Save the planet whilst you shop at Tunbridge Wells' brand new zero waste store - The Zero Waste Company.
One of the most devastating problems facing our planet at the moment is the amount of rubbish we create from the products we buy every day. In fact, it’s estimated that only 9% of globally-produced plastic has been recycled since production boomed in the 1950s.
Wanting to make it easier for shoppers in Tunbridge Wells to reduce their impact on the planet, Holly Watson and Charlotte Bower decided to open the city’s first zero-waste shop – The Zero Waste Company.
Co-founders Holly and Charlotte wanted to create store that encouraged people to limit the amount of waste they produce, offering them a one-stop-shop selling everything from food and beauty to cleaning products and household items.
The duo wanted to “create a welcoming space that had character, inspired our customers to look around and take in everything we have to offer, whether they were at the beginning of their journey into going plastic-free or seasoned pros” by offering as “large and varied a range as possible.”
At The Zero Waste Company, you’ll find everything you need to lead a zero-waste lifestyle from fresh fruit and veg, ethical skincare to liquid refills for cleaning and household toiletries and even children’s toys and dog food.
Aware that “veganism and sustainability often go hand in hand”, and with Holly herself being vegan, it was important to the pair that they were able to showcase as many vegan items as possible at the store.
The store stocks a range of products from local vegan suppliers with an ethical approach to their products. As well as a large range of organic vegetables from local farmers, you’ll find a range of vegan cheeses from the likes of Tyne Chease and Food by Sumear, an ex-dairy cheesemaker from Bristol.
The fridge is packed with vegan goodies including a number of vegan butters from Mouse’s Favourite, creams and custards, pasta sauces and organic kefir.
If you fancy a break from shopping then be sure to check out the store’s café which offers a wide and varied range of vegan cakes and baked goods from local bakers Olli’s Cakes and Scandibakes.
Customers will find it hard to choose which piece of cake to enjoy as flavours include Coffee and Walnut, Banana and Salted Caramel, Chocolate Orange, Oreo and a gluten-free Carrot Cake. You can even enjoy a vegan hot chocolate with your sweet treat!
The sweet stuff doesn’t end there as they also stock vegan sweets such as retro sour ones (think Haribo, but vegan) and peanut brittle from Yum In Tum sweets, as well as delicious chocolate by Rowdy and Fancy’s – a local chocolate maker.
Speaking about the inspiration to open the new store in a statement sent to Vegan Food & Living, Holly said: “Charlotte and I met while freelancing when our sons were 8 months old (they’re now 19 months!) We were both trying to go zero waste, and had the idea to open the store when we realised just how limited the offerings were in our town.
“It’s been incredibly hard getting it off the ground, with months and months of planning, and then the physical hard graft of getting the shop ready! But ultimately what we now have is everything we could have hoped for. The response to the shop in 3 short months has been so overwhelming, and meeting new customers who turn into regulars is the most fulfilling part!
“Running my own business was always a dream of mine, and I still get that little shiver of excitement when someone walks in the shop and buys something! Being able to offer such a range of options to fellow vegans, as well as educating people on all of the amazing products we have still feels like a privilege.”