On November 20, Edinburgh saw the opening of its first zero-waste supermarket. Hidden away in Haymarket (200 Morrison Street to be precise) is The Eco Larder. This gem of a shop is the brainchild of Stephanie & Matt Foulds (who are also the founders of Sunshine Yoga in Gorgie). They expressed that just a few months ago they became all too aware of the amount of plastic packaging made up their weekly shop and that something needed to change. After the birth of their daughter, a hunt for the perfect location and some serious crowd-funding the dream finally became a reality.
Stepping into the shop on Thursday, I was pleasantly surprised by how busy it was for a midweek afternoon. The buzz inside only went to show that there is so clearly an environmentally-conscious community within Edinburgh who have been waiting for a shop like this. Once through the door, the atmosphere was warm and smelt of store cupboards and spices in all the best ways.
In the centre of the front part of the store is a large table full of fresh vegetables such as carrots, onions and potatoes. The walls at either side of the length of the shop are utterly covered in dispensers, jars, jugs and trays of all sorts of grains, liquids, beans, you name it. From couscous to quinoa, coffee to popcorn, even red wine vinegar and agave syrup, this shop has it all the necessities plus a few bonus goodies.
Walking through into the back section of the shop, I found an intriguing selection of household products and even clothes! I was delighted to see the Eco Larder stocking Lucy&Yak dungarees, (a personal favourite brand of mine that everyone should look into). There are soaps, toilet rolls, shaving brushes and even cleaning products at one side of the room, and some fancy spices and seasonings at the other.
It’s recommended that you take your own containers to do your shopping here, so you can fill your own jars and boxes with as much or as little of the products you would like – it’s all priced on weight. However, if you don’t own any containers, you can pick some up whilst you’re there for very reasonable prices.
Opening this kind of shop in Edinburgh is truly fantastic. Their business is inspiring, accessible, and most of all, welcoming. I hope all the best for Matt, Stephanie and the rest of their family and for the future of their business. For the sake of our planet, I dream that small-scale shops like this become the norm, and we can finally see the back of plastic packaging.
Image: Saskia Peach