Zero Store is actually two stores based in Warwickshire – one in Leamington Spa and the other in Stratford Upon Avon. These two zero waste shops were founded by Charlie Demetriou and are one of our biggest stockists. Charlie is a hard-working shop keeper on a personal mission to help her customers live a less wasteful life. She first opened in 2018 and has managed to grow – in spite of all of the business challenges that have happened in the UK since then.
Finding the amount of (often non-recyclable) packaging on virtually everything overwhelmingly depressing, Charlie set out to open a zero waste shop with zero plastic, zero packaging and locally sourced goods. She wanted to provide a much needed service that aligned with her families’ already conscious lifestyle and help other people to be able to buy better.
We love having Zero Store as a stockist of our zero waste hair care. Mostly because Charlie manages to bring a lot of colour, lightness and fun into her business (her Instagram posts are brilliant) while also raising awareness around the serious issue of pollution and climate change. The world really could do with more Charlies!
1. Why did you open your zero waste shop?
I’ve always been interested in a low impact life by trying to reduce food waste and buy second hand, but after having my first son I started to notice all the “stuff” that came with kids and the impact single use products were having on the environment. I then began to make small changes every month (starting with cloth nappies and wipes, then loose fruit and veg, then shampoo bars!) and realised there were no shops selling sustainable food and cleaning refills locally. So Zero came about mainly because I wanted it for myself!
2. Why did you decide to make sustainability a big part of your small business?
From the very start eliminating single use plastic was the absolute priority for us. However, I soon started to see the benefits in choosing other sustainable elements to what we do.
Wherever possible, we choose small producers first (all UK based and many Warwickshire based) but even with the bigger suppliers we ensure they have a fully traceable supply chain and social contribution in what they do. I do the research so customers don’t have to!
3. Which steps have you taken behind-the-scenes to be even more eco-friendly with your zero waste shop?
Choosing local suppliers enables us to reduce the carbon footprint of what we offer, and for many things we have a circular supply – empty containers which are returned to be washed and refilled (as is with our Hairy Jayne liquids!).
Our energy supplier is a renewable one of course, but we have recently switched our insurance provider to Naturesave, who have so far given away over £1m to grassroots environmental projects.
4. Tell us a little about the best-selling products in your zero waste shops
Our Fill Co cleaning refills are very popular in store, as everyone has a bottle of some kind they can start off with. Our most popular body care item is the natural deodorants, they last ages so many people have made the switch to those over the years.
5. What's your personal favourite zero waste product, and why?
It’s really difficult for me to choose just one - as everything we stock is thoroughly researched and tested by myself so I love everything!
My reusable water bottle and coffee cup are the most frequently used. These are vital for going about my day. The Hairy Jayne products are my most favourite scent in the shops, and the Tony’s Chocolate is the tastiest!
6. Which organisation or brand who has most inspired you on your sustainability journey?
Over the years I’ve been very much inspired by the incredible bag company Wyatt & Jack, who up-cycle bouncy castles and inflatables into sturdy and colourful bags. It felt like something to be very proud of when we became one of their stockists!
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