Covid-19 Sustainability

Zero Exeter makes plastic free shopping during a pandemic possible

Zero Exeter is a plastic free shop based in Exeter, Devon. They’re a small independent family run business with a HUGE ambition to ensure zero waste. Faye and her husband Ernesto are passionate about making organic and fairtrade products available to everyone. 

Not only do they stock over 300 plastic free and organic foods, but they also stock lifestyle and interiors products too. These are products the family use and love themselves, and are sourced from local independents. 

plastic free food on display at zero exeter

The shop itself is made from recycled materials, which straight away shows the values they have. The store sign is made 100% from landfill saved pieces and Faye says “It reminds me that beauty is everywhere.” 

zero exeter shopfront

After opening just over a year ago, like many other businesses, they were faced with the difficulties Coronavirus presented. However, this did not stop them. 

Taking a few days to evaluate the situation, they decided to keep going and offer people a plastic free shopping solution. With many of the big supermarkets running low on stock, limiting products and huge queues, people were looking for alternatives. 

owner of zero exeter faye holding a zero waste box

Overnight they transferred their entire business online and purchased biodegradable paper bags to ensure their service was still as eco-friendly as possible, even during times of a crisis. 

In just one week they (and their shoppers of course) saved over 1,000 plastic bags from going to landfill, the kind of positive news we all need to be hearing!

Faye created ‘Zero Waste Food Boxes’ with a couple of different variations to suit your family size. You place your order online, choose a collection time and Faye (working just by herself!) packs it up and leaves it out on the table for you to collect – all contact free. 

Faye says “This made our business ten times more labour intensive and meant we lost an average of 70% of our income but we stayed plastic free. Staying true and honest to the reason we opened is one main positive we’re taking away from this.”

“The store wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for our incredible customers, who have been so kind as we learnt a new system overnight.” 

As of the 8th June they have announced plans to reopen, but are going to be introducing measures to keep customers and themselves safe. The great news is for people still wishing to use click and collect, they will be keeping this service. 

If you’re in the Exeter area make sure you take a look at what they are doing and give them a follow on Instagram and Facebook.


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