Here is my (ongoing) list of places in London where you can either bulk buy, or find zero-waste friendly products. I haven’t visited all of these places, some I have just looked up online. But I aim to visit each and every one eventually and update the descriptions so they are more in depth.
Before starting, there are a couple of things I want to mention before looking at specific areas:
- Milk delivery – If you drink milk and want to go zero waste, have a think about going back to old-school milk delivery! Return your used milk bottles to your doorstep so that they can be collected, sterilised and used all over again. There are different companies that work in different areas. Try Milk and More, Mylk Man (nut milks), or Parker Dairies.
- Use local stores – In every area of London there are local shops that have loose fruit and veg, just take a canvas tote bag with you. Similarly, butchers are often happy to not package your food if you ask and hand over your own bowl or tin.
- Reyouzable – Reyouzable is a new online zero-waste/bulk buy delivery scheme. They have recently expanded their list of postcodes that they deliver to. Check whether yours is on there! Postcodes: WC1, WC2, EC1, EC2, EC4, EC3, N1C, W1, W2, W6, W8, W9, W10, W11, W12, SW1, SW3, SW4, SW5, SW6, SW7, SW8, SW9, SW10, SW11, SW12, SW13, SW15, SW16, SW17, SW18, SW19, E1, E2, E3, E4, E5, E7, E8, E9, E10, E11, E14, E15, E17, E18, SE1, SE4, SE8, SE10, SE11, SE15, SE16, SE17, N1, N4, N5, N6, N7, N8, N10, N16, N17, N15, N19, NW1, NW3, NW5, NW6, NW8. Simply give them a container of your own (or buy an initial one from them when you first sign up), let them know what you what produce you want it filled with, and they will return to you.
- Online stores – There are also online stores where you can buy zero waste products. For example Etsy has many sellers making zero waste makeup and toiletries. Always request plastic free packaging!
I myself am trying to go vegan, but I have included places that include dairy and meat as well, in case you are looking for that. Similarly, I would eventually like to start buying more organic produce but for the moment my budget won’t stretch to that, so again not all the places listed offer purely organic produce.
Where to buy zero-waste/bulk buy in London:
Southwark – Borough MarketA variety of different stalls offering choices of products. This includes plastic-free products such as a refillable wine stall (Borough Wines), a refillable milk stall (Hook and Son), cheeses, meats, deli products, fruit and veg, oils etc. 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL.
Mayfair – Fortnum and Mason
Have a huge variety of bulk teas. You can purchase your first tea in one of their tins, which are very pretty – see image below! (although does have a tiny bit of plastic film around the lid when you buy). If not bring in any container you have. They have 41 types of black (tinned) tea alone! 181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER.
Marble Arch – As Nature Intended
Has bulk buy grains, cereals, nuts, seeds, savoury snacks, coffee (and on-site grinder) and more. 36 Edgware Rd, London W2 2EH.
Kentish Town – Earth Natural Foods
Somewhere I have passed on a few occasions, but always too late in the evening for it to be open! I am desperate to go inside as it looks so promising from the window. Their website summarises their stock: ‘Organic fruit and vegetables, fresh bread, honey, home-made takeaways, oils, dried fruits, organic champagnes, wines and beers, artisan cheeses, dairy produce, toiletries PLUS loose teas, coffees, nuts, seeds, beans, grains, herbs and spices, supplements, herbal and homeopathic remedies.’ Address: 200-202 Kentish Town Rd, London NW5 2AE.
Camden – Whole Foods
I went here a while back and can’t remember if they had bulk buy refill bins, but I will find out soon. I do know that they have resh bakery and veg however, as well as toiletries etc. 49 Parkway, NW1 7PN.
Highbury – Da Mario
Zero waste fresh pasta!! Not a traditional zero waste shop, it is an italian deli, but they offer bulk buy fresh pasta (mmm), cheeses and deli items. Make sure you hand over your container at the start however, as otherwise they will wrap it up. 34 Highbury Park, Highbury, N5 2AA.
The Three Mother Earths:
I love these three little stores, with a variety of refillable’s but also eco-friendly beauty products and even some bamboo clothing. My favourite thing about these stores are their organic olive oil refills! They also have refillable salt, herbs, grains, pulses and even health food powders which are usually super hard to find in bulk (e.g. maca powder, spirulina).
Highbury and Islington – Mother Earth 1
282-284 St Paul’s Road (just up the road from the station the corner from the station). Below/connected to The Healthy Living Centre.
Canonbury – Mother Earth 2
Smallest of the three, but with a cafe attached. 5 Albion Parade, N16 9LD.
Newington Green – Mother Earth 3
101-103 Newington Green Road, Islington, N1 4QY.
Stoke Newington – Borough Wines
Refill your wine! Choose from red, white and rosé. The wine selection changes every six weeks or so, but always costs the same – £6.50 for our house pours and £9 for the premium range. Bring your own re-usable bottle or buy one from them for £2.50. 163 Stoke Newington Church St, Stoke Newington, London N16 0UL.
Stoke Newington – Growing Communities Farmers Market
I love growing communities! Organic veg and fruit from local, london or ….. based farmers! This market takes place every Saturday 10am-2.30pm where you can buy fresh seasonal fruit and veg. St Paul’s Church, Stoke Newington, N16 7UY. Also check out whether you live close to their veg bag scheme!
Tufnell Park, Holloway – Bumblebee Natural Foods
Loose tea, coffees, herbs & spices. Eco-cleaning product refill station. Self-selection nut counter provides a wide assortment of raw and roasted nuts and seeds. Also has a bakery and deli. Sells vegan wines with low-sulphur and sulphur-free varieties! 33 Brecknock Road, N7 0BT.
Harringay – Harringay Local Store
Eco-cleaning product re-fill. Organic Veg. 581C Green Lanes, Harringay N8 0RG.
Harringay – Baldwins Butchers
Sell loose eggs if you eat them. 469 Green Lanes, Harringay, N4 1AJ.
Muswell Hill – Unpackaged at Planet Organic
Have a variety of self-serve refill stations. Have a variety of items including organic cereals, chocolate, dried fruit, grains, pulses, nuts and seeds and Ecover cleaning products. 111-117 Muswell Hill Rd, N10 3HS.
Dalston – Bulk Market
Very exciting! A refill market stall in Dalston. They are in the process of relocating to a new permanent store this January 2018. ‘Most of our produce comes under 50 miles radius from our shop and is UK grown or made to organic standards, or are certified by Soil Association. We don’t overstock, we don’t waste food or resources in disposable packaging, and we support the principle of the Circular Economy and Closed Loop.’ 494 Kingsland Road, E8 4AE.
Spitalfields – As Nature Intended
Has bulk buy grains, cereals, nuts, seeds, savoury snacks, coffee (and on-site grinder) and more. 132 Commercial St, Spitalfields, E1 6NG.
Various areas across North East – Growing Communities Veg Bag Scheme
I love Growing Communities and their veg bag scheme. Unfortunately as I have now moved to south London I am outside of the catchment area for this scheme. But if you live in the North East check it out!! Growing Communities is a not-for-profit scheme that gets produce from local (many even London based!) organic vegetable growers and forms different types of veg bags that you can order. You then choose your pick up location nearest to you, and pick up a fresh bag of local veg every week. I think they also do fruit/veg bags as well if you would also like that. Because the produce isn’t being delivered to your door, the cost is much cheaper than other types of organic local veg boxes! Starting prices are around £7 a week for a small bag of veg. There is a tiny bit of plastic on their salad, but other wise this is a great option!
I am not very familiar with North West – sorry! But I will do some searching very soon. I am aware that there is a Whole Foods in both Kensington and Fulham. There is also The Spice Shop in Blenheim where you can find spices. I will visit the area soon and update this when I can. If you have any suggestions please get in contact!
Brixton – Brixton Whole Foods
Not to be confused with the chain Whole Foods, Brixton Whole Foods is an independent shop. As the name suggests, they offer a variety of whole foods, including bulk-buy health food powders, herbs and spices (see image below). 59 Atlantic Rd, Brixton, London SW9 8PU.
Newington – Fareshares
This shop sounds super interesting and would like to go check it out soon! Fareshares describes itself as a non-profit-making community project serving wholefoods to the community. It is run by volunteers. 56 Crampton Street, London SE17 3AE.
‘FareShares stocks: organic vegetables & fruits; grains, beans & pulses; fresh baked & sprouted breads; dried fruits & nuts; etc. Tamari, olive oil, peanut butter. We have a wide range of herbs and sea vegetables! If we haven’t got what you want and it can be ordered from the wholesalers, Suma & Infinity, we’ll get it for you. Most stock is organic and everything is bought in bulk and sold as cheaply as possible. We add only a small mark-up to cover running costs… The store is open to all & operates on a DIY basis: bring your own bags; weigh out and price up the goods you want; add up the total cost of the things you’re buying.’
Brockley – Brockley market
Saturdays 10am-2pm. Seasonal fresh fruit and veg and various other food stalls. Lewisham Way, Brockley, London SE4 1UT.
Battersea – Hetu
I am so excited to visit this, and it isn’t too far away from me yay! Hetu opened on the 3rd December 2017 and is a store that is both zero-waste and vegan – the dream! 201 St John’s Hill, SW11 1TH.
Balham – As Nature Intended
My current local bulk buy store. But it is unfortunately now closed due to the landlord wanting to refurb the site, booo! 😦 the website states that they should be re-opening late 2018. Has bulk buy refill stations with grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruits etc. 186-188 Balham High Road, SW12 9BP.
Other stores all over that offer certain products:
There are also a few shops that pop up so often in London that it would be hard to list them all by area. Instead I have named them below:
Sell a variety of loose herbs. Also sell toiletries in beautiful blue glass bottles, which are lovely to re-use after.
LushSell a variety of package free soaps, shampoos conditioners etc. You can also buy a cute little tin to put them in. The ingredients aren’t to everyones taste so check them out before buying. Vegan.
Most Holland and Barratt shops offer a small range of bulk-buy snacks such as chocolate covered raisins, dried fruit and nuts.
London has a huge variety of farmers markets. I have listed some of the bigger ones above, but check out the London Farmer’s Market website to see whats near you!
If anyone knows of other places please get in touch! I would love to keep extending this list.