New Leaf Spotlight on…
A brand new and very smart zero waste shop opened on Parchment Street in Winchester towards the end of September, and we popped in to have a chat with the owner Katie.
Katie decided to take the plunge and open a zero waste shop after reading articles and watching documentaries about pollution and climate change. She became concerned about the effect her own way of life might be having on the natural world and decided to try to do something about it. Finding good eco alternatives and unpackaged items on the high street was almost impossible, so she decided that the best solution was to open her own shop.
Zero waste shopping at Earthian is easy. If you can, take your own containers – if you find yourself there without them don’t worry, Katie supplies paper bags and she has jars and glass bottles for sale. Give your container to Katie first, so it can be weighed, then refill and it will be weighed again. This applies to both dried goods and liquids – you only pay for the contents. At Earthian you can refill liquid laundry, bathroom and cleaning products, and the dried goods include coffee, pasta, rice, grains, cereals, fruit, nuts, seeds, pulses, beans, herbs and spices.
There are a few companies Katie is particularly excited to be working with. Her laundry liquids come from two UK based family run businesses, SESI and Miniml. Both take back their containers, sanitise and reuse them in a closed loop system, and all their vegan, plant-based formulas are free from SLS, SLES, parabens and other nasties.
You will find Forest Edge coffee in stock at Earthian. This is roasted in the New Forest, and the company has sustainability at their heart – working to ensure the traceability of their beans, with fair trade and sustainable farming practices. The blends are roasted using solar power, and the coffee is delivered in containers which are returned, washed and reused.
Katie stocks JJ Giraffe Happy Pads, which are reusable 100% cotton sanitary pads handmade in Eastleigh. She carries reusable wipes and nursing pads from the same company, and hopes to stock a wider range very soon. She is also pleased to stock Proud Mary soaps, which are made in Alton. They are handmade using a traditional cold press method and are vegan, SLS free and long lasting. You will find more bathroom products in the shop, as well as UK produced toilet roll which can be purchased in a recyclable box free of packaging. Almost everything in the shop is organic, but pricing is a priority and Katie has tried to ensure items are still affordable, as well as good quality and earth-friendly.
Earthian is a drop-off point for Terracycle, a company that collects hard to recycle materials and makes new products from them. At the moment a limited number of collection programmes are open but Katie is collecting milk bottle tops and bread bags for now and intends to expand the scheme in the future.
Katie hopes that Earthian will grow based around the community and with community involvement. She invites customers and potential customers to ask questions and make requests for stock they would like to see. When it is possible she also hopes to start hosting small events such as litter picks, and sessions where people can learn new skills such as mending clothes and making their own cleaning products.
Nearly all deliveries for the shop arrive in recyclable packaging, and any hard to recycle plastic, such as lining for oily or sticky foods, is saved for Terracycle. The strong paper sacks some products are delivered in are offered to customers for reuse. Katie’s goal for the shop is to become accredited as a zero waste to landfill business – she wants the shop and business practices to be sustainable. This is her own personal challenge for her first year in business – we wish her the best of luck and hope New Leaf members will support her endeavours.