Eco-shop owners in North Tyneside and Saltburn say the cost of living crisis is impacting business

The owners of several small, eco-friendly shops in the North East have told ITV Tyne Tees they're being hit by the cost of living crisis as customers opt for cut-price alternatives.

Kerry Roffe owns 'All Good In The Hood,' a refill station and zero-waste store in North Tyneside.

She says footfall is down as a direct result of people tightening their financial belts.

"[During] COP26 we saw a real upswing, people were really wanting to take part and that was great for us, great for the planet.

"Now it feels like people are feeling the pinch, I can't afford to shop that way - I'll go back to what I was doing before."

She also thinks that green shops can be wrongly perceived as not being good value for money - a view she wants to change.

She's now calling on the government to do more to help small businesses which are making an environmental difference in their communities - and facing rising running costs themselves.

Kerry said: "People who are trying to change the way we shop to a more sustainable way should be getting some sort of grants or incentives or tax breaks.

"We are here, we're doing it! Why aren't we receiving that money and keeping our high streets alive?"Aside from the financial effects fewer shoppers means a wider impact on the environment.

Edith Reeve runs 'The Cut Back' in Saltburn, an eco-friendly store and social hub. She's worried that the progress made recently - and awareness - is now being lost.

She said: "It's scary, it's very scary and it's hard to keep hopeful to be really honest with you.

"After COP26, and the government making all these promises and thinking actually we could still make a difference here.

"People can see the impact that shopping in this way can have. But then when the cost of living has risen so much and families are struggling so much."

A spokesperson for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: "No government can control the global factors pushing up the cost of everyday essentials, but we will act wherever we can to mitigate rising costs."We have backed businesses all of sizes with an unprecedented package of support over the past few years, including through a tax cut worth up to £1,000 for around half a million small businesses, as well as the largest ever cut to fuel duty."