Goodness Zero Waste: Urmston's Plastic Free Shop

This blog is the third in the series of ‘Plastic free Manchester: Meet the shop owners’ interviews. Previously, I've spoken to Plentiful owner, Abbie, and Earth Friendly Rocker owner, Lauren. You can read more about why I decided to start this series here.

In this post I'll be chatting to Goodness Zero Waste owners Lucy and Tshepo. Urmston based Goodness Zero Waste opened in October 2020, and stocks everything from refillable dried foods to plastic free beauty products and more!

Tell us about Goodness Zero Waste…

We're a plastic free shop, helping people to avoid single use packaging, and we're working with local, Manchester makers wherever possible. You'll find plastic free food, beauty and household products, plus ethical gifts and other exciting features including a peanut butter machine, local honey on tap and pick and mix!

Our mission is to try and help 'making a difference more convenient'. We wanted to create a fun and immersive experience for people to try and do their bit and make this kind of shopping more mainstream. We've been open for just under a month and have been overwhelmed by all the positive responses we've had. It's great to see other people excited about the shop as much as we are!

Why did you decide to open the store?

I became increasingly aware of just how difficult it is to try and do your bit and figured that if we need to make changes, which we really do, it needs to be far more easily accessible. At the time Our Planet and War on Plastics was on TV and they were hugely motivating factors. I think it's difficult for us to appreciate the magnitude of the problem when we don't really see it, and I believe that David Attenborough is a great inspiration to us all, and highlights just how beautiful our world is and how important it is for us to look after it.

It's easy to think that as individuals we can't make much of a dent and there are still a lot of preconceptions about sustainable shopping being challenging and expensive. I felt it was important to try and overcome those barriers to show that we're all learning and that together we can make a difference!

Christmas is coming! Do you have any Christmas gifts in store?

We have lots of gifts, including a range of candles from Ancoats, Manchester (Albion Candles), bath bombs, children's books, sweet treats, a beautiful clothes line from Origin Africa and gorgeous razors from Manchester too (Shoreline). We're also putting together various Christmas hampers including a pamper set, little zero waste heroes, a snack pack and movie night and we're in discussions with some amazing local makers for solid cologne and a small ethical jewellery collection!

If you could choose your three favourite products from the store what would they be and why?

This is so difficult because we work with so many local makers which we feel is really special! If I had to choose I'd say our peanut butter is one, because it's not only delicious but it's great fun using the machine to grind your own! We also have the option of changing up the recipe so hazelnuts and cocoa nibs (like Nutella) will be on the cards at some point.

We have a small clothes range from Origin Africa which I really love. They are the UK's first not for profit fashion brand with 100% of their sales funding humanitarian projects in Africa.

And the thing we probably buy from the shop the most ourselves is Tonys Chocolonely! It's just so good and their mission is to make chocolate 100% slave fee.

What would you suggest is the easiest place to start for people on a budget who are trying to reduce their waste?

Zero Waste shopping can be glam (I've seen some beautiful cupboards!) but it also really doesn't need to be... simply save your empties and use those to refill and you'll find that you'll likely save a few pennies! Try to turn off your lights/switches/ taps to save energy and money and switch to a renewable energy supplier and you're likely to make a saving there too!

What’s next for Goodness Zero Waste?

We've had lots of new additions each week including chocolate truffles from Chorlton, skincare from Sale and tea from Salford which has just been delivered! We're also about to start to offer take away coffee from Heart and Graft and looking at potentially teaming up with a local cake maker. We're currently having a pallet stand built too, so we can offer a small range of UK grown, seasonal fruit and veg.

After lockdown we will be starting 'Meet the Maker' events, which I'm really excited about! This is to celebrate all the local makers we're working with. We will be inviting them to come down so you can meet them in the flesh and will also offer 10% off their products on that day, along with a glass of (non-alcoholic!) fizz!

Thank you to Lucy and Tshepo for providing such an insight into the world of Goodness Zero Waste! To find out more about them, visit the shop or check out their Instagram.

Pip x


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