Where do I shop "zero waste"?
Hey y’all! Based on an unofficial (my) observation, it takes around 1 year, say, for the news of the opening of a zero waste shop to reach an audience that is ‘outside’ the ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘zero waste’ circle. My hypothesis is that it isn’t that people aren’t willing to try eco-products, they are just unaware that there are options.
I admit I am not the best person to write this, only because I don’t buy lots of eco-friendly products myself (just because that’s the whole point - you will reuse stuff so you don’t need a lot after you have got the basics), but I know that some of us need that extra voom-voom motivation to start going #Lowimpact. For example, I know that some prefer buying a nice looking lunch box made of steel to encourage themselves to bring more lunches instead of doing takeaways… I mean, that’s totally understandable! :P
So here are a few “green grocery stores” that I’ve gathered that offers eco-friendly alternatives, categorized by locations:
(* indicates that online shop is available)
Hong Kong Island
Slowood | 11 Davis Street
Visited the shop on New Year’s Day in 2019! It is still at its soft opening phase but I can already spot aisles and aisles of grains, beans, etc in the shop! Also spotted was a refill station for shampoo, all-in-one cleansing detergents of a decent scale. A lot of homeware & kitchenware that are super cute and minimalistic that will sure lure you into falling in love with the Japanese / Scandinavian aesthetics. Love that they also have a collection of vegan food (with packaging though!). I even spotted a box of ‘vegan egg’! Near the counter you will find personal hygiene products, such as soap bars, tampons, skincare etc that was obviously curated to suit the aesthetics / philosophy of the shop.
Sai Ying Pun
Live Zero* | 24 High Street
https://livezero.hk/ Free HK delivery for purchases above HKD 2000
“Hong Kong’s First Zero Waste Store”. Bulk Food Store. Definitely one of spots that you have to visit to experience the ‘package free’ experience. Bring your own containers & bags because you’ll be able to buy detergents, shampoo and taboocha using your own containers! Quite diverse in terms of products - you can even find reusable menstrual underwear!
iSGO* | 4/F Lucky Building, 39 Wellington Street
I go there to restock my Ethique shampoo and shower bars because their location is more convenient out of all of the shops that stock the brand. Although they sell packaged goods, their focus is more on healthy food, skincare and detergents (laundry, toilet cleaner, sanitizer…)
Bathe to Basics* | S403, Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street
https://bathetobasics.com/ Free HK delivery for purchase above HKD 300
They focus on handmade and organic skincare, bath and body products. They offer refill services so be sure to bring your own containers to their refill stations in-store and also at Live Zero and Organic We!
Gao Mad Yeah | 中環永吉街6-12號誠利商場2字樓35號舖
I bought my FoFoCup from them. Super nice and knowledgeable duo behind the scene! I often consult them when I run into questions on different types of plastics and even on their take government policies. They are more of an “influencer” in the market that gathers green enthusiasts on social media and also does collaborations with loads of local shops and restaurants!
What’s also admirable is that they also volunteered in ‘recycling’ stations in different regions in HK that aims at educating the public while helping them recycle stuff the right way. They don’t open at regular hours but instead focus their attention on consultancy, community ‘management’, doing pop-ups and also act as distributors. You can also find a list of shops that collaborates with them on their site!
Edgar* | 5 Moon Street
Bulk food store and some zero waste goodies. I haven’t been there but I have often heard about it. The K11 store is pretty petite but definitely a place to visit if you want to bulk buy specialty food such as shiitake mushrooms, okra, radish chips, freeze dried fruit chips, pumpkin seeds, etc.!
Lively Life | 灣仔軒尼詩道302-308號集成中心 UG/F, Shop UG 6 | UG 6, CC Wu Building, 302-308 Hennessy Road
Not been there before but my friends visited and told me that it’s a grocery store that sells handmade soap, and offers refills for natural shampoo and conditioner. Also sells natural food, healthy drinks and the usual green goodies such as organic bamboo and cotton towels, reusable food containers, etc.
Tree Children’s Lodge* | Unit A 18/F Vulcan House, 21-23 Leighton Road
https://en.treechildren.com.hk/ Free HK delivery above HKD 700
They sell mainly toys, arts & crafts, and interestingly they also stock up on reusable coffee cups, straws, reusable food containers, lunette cups and reusable menstrual pads!
Organic We* | 16/F, Good Hope Building, 5 Sai Yeung Choi Street South, Mongkok
https://www.organicwe.com/ Free HK delivery for purchases above HKD 500
I haven’t been but I want to visit the shop some day! The website is in Chinese so this is definitely one of the hidden gems if you’re not familiar with the ‘dark side’ (hey, #noshame!). I like that they are kind of a ‘catch-all’ - they stock healthy food, personal & female hygiene products, skincare & cosmetics, home essentials, pet products, etc.
Tsim Sha Tsui
Edgar* | K11 Art Mall x K11 Natural - Shop 201, Level 2, 18 Hanoi Rd, K11
I Never Use Foundation Breakfast Club* | 21/F Penthouse, MW Plaza, 40 Kimberley Road
A brand that stands out because of their very interesting name. They recently moved and with a larger shop they now have a “green beauty bar” that allows refills of their own products!
Founded in Hong Kong, they sell their own brand and also curate skincare (by all skintypes and needs), personal hygiene (menstrual pads too!), food (pearl powder, tea), lifestyle (jewellery, silk eye masks, crystals) products, and even have their own spa. A feminine and elegant take on living life ethically and mindfully.
Live Zero* | 5 Tak Lung Back Street
Seed 點籽 | 29 Yee Kuk Street
The most recent bulk food store that opened in Hong Kong! What caught my eye from their Instagram is that they even have fresh veggies and mushrooms! They also have food (spices, pasta, dried nuts, etc.), home essentials (detergents, soaps), personal hygiene, and the usual green goodies like cups, beeswax wraps, straws etc. They even stock vegan condoms!
Plastic Free HK (https://www.plasticfreehk.com/)
Free HK delivery for purchase above HKD500.
One of the very first “zero waste” shop I know. Very clean and easy to navigate website for all green beginner babes! I bought my glass straws from them and they come in a paper pack without plastic. They also have section for kids and pets!
No!w No Waste (https://www.now-nowaste.com/)
Free HK delivery for purchase above HKD 350.
I was pretty impressed when my company receives a deck from them and apparently they do B2B projects! It’s such a smart move because changes at corporate level are one of the effective ways of reducing waste. What I also like about them is that they label whether products are recyclable, recycled, compostable, and reusable (although most should be reusable, right?) They also have quite advanced filters by country of manufacturing & price range.
Delightfully Green (https://www.delightfullygreen.net/)
I got my reusable menstrual pad from them!! Definitely check out the shop. It’s a simple website but it features brands that you don’t find elsewhere. Main focus on children and female products, but they also sell soap nuts, deodorants, upcycled bread and coin bags, silk floss, even paper sunglasses (!!) and the usual goodies like straws and containers.
If you’re feeling a bit more fancy and want to explore more lifestyle products, check out WOMB -- they sell cool stuff that are ethical and vegan. What’s in store: pretty accessories made with upcycled plastics, bags and clutches made with upcycled soda pops, linen kimono, stationery and jewellery.
The hidden gem
Actually the wet market is the place where you can get creative and start shopping #packagefree. Wet markets are not fancy, but it’s how my grandma and many others use to shop for decades. Next time when you’re feeling adventurous, try shopping at these nostalgic (yet still very functional!) wet markets! Help preserve bits of heritage of Hong Kong ;)
Refusing is the first step to a #lowimpact lifestyle. The next step is to reduce and reuse as much as possible. I hope this list is useful for those who are interested in buying reusable products. Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list and I believe there will be a lot more shops selling zero waste alternatives. If you want to go an extra mile, you can also try visiting more vegetarian and vegan restaurants because animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of global warming :P