We get asked a lot of questions about how we work, we've written the answers to a few below to help clear things up!
What is zero waste?
Zero waste is the aim to live with no waste that is harmful to the plant, mainly focusing on the avoidance of single use plastic which will outlast all of us. We recognise that this can be difficult in today's society and we are here to help make that journey a little easier. Even little changes make a big difference, and we believe together we can make a huge impact
How does it work?!
Our shop is self service, meaning you pour out or weigh our items yourself. Our food is done by weight and the liquids by volume. All the prices are written on each item and measured in grams or litres/millilitres.
Our scales are really easy to use. Simply place your container on top, press the yellow T to restore to zero -this takes the container weight off, fill up and then make a note of the weight. Write this down then press 0 to reset the scales. You can repeat this for any other items. We then work out the price at the counter for you!
The liquids are a little different in that the price is done by the volume. When bringing in your containers its helpful to keep the label as it will tell you how much it holds. However, if you don't have it, not to worry we can work it out for you! All the liquids are in easy to use pump or tap bottles which you can fill up from. Again, once filled we work out the exact price for you at the counter.
We understand that this might be a little confusing at first, we are always around to help guide you on your first time and show you the ropes!
Do I need to bring my own containers?
We recommend bringing your own containers, however we do have donated jars, bottles and paper bags that you are free to use and keep! We therefore always welcome clean donations to help other customers.
Is all your stock organic?
We try our best to stock organic goods where possible, however not all is. If a product is organic we will write this on the label!
What about Vegan?
All our cleaning liquids, soaps, shampoo, conditioners (including the bars), and personal care items are all vegan and cruelty free! The only time you will encounter non-vegan stock in the shop is our beeswax wraps and some food items - like Belgium milk chocolate raisins for example. All food is clearly labelled with any allergens and staff are always on hand to clear up any doubts.
Where do you source your stock from?
The majority of our stock including food and liquids are from Suma Wholesale Co-operative. The rest of our stock is sourced directly from the companies or makers themselves. We try our best to use the local makers, and always made in the UK.
What if you don't have what I need?
Our stock list is ever growing and we will keep the website updated with any stock changes as we go. However if you do find we don't stock something you'd really like in please let us know and we can add it to our suggestion board. This is how we make all our stock change decisions, we only supply what you need after all!
What happens to the large plastic containers that hold your liquids?
We send out empty containers back to our wholesaler Suma each week. They are made out of recycled plastic and when we send them back they're recycled again! They don't currently refill them due to issues with cleanliness/changes in products. We're working towards increasing the size of our containers as much as our space can allow to reduce this. You can read more about their packaging statement here www.suma.coop/about/packaging-statement.
We can estimate that the carbon footprint in the production of the large suma containers would be about half of what it would take to make the equivalent volume in smaller ones. We also know for sure that that ours are fully recyclable. Many of our customers re use their plastic bottles again and again also saving further energy - which is what we encourage in the shop. We also have amnesty crates where people can drop off their unwanted bottles for other customers to use to avoid purchasing a new plastic bottles.