By Eleanor Fox
“Looking at the world through a sustainability lens not only helps us ‘future proof’ our supply chain, it also fuels innovation and drives brand growth.”
Paul Polman, former CEO of the British
consumer goods company Unilever.
Sustainable & Zero waste stores
With the rise of the eco-friendly industry, more stores have opened up to tackle the problems the environment is facing. From selling zero-waste products to single-use plastic, it has become uncommon for a store not to have some products be eco-friendly, and Cardiff is no exception to this.
Cardiff offers a range of eco-conscious stores to suit all your needs, not to mention a great number of refill stores. Cardiff provides a variety of diverse stores such as Organic clothing and stores, that sell a plethora of products ranging from tea to toiletries.
With research proving that over 80% of shoppers describe themselves as ‘environmentally friendly’ and have become more sustainable over the years. The vast increase in consumers has allowed eco-friendly stores to flourish and provide people with their necessities.
Overseas Apparel is an independant clothing brand located in Queens Arcade, Cardiff.
The brand offers eco-friendly unisex clothing perfect for everyone.
Overseas Apparel are a clothing store that want to do whatever they can to support the environment, with their stock having a wide range of Eco-friendly benefits such as organic cotton, 100% recycled plastic and even using water-based inks.
They aim to create a comfortable place for people the relax in and have a laugh. They like to ensure that they provide high quality, Eco-friendly and affordable prices.
Liam Jones, owner of Overseas Apparel, states that being Eco-friendly is a lot easier than people make it out to be and that the process of making vegan and Eco-friendly clothes is a lot simpler than people think. Liam says using water-based inks, recycled plastics and printing eveerything by hand makes the process simpler and easier to make their stock whilst helping the environment at the same time.
To Liam, starting an eco-friendly business just made sense to him, mentioning that vegan products last longer and are of a more better quality and it is helping provide for the environment.
He states that they as a brand are trying to do what they can do to help others help the planet by providing numerous amounts of clothing for everyone to enjoy.
Little Green Stores
Little Green Stores in The Corp Market, Canton is a small, local refill shop.
Refill shops allows the customer to bring their own containers and jars to stock up on products such as rice and pasta, ensuring that no plastic is being used.
Reusing storage is important because everything be used again and again with zero waste rather then using materials such as plastic which aren’t biodegradable and affect the environment. As a result, there is less plastic being used and cuts out all wasteful packaging which helps us better forge a safer environment.
Little Green Stores has been open since late 2021 and has since then has become a store in which a various amount of Eco-friendly consumers have utilized to stock up on products.
Unlike some other refill stores, Little Green Stores offers customers a laundry refill station which has become very favourite-able to the local community. In addition, other products such as shampoo, conditioner and a wide variety such as lunch boxes and soap, making it a store worth taking a visit.
Beanfreaks is a small, family run Health Foods chain with three shops based around, Canton, Roath and Cardiff (Royal Arcade).
Beanfreaks offer something for everyone, selling organic food and drink, a large selection of herbal and complimentary medicines and vegan products.
Beanfreaks originated in 1978 with the first store located in Penarth by Kevin Bowles. In 1968, after reading a book about avoiding sugar, he started looking into improving his health and decided to start a whole food shop.
The family behind Beanfreaks are very passionate about being organic and decreasing the amount of chemicals in products and the choice to avoid them. Being family run, has helped grow the business as a whole by having three shops based around Cardiff, allowing customers from each corner of Cardiff to shop healthily.
Each store is run by a member of the family. Victoria Perks, owner of Beanfreaks (Royal Arcade), states that being Eco-friendly to her means ‘to care about your own environment and it can go as far as you want’ and to ‘think about the small steps that you can control’.
Beanfreaks offer everything health related in each store to help better yourself andthe environment around you and ensure that they supply everyone’s needs.
Yellow TSE is a sustainable, refill store based in Morgan Quarter, Cardiff. Being open since April 2022, this store aims to provide people withs a plastic and paperless shopping experience.
Paperless shopping is done by allowing customers to scan codes on their phone, weigh how much they would like and then checkout.
Yellow TSE sell a range of things from clothes, jewelery, candy and so much more whilst also having a cafe inside the store allowing shoppers to relax.
Owner of Yellow TSE, Tasmin Ford, explains ‘We all just need to do a little bit, you don’t need to be doing everything, it can make you feel overwhelmed, just be aware of things, be aware of where they come from.’
To her being Eco-conscious means ‘living more in harmony with your environment and leaving something better then what you turned up with’.
‘It isn’t about being Eco its about being a bit kinder to everything’
Yellow TSE wishes to provide a comfortable atmosphere where people can do work, chat and also shop for Eco-friendly products and learn about what it means to be Eco-conscious.
Secret Garden Cafe
The Secret Garden Cafe is an independent cafe located in the heart of Bute Park, the cafe is centered around environmental values and likes to ensure that they are being as Eco-friendly as possible.
The cafe like to be mindful of using disposable coffee cups and thinking about conscious choices of packaging and promoting people to bring in their own mugs by offering deals.
At The Secret Garden Cafe they find it always best to shop organic and local, the main things they think about are, is it organic? Is it fair trade? Is it local?
The cafe do everything to try to keep their carbon footprint down by using solar panels and even the sewage for the toilets goes into a tank that has natural bacteria enzymes that break down naturally.
Being based in the center in Bute Park, they aim to allow people to grab a coffee while they walk through the park. Providing refreshments, toilets and a cozy atmosphere for people to enjoy whilst being surrounded by nature.
Bird and Blend Tea co.
Bird and Blend Tea Co., is an award-winning tea company who are also based in Cardiff. Located in Castle Arcade, this store has been open since the
end of 2019, however since COVID-19 they had to close for 6 months and then did an official re-launch December 2021.
The entire company has been running since 2012 with 14 stores around the UK, helping people better understand tea and get a taste for it.
Georgia Turnbull, store manager of the store, states that being Eco-friendly to her means ‘Doing the least damage that we possibly can as an individual
‘To the company it means going out of our way to be as physically sustainable as a business model allows to be’.
Being Eco-friendly is very important to Bird and Blend Tea co, they use decomposable cups, have a scheme where they plant trees and have Eco caddies instead of tins that were mass produced. Their ingredients are all
ethically sourced and like to ensure that they are doing their bit for the environment as well as providing people with high-quality tea.
The best seller tea across the entire company is Gingerbread chai being sold a lot during the Christmas season. In addition, the best seller in Cardiff is their signature Cardiff loose leaf tea, ‘Welsh Cake Cwtch Tea’ in which people buy for friends and is very popular with tourists who of which love to enjoy with welsh cakes.