Continuing our guide series we’ve put together the very best in sustainable shopping experiences and projects in the North East. If you are looking for zero waste and plastic free shopping or want to know where in Yorkshire to get locally sourced food this is the guide for you to find exactly what you need to shop sustainably.
Food Hall ‒ 121 Eyre St, Sheffield, S1 4QW
“At the heart of Foodhall lies the belief that everyone should have access to food and company”
One of Sheffieldʼs many surplus food projects, the Food Hall operates a ʻPut a bit in and pay-as-you-feel’ donation model. They take donations of would-be-waste from local traders and cook fresh hot meals each day, opening times between 10am and 3pm. The Food Hall manages to turn out 500 meals a month into their local community using food which would have been thrown away.
Don’t miss their Wednesday Plates night, where they have evening dining available. Each week a new team of friends/volunteers takes over the kitchen to cook up something new.
Waste Not ‒ The Grange, Station Road, Burley in Wharfedale, LS29 7ND
Waste Not is Burley residentsʼ best option for living a minimal waste life. Waste Not sells packaging free products, so bring your own containers and fill up on detergents, soups and stock up the cupboards with dried foods. They also stock a good range of sustainable products like beeswax wraps and bamboo toothbrushes.
There’s been a lot of interest recently in packaging free parties and Waste Not has a packaging free party kit for hire, including:
reusable paper and cotton decorations
sustainable party favours.
REfUSE ‒ 143b Front Street, Chester-le-Street, DH3 3AU
“We REfUSE to be part of a wasteful food system. We need to RE-think. We REscue, REclaim and RE-use, so that good food doesn’t become REfUSE.”
Durhamʼs branch of The Real Junk Food Project, this rapidly growing network of organisations making fantastic use of what would be food waste. They intercept food before it is turned to waste and make healthy meals from it with a ‘Pay As You Feel’ philosophy.
This online store offers a complete range of packaging free foods, herbs, spices, nuts and household items. They also run popup shops at events and markets bringing their refillable loose foods to events all over Yorkshire.
Rebecca Lodge has implemented some excellent sustainable ideas for a primarily online store; they Home delivery is limited to HG1 postcodes because all products are delivered by foot or bicycle. Orders for collection can be sent to:
Alans Naturally ‒ 9 South Street, Hull, HU1 3QG
A rather old school shop which stocks some good loose rice, lentils, nuts and herbs. Make sure you pop next door into Alans Fruiterers, which you simply cant miss!
The Jar Tree ‒ Leeds Kirkgate Market, Unit BS1, Leeds LS2 7HY
Leedsʼ first packaging free shop for dry foods, homeware, cleaning supplies and toiletries. With a comprehensive range at the fill up station, Leeds residents should pop by and stock the cupboards with a good selection of rice and pasta at the weigh and pay.
Leeds has an active repair café with frequent events each month. Check out their Facebook page for more details on repair café activities and take a look at our run down of repair cafés across the UK here.
Almonds and Raisins Health and Wholefoods ‒ Grainger Market, Newcastle upon Tyne
Run by the delightful Penny and Elizabeth, this market store is definitely worth a visit. Their knowledge on the substantial range of cruelty-free products and whole foods makes it a lot easier to make informed decisions. Bring your own containers to make the most of the bulk bins for a packaging free shopping experience.
A useful resource for all things sustainable living in North East England, their local knowledge of projects, activities and zero-waste stores is well worth making the most of, is are their interesting articles on all the latest developments in sustainable buildings and construction sites around the North East.
The Paddock ‒ 7-9 Ramsay St, High Spen, Rowlands Gill, NE39 2EL
“Strong environmental ethics have always been a key driving force behind what we do right here at The Paddock. A desire to work with our natural environment to produce healthy, real food which is not only nourishing for our bodies but good for our environment too is one of the main reasons we do what we do.”
The Paddock is a family-run 6 acre smallholding that that is on a mission to provide the local community with zero waste organic food.
For their farm shop they’ve worked closely with the local farmers to select the best organic low impact produce. They have a good range of eco-friendly household products and still offer milk in glass bottles with a bottle refund scheme. The plastic free pantry should keep you stocked up with most dried goods.
Alligator Wholefoods ‒ 104 Fishergate, York, YO10 4BB
“We have been Alligator customers for years and get deliveries every week. Its a brilliant shop and a real York institution.”
Yorkʼs Alligator Wholefoods has fantastic reviews and obviously well used by the local community. With fresh organic packaging free fruits and veg. The bulk bins have a fine selection of loose foods and they also stock a range of refills for detergents and household items.
Beeches of Walkley ‒ 296, 290 South Rd, Sheffield, S6 3TE
With locally sourced meats you can reduce the food miles by coming to Beeches of Walkley. They have a large selection of loose frozen food and do detergent refills too.
Just Natural ‒ 209 Crookes, Sheffield, S10 1TE
This specialty fruit and healthy food shop stocks an impressive selection with loose dried fruit and nuts too. Their range of fruit is extensive, so you’ll definitely find the best fresh organic fruit and veg here.
Student’s Union ‒ Students Union The University of, Sheffield S10 2TG
Itʼs great to see The University of Sheffield helping its students live more sustainably by introducing a Zero Waste shop on campus. They support the needs of students in living waste free, offering loose spices, grains, legumes and dried fruit.
They also have a refill station for buying household products such as laundry detergent and soaps. It can be tough choosing sustainable options as a student on a tight budge,t but the student unionʼs zero waste shop will give Sheffield students an opportunity to choose to live sustainably.
Zero Hero ‒ 38 Garden St, Sheffield, S1 4BJ
Zero, Hero, Sheffieldʼs very latest zero waste shop, only opened up back in November 2018, launching with the goal of making zero waste living a lot more accessible. Zero Hero is part of the heartcure collective, an ambitious vegan society project from Sheffield.
Spill The Beans ‒ St Peterʼs Ave, Cleethorpes, DN35 8HF
A father and son enterprise, Spill the Beans was established as a community meeting place that could would serve locals with good quality healthy food. The loose food station has a large scoop-your-own selection of cereals, sweets, fruit, nuts and baking supplies.
Keelham Farm Shop ‒ Gargrave Road, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 1UD
We run our business by doing what ‘feels right’ – That’s hard to quantify and even harder to mass-produce, but that’s how we like it.
Keelham Farm Shop is run by their own standards; part of this involves supporting local produce with over 400 products coming from their neighboursʼ and friendsʼ farms. They strive to make a difference by providing rewarding work for local people and make sure that the community is supported with fundraising and education for schemes supporting healthy eating and environment. You’ll find packaging free locally sourced food.
The Nutshop ‒ Leeds Kirkgate Market, Kirkgate, Leeds LS2 7HH
Zero wasters in Leeds highly recommend The Nutshop in Kirkgate Market, with packaging free shopping available for nuts, oats, spices, lentils and much more. Vegans will be happy with the choice of vegan friendly chocolate.
Scoops ‒ 4 St Michael St, Malton YO17 7LJ
Bring your containers to take advantage of its bulk buying scoop bins. Be warned their idiosyncratic alternate shelf packing means you might have to dig through a couple of rows to find what you’re looking for.
Haworth Wholefoods ‒ 123 Main St, Haworth, Keighley BD22 8DP
You’ll find Haworth Wholefoods down the cobbled main street of Haworth, the shop sells a variety of wholefoods, local produce and artisan-made bread. The packaging free organic fruit and veg is largely locally sourced. With a household product refill station you’ll find all you need in this colourful wholefoods store.
They have looked into every aspect of their business and identified as many opportunities to reduce plastic in their daily practices, from only selling milk in glass bottles to providing eco-for-life bottled water which is made of plants instead of plastic.