Inside London’s latest zero-waste shop

Nestled in Hackney Downs Studios – the little community of artists and independent businesses between Dalston and Clapton – Re: Store is the latest in a string of plastic-free shops in London.

Having opened its doors three months ago, the owner Megan Adams, 28, said that she was inspired by the two existing zero waste shops in London:

“At the beginning of last year I made a resolution to use less plastic and I became obsessed with that. I realised how hard it was and I needed to find sustainable alternatives at all costs. I liked the zero-waste store concept and I decided to do my own. I left my corporate job in November to set up Re: Store in Hackney Studios in February

“Hackney has the highest density of shops with a refill section and that matches the density of the number of eco-friendly customers. There’s a lot of people interested in sustainability in Hackney –  people seeking out those options.” 

As well as reducing packaging waste, everything here is locally sourced and customers can buy as much or as little they like: helping to limit food waste.

Re: Store offers a wide range of sustainable lifestyle products from a mix of well-known brands and some new and local producers. Customers can find metal reusable food containers, Chilly’s water bottles, Georganics dental range and award-winning vegan cheese from Kinda Co and natural soaps made in London.

Adams told ELL that the best ways to go zero waste would be to try new and sustainable alternatives like toothpaste in a glass jar or switching to natural deodorant or even bringing cotton bags to shop. She recommends buying reusable coffee cups and water bottles to cut down on plastic waste. 

The 28-year-old said: “The term zero-waste can seem a little bit daunting and overwhelming and I must admit that I’m not completely zero-waste. But I believe everybody can reduce their plastic use.

“It requires a bit of preparation and surely doesn’t suit every lifestyle but once you get into the swing of things it’s much easier and you do get used to it.

“Hopefully there will be more and more shops like this one and it will soon just be a matter of going around the corner for most people, rather than having to travel far.”

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