How Zéro is Bringing Zero-Waste Living to Wimbledon
A new store joined Centre Court Shopping Centre at the end of last year, bringing with it a trailblazing new movement which could change the way that we shop.
Zéro is Wimbledon’s first zero-waste shop, where all products are sold in bulk or without disposable packaging and, where possible, come from organic or fair-trade farming and from local producers. Simply bring your own containers and fill them to the level you want!
Previously located at Merton Abbey Mills, the zero-waste shop offers a simple alternative to excessive single-use packaging consumption with a wide range of ready-to-go bulk items, including: vegan and palm-oil-free shampoo bars, recycled toilet paper and organic salted vanoffee cashews.
We sat down (virtually of course) with one of the founders of the store, Alicia, to find out more about the new innovative store.
Tell us more about Zéro and where the inspiration for the store came from…
“In July 2018, we joined the “Plastic Free July” challenge and tried to give up on single-use plastic for 1 month. To our surprise the challenge turned out to be a daily uphill struggle and we realised that we couldn’t be the only ones who felt this way! We drew our inspiration for Zéro from the continental European model of zero-waste grocery shopping, where there is still a culture of going to specialised shops for individual items e.g. bakery for bread, cheesemonger for cheese, etc. We used to shop in such establishments when we lived in France and Italy and thought there was no reason why the model should not be replicable in the UK. After all, this is how all shops used to be in this country as well before supermarkets monopolised the market!”
Why did you choose Wimbledon as a location for relocation?
After 1 and a half years at Merton Abbey Mills in South Wimbledon, we wanted to find a bigger unit in a more central location. This has enabled us to retain some of our customers, which was very important to us whilst also reaching out to many many more. We believe that the idea of zero-waste living must become more mainstream and having a shop in a major shopping centre in a place like Wimbledon will hopefully help achieve this. Moreover, the move has allowed us to increase our product lines, as the new unit is larger, making it easier for customers to find everything they need and cut down on waste in more areas of their life.
What products do you and your customers love best?
We like to think that people find our range appealing as a whole! But that said, we have a large choice of household cleaning products available for refills, which have always been very popular. We love our new range of grains and pulses from Hodmedod’s which are all grown in the UK and are helping contribute to a resurgence in the popularity of traditional grains and pulses such as carlin peas and spelt.
How do you see your store contributing to the future of the zero-waste movement in Wimbledon?
We would like to think that our shop will inspire people and even other businesses to make a difference. Our shop is not only a place where people can find eco-friendly products, it is also an area where new ideas and conversations about sustainability can germinate. We have already learned so much from our customers, some of whom are also involved in other sustainable groups and activities in the borough and we hope we can continue to be part of this movement!
As an essential store, Zéro remains open over lockdown so pay them a visit and begin your journey to a zero-waste lifestyle! Many other independent stores have joined Centre Court over the last few months – click here to find out more so you can head down when they re-open.