join an online Norwex party last July. There were a lot of live videos on every product! I was very interested, so I bought a couple of their BacLock cloths. I cleaned my windows with water only and a window cloth to dry, and I was blown away. I joined about a week later. Learning how to do online parties, I admit, was quite the challenge, but their company consultants help with any problem that may arise.”

Commercial Image by Norwex

What is a significant crossroad you had to face as an entrepreneur, and how did you rise above it?

[I was originally apart of Thirty-one, they] started off as having home parties where you went and demonstrated the bags. They have bags, totes, purses, wallets, storage, and I fell in love with the product, so I thought I would try selling it. I love people, and I love meeting people. When Covid hit, things got slow. Most people love to see the products they are buying. I’m not very good with the computer, and I have a new laptop which can be challenging. I’m still with Thirty-one, and there is lots of training online. You have to commit and do the best you can do.” 

Now Gifford focuses her time on Norwex because their products are considered essential and therefore still sell at great rates, “Norwex also has lots of training online as well and lots of live demos on all the products which makes it much easier for selling.” Gifford continuously upgrades her skills, “I’m getting much better at the online side of things constantly learning. Hopefully this year will be better for all.”

Norwex Sink Organizer + Soaps

What is your favorite thing about being a business owner?

“I love having my own business, it gives me something to do and I can choose my hours and time that I want to spend.” 

That is something I highly value as well, I praise her for being driven to do the work and help make people’s lives easier and healthier.

What specialty products does Norwex offer, and are there any new launches this year?

Norwex is expanding from their traditional cloths to kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom essentials. “The company has catalogues and flyers that come out throughout the year. They also have new products that come out a few times a year.” Not only are they selling cleaning products, but personal hygiene sets as well. There are products made for children’s use and much more.

Most would be blown away by such a large corporation that is fundamental to keeping it minimal. Norwex also gives back if you want to round up your dollar to the [they] give back from feeding the hungry, building safer playgrounds, and providing Medical care to families in need across the globe. Using water to clean with the rag saves the consumer a ton of money and is safer to breathe the air in your home. Norwex makes top-quality microfiber on the market.

Blue Towels by Norwex

I see them as imperfect sustainable pioneers using what they have and making it reusable and mildew resistant for the consumer. Their products will last a lifetime, and people are more likely to buy products that are not loaded with harmful chemicals then making no sustainable switch at all. Anything we use has a price nowadays, but more companies like Norwex are emerging that put their consumers’ health first, and that is a beautiful thing.

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Kayla Stephens
Kayla Stephens

Author: Kayla Stephens, Content Writer, Toronto, Canada. If you have any stories or comments, kindly email: –

SOURCENorwex Canada


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