Join the fight against plastic waste at Leamington's very own plastic-free shop
ackling plastic waste is more frequently in the forefront of people's minds when it comes to shopping and now Leamington is making its mark with its very own dedicated plastic-free shop.
At the weekend Charlie Demetriou opened the doors to her plastic-free business Zero for the first time.
Zero has opened in the former Naturally Kids Shoes store in Russell Street, which has moved to Clarendon Street in Leamington.
Zero started life as a pop-up style business and was created by Marisa Edworthy and Charlie Demetriou.
The business was founded in February and appeared at a number of locations via a pop-up stall and there are also a few ‘mini stalls’ inside other shops and locations including Harbury Supermarket and the visitor information centre in Warwick.
When her business partner Marisa moved abroad Charlie was left with the question of what to do next with Zero.
Charlie said: "When we started this we were pretty mobile and when Marisa moved away, I had to make the decision of what I was going to do next. I thought 'am I going to try and carry on as before or should I think about a place in Leamington'.
"Being mobile was great but you can't expect people to plan their food shop four weeks in advance. Having a shop for me had its advantages, I could adapt the range and get more organic and non-organic products to cater for people with different prices ranges."
In preparation for opening Charlie also launched a crowdfunder to help get matchfunding for her business and pledges were used to help her buy equipment for the store.
"The crowdfunder was fantastic and I was overwhelmed by the support," said Charlie. "There will be a peanut butter machine set up soon, which people helped buy through the crowdfunder.
"I have had lovely support from local businesses.
"It has been really hard work but now we are open it is worth it and the feedback has been brilliant so far.
"A lot of people came to help us get ready and they gave their time to help by filling dispensers and by painting and decorating, it has been awesome."
The aim behind the shop is to help people reduce their single-use packaging.
Charlie said: "When we say we are 'zero waste' people say 'oh that's just like weight and save in the old days' but its is a lot more hygienic and more efficient and they used to use plastic then, whereas now we are focused on sustainability, being plastic free and using locally sourced suppliers where we can such as for our granola, tea, coffee, herbs and spices and Charlecote Mill flour.
"We want to help to reduce people's packaging as well as giving local businesses a boost.
"We want people to come and see how easy it is to shop here and to come and have a go at filling up. Children can also get involved. They are the future generations who will be making more sustainable changes.
"In December we will running some workshops such as Christmas wreath making and Christmas stollen making, we want to feel part of the community and we ope people will come by and learn some new skills and have some new experiences too."
There will be a launch party on Saturday (November 9) and on Sunday (November 10).
Zero will be open Wednesday to Saturday 9am to 4pm and Sunday's 10am to 2pm. Charlie is also looking at adding a 'late night opening on Thursdays.