Waste Not, Want Not: Taking a closer look at Abbeydale Road’s plastic-free shop The Bare Alternative
The Bare Alternative is a zero waste and refill shop providing affordable, plastic-free shopping to Abbeydale Road and the surrounding areas.
Established in November 2018, The Bare Alternative soon outgrew its initial premises due to the popularity of the refill concept, particularly in the local community around Abbeydale Road. In November 2020, the shop moved into a new home, becoming Sheffield’s largest retailer of refill and eco-friendly products. The extra space has given the team an opportunity to add different product ranges and increase the range of refill items. Stocking up your pantry with the best quality produce of those harder to refill items is now possible, and The Bare Alternative is always listening to customer feedback to provide more items that are hard to buy without large amounts of non-recyclable packaging.
One of the shop’s aims is to make packaging-free shopping accessible to all. It offers a wide selection of wholefoods and cooking ingredients for making healthy meals, alongside a range of natural cleaning products, everyday sustainable alternatives such as bamboo toothbrushes and steel straws, and much more, to help everyone reduce waste and live a more sustainable lifestyle. Everything is zero waste (free from packaging) so all shoppers need to do is remember to ‘BYOC’ – bring their own container!
Owner Mathew Reynolds told us: “With the known issues of plastic pollution in our rivers and oceans, it is so important that we look for ways of preventing this from happening. At the end of our first year of trading, we helped the local community save just short of 4000kg of plastic waste, compared to buying pre-packaged, and we’ve been working hard to find new suppliers and products to increase that number.”
The Bare Alternative is founded on an ethical and eco-friendly ethos, focused on creating ways to reduce waste and prevent the need for unnecessary packaging which is then sent to landfill or incinerators. Shopping this way also means you can buy only what you need, keeping costs down and reducing food waste too. The shop’s team put a lot of effort into researching the products they sell, ensuring that they fit within this ethos so customers can be confident they are making a difference. This approach helps to reduce every shopper’s environmental impact, and ultimately tackle the climate crisis with positive action.