MEET THE OWNER OF THE BARE ALTERNATIVE
The Bare Alternative is a zero waste and refill shop bringing affordable, package-free shopping to Sheffield. They sell a variety of food and household items to help you reduce waste. In this Q&A we asked owner Mathew Reynolds what the driving force was behind him starting The Bare Alternative, and how he overcomes setbacks. Here’s what he had to say…
Tell us about your business.
The Bare Alternative opened in November 2018 on Abbeydale Road, S7. I had heard about the trend of zero waste shops and after visiting a few and seeing what was possible, I wanted to provide this in my local community. In December 2020, we moved into a new and larger shop due to the overwhelmingly positive response from the local community.
What types of products do you sell?
We sell a wide range of package-free foods ranging from dried staples such as pasta, rice, fruit and nuts to vegan alternatives like Baked Beans with Vegan Sausages. Some zero waste shops focus only on food items, but we also stock a range of everyday items like washing up liquid to deodorant and bamboo toothbrushes.
Why is zero waste so important?
Zero waste can be hard to achieve in today’s world but looking to live more sustainably can come in many forms. At ‘The Bare Alternative’, we aim to provide an alternative way of shopping without unnecessary packaging. This helps remove packaging that is either hard to recycle or not recyclable at all, but also reduces food waste as you can purchase the quantity that suits your needs.
What’s your top zero waste sustainability tip?
Look for items that you buy regularly and see where you can buy these items package-free, or other sustainable alternatives such as reusable make-up wipes to replace disposable cotton pads.
What are your top tips for students wanting to live a more sustainable lifestyle?
Start small with one or two things that can have a big impact. Try not to take on too much at once as you can find it hard to make a change to your lifestyle altogether and may not continue with the changes you make.
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