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The Alcohol-Free Off-Licence: A Bright Future for Sober Folk?

A recent article from the BBC tells the story of Laura Willoughby and her incredible alcohol-free off-licence. Laura is the founder of global mindful drinking community ‘Club Soda’ and is singing about the joys of sobriety in London through her very own alcohol-free drinks shop.

After feeling tired and lethargic from regular weekends spent boozing, Laura decided to go alcohol-free. She’s now been sober for over 10 years and is working hard to make classic British social spaces (like pubs) more accessible for sober people.

She’s not the only one riding the sober wave. According to Alcohol Change UK, 1/7 adults in this country are taking part in Dry January to gain space and perspective from alcohol. On top of that, according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, the number of no/low alcohol products available grew by 17% across the UK in 2021 due to popular demand. Could it be that a cultural shift is underway?

Years ago, an alcohol-free off-licence would have seemed ridiculous, and anyone trying to open one would have been laughed out of the room. Whilst we are not necessarily where we’d like to be in terms of cultural acceptance of sobriety, we are heading in the right direction.

The number of people taking part in Dry January means a huge number of people are going to have more clarity and understanding when it comes to their relationship with alcohol, which is incredible! We should feel hopeful about news stories like this appearing on the BBC; the more people that hear this message the more will be impacted by it.

Remember, if you’re in the early days and feeling apprehensive, you’re not alone! As Laura said in her interview, you don’t have anything to lose, only things to gain. When Laura quit drinking she became more energetic, her mental health improved, her relationships were better, and she felt like she was living according to her values. The benefits of sobriety know no bounds; try it yourself if you don't believe me!

See the full article and video here:

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