Our Philosophy

waste-not-want-not-eco-shop-historyEVERY PURCHASE MAKES A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE

Waste Not Want Not Eco Shop is one of Australia’s longest running retailers specifically devoted to the supply of good quality, eco-friendly, sustainable products. Through our social media and mailing list we also provide our customers with up-to-date, factual information and services that will assist their individual and cooperative efforts to take greater care of our planet.

Our overriding reason for being is to educate, inspire and motivate as many people as possible to care for the world we live in. We exist to deliver alternative earth friendly products and methods that can be incorporated into the daily lives of our customers without compromising their desire for a comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle.

PRODUCTS

Products are carefully selected to ensure they strictly support the sustainable use of our earth’s resources while possessing quality and style for today’s modern living.

The criteria we use to choose our products includes:

  • Is it cruelty free/vegan?
  • Is it sustainably sourced?
  • Does it come with zero waste packaging? eg. no (or limited plastic), glass, bamboo, cardboard, metal
  • Is it locally sourced? If not, what is the country of origin and how far does it have to travel to get to us?
  • Is it ethically made?
  • Is it interesting and/or unique?
  • Is it reusable, and will it replace single use items?
  • Is it beneficial for the environment?
  • Is it made from recycled materials?
  • Can it be easily recycled?
  • Does the manufacturer/supplier have an environmental policy?
  • Doe the supply chain have a low environmental impact?

We try and match products to these criteria wherever possible. In many cases products will fit many, but not all of the criteria. For instance, Onya produce bags are made from plastic however that plastic is recycled drink bottles and is recyclable. They are reusable, replace single use plastic produce bags, and are packaged in recycled cardboard packaging.

BUSINESS OPERATIONS

The environmental impact of our business operations is in the forefront of our mind. Retail is a resource heavy industry, from the manufacturing of goods, to their transport, packing and back-office support. We are consistently reviewing our systems and processes to further reduce our carbon footprint and increase our environmental sustainability.

  • We regularly talk with our suppliers and manufacturers to ensure the environmental impact of our supply chain continues to reduce. Examples of this are discussing with the suppliers of skincare/body products about how we can offer a container return/refill option. We have also been actively encouraging them to look at alternatives to plastic containers, and to find alternatives to bubble wrap and plastic packing tape for freight packaging.
  • Our website orders are shipped either in recycled cardboard boxes sealed with paper tape, or in fully compostable post satchels. Packing slips are printed on 100% recycled paper.
  • In most cases we forward parcels using the 100% freight company Sendle.
  • We actively recycle and are close to being zero waste with our back-end operations. We’ve partnered with Terracycle, and most of the byproduct of our business gets diverted to Redcycle and EastWaste through their recycling programs.
  • We use 100% renewable energy through AGL and the Australian Government GreenPower initiative
  • Any lighting we do have to leave on after-hours is on a timer switch and turns off by 11pm.
  • We don’t have company cars yet but our purchasing decision will be heavily influenced by environmental factors. In the meantime our staff (being the earth minded hippies they are) ALL drive small, fuel efficient cars. Our Managing Director even made the recent decision to trade down from a car to a motorbike to reduce her carbon footprint.
  • In store, we don’t buy shopping bags for customers to use. Instead, we collect recycled paper bags. We’re not too proud to give our customers their products in a Lush bag if it’s going to make a difference fo the environment. For the most part, our customers bring in their own reusable shopping bags.
  • Any commercial printing we get done (eg discount vouchers for special events) is printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper/card using vegetable based inks.
  • Having said that, we are working towards the goal of being paperless.
  • Our bulk refill containers get repurposed or recycled at end-of-life.
  • We compost with a bokashi composting system in our staff room.
  • All business purchase decisions are measured against the product purchasing criteria above. For instance for our recent uniform upgrade we chose sustainably sourced organic cotton aprons and bamboo name badges.

Can you think of anything else we could be doing? Let us know