Shopping with a conscience
Shop Zero will offer green options for earth-conscious customers who want to leave no trace with their consumption. Marchelle Abrahams chats to the woman behind the initiative.
The Zero Waste movement is steadily picking up steam, and it’s all thanks to a woman called Bea Johnson. The blogger and author is the authority on a waste-free lifestyle, which she has been practising since 2008.
After watching an episode of Carte Blanche featuring Johnson, former school teacher Janneka Blake got her light bulb moment.
“That’s when I realised that there was a gap in the South African market for a space with everything you need to reduce your footprint at one store,” says the environmental advocacy campaigner.
Zero waste supermarkets are now the go-to grocery stores for shoppers who fancy themselves eco warriors.
From Denver to New York, most of these pop-up stores are becoming part of the landscape in trendy shopping villages. And now, Janneka Blake wants to add Cape Town to the equation. But as with all dreams, there’s a stumbling block that Blake is looking to overcome - financial backing.
She’s now started a crowdfunding campaign with a dream goal of R100 000. Currently, they are sitting on just under R8 000 with 19 backers on board. Their tipping point is R30 000 which will be the deciding factor if the project goes ahead, or not.
So how will the Shop Zero plan work?
Shop Zero will offer green options for earth-conscious customers who want to leave no trace with their consumption, explains Blake. The shop will stock healthy alternatives to the products available at standard supermarkets and will offer customers non-toxic, preservative-free groceries, organic and locally grown produce, green body care and household products without disposable packaging.
But the biggest drawcard, Blake hopes, will be their incentive scheme - Shop Zero will include an area for DIY classes, where they’ll host tutorials and workshops in store.
The idea is flourishing in the rest of the world. But the big question is: is Cape Town ripe for the picking?
Blake seems hopeful, pointing out that “more and more people are realising that what the world needs today is less consumption and less waste”.
If there’s one reason to support the initiative, Blake says it should be the rewards of living trash-free. “There is such growing demand for a space offering green options where you can shop knowing that everything you purchase will never go to a landfill,” she concludes.
* Contribute to the Shop Zero crowdfunding campaign: https://thundafund.com/project/shopzero
* Follow them on social media: https://www.facebook.com/shopzero.sa/ and https://twitter.com/shopzero_sa