London’s first plastic-free shop opens

Lucy Purdy

A new ‘pop-up’ shop in Hackney has banished plastic in a bid to help Londoners shop more sustainably

Offering shoppers the chance to bring their own containers, fill them and pay by weight, London’s first ever plastic-free shop opened in Hackney in September.

Beginning life as a ‘pop-up’ – temporary – shop, Bulk Market stocks more than 300 products, from dry goods and homemade pasta to natural ingredients for use in beauty products. Items lining the shelves have been sourced from within a 50-mile radius, many from social enterprises, co-operatives and community farms, and are free from big-name brands.

I wanted to support the right businesses and to shop without creating any waste, but there wasn’t anything like that in London

The team now hopes to raise enough money through crowdfunding for a permanent space, which will include a beehive, a ‘commercial-grade compost machine’, and space for classes in DIY. Building materials for the premises will be upcycled or diverted from landfill, including theatre fabric, and shop fittings made from offcuts of metal.

 

Image: Lisa Devlin

“This idea came from my own needs,” said Bulk Market CEO and founder Ingrid Caldironi. “I wanted to support the right businesses and to shop without creating any waste, but there wasn’t anything like that in London. So I’ve decided to take the leap.”


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