Little Green Stores: zero-waste refill shop opens to encourage sustainability in Cardiff

New shop owner aims to manage waste effectively by setting up a refillable store.

Having only been open for three weeks, Little Green Stores has had great success

A zero-waste refill shop opens at Corp Market to help improve sustainability in Cardiff.

The new business owner of Little Green Stores intends to encourage the local community to become more environmentally friendly by selling organic and sustainable products in her refill store at Corp Market in Canton.

“Everything that I buy in is predominantly organic unless it states otherwise and all the packaging that it’s been delivered in get’s returned for reuse so it’s not just recycled”, said owner of Little Green Stores, Bianca Rees.

Through her zero-waste refill shop, Bianca aims to be as sustainable as possible by ensuring plastic reduced packaging is being used all the way through the supply chain. 

Bianca said, “with it being organic, there are no chemicals involved as well, so that’s better for the planet and so, I’m trying all the way through the supply chain to be as environmentally conscious as possible.” 

Little Green Stores offers a range of different refillable products to help with sustainability, such as nuts, seeds, lentils, rice, pasta, oats, spices, olive oil and a variety of teas.  

Bianca said, “It’s my passion and it always has been – I’ve always been an environmentalist”

Bianca has been selling her products at local markets in Cardiff, but Corp Market is her first permanent base.

“I absolutely adore having a permanent home. I was doing this out of the back of my van, so to have a roof and not be in weather gear is amazing,” said Bianca.

Although Bianca has seen success in her first three weeks of opening, it has not been without its challenges.

Bianca said, “financially, it’s always a challenge setting up any business and unfortunately, because of covid and because I was part-time employed, I missed out on all the grants for covid relief.”

To help with the opening of her store, Bianca set up a Go Fund Me account where she received an abundance of support from local residents who wanted to see her succeed.

Bianca said that despite the fact that her new refill store has only been open for three weeks, she has had a lot of interest and support from the local community.

“The feedback from customers has been that this is what they want, so I know that I’m doing the right thing,” said Bianca. “It fills my heart but I know that I’m doing it for other people as well and that, eventually, it is a benefit for everyone who lives on this planet and every little step really does help.”

Bianca sells other organic, eco-friendly products including soaps, hand wash, as well as shampoo and conditioner. 

A future goal of Bianca’s is to regularly give donations to local charities, as well as to establish a ‘pay it forward’ scheme that will allow customers to pay extra money one day and receive a voucher that they can use on another day if they are struggling to pay.

“I’m offering this discount to people if they are struggling because I want it to be accessible to everybody because we should all be able to live this way without putting chemicals into our bodies from non-organics,” said Bianca.

“For me, it’s important to educate and put the word out there – to try and be really active, or as active as possible.”

Bianca wants to have a really successful business to help support the local community and be able to give back when she can

Bianca said that although this way of shopping can initially be quite intimidating for people, she aims to encourage and help people live more greener lives. “Part of my role as a shopkeeper is to help people to get there and see what they need to be able to shop and live this way and improve their green credentials which is beneficial to everyone.”