Zero Waste shop expands thanks to help from community

THE support of the local community has helped a zero-waste pop-up shop to keep going during the coronavirus lockdown and it is now expanding.

For the past few months, Bare and Fair ran a free local home delivery service of its refills of eco-friendly household cleaners and toiletries.

SETTING OUT HER STALL – Mel at Woking Market last year

Mel Hemmings, the company owner, had been operating successfully from Woking Market for about a year before lockdown.

Mel is now back at the market and has also been able to expand her range of products through the home delivery, which is continuing.

She said that the market stall has a restricted amount of space, but she has more storage capacity, which has meant the company website offers more products.

“The new additions to our product range over lockdown that have proved very popular are hand   sanitiser refills, and a wider range of refillable shampoos and conditioners.

“We’ve also teamed up with a local dressmaker to offer locally-made cotton face masks with at least 50% of profits from the sale of these going to The Lighthouse in Woking.”

Mel is returning to Woking town centre, wearing a mask and following all the other coronavirus restrictions

Mel started the home deliveries soon after lockdown came in.

“We had to set up the delivery service on the fly but our customers were very adaptable,” she  said.

“I am thankful that we have a very loyal customer base. The support of the local community has been invaluable – it has kept us afloat.”

Mel is in partnership with a local cargo bike courier service that is running trials for a few weeks before hopefully launching a range of deliveries.

“It’s a great partnership as the bicycle deliveries are carbon neutral. It chimes with the whole idea of a green recovery for the economy and of trying to make something better out of all this that is better of the environment. It’s great to be part of that.”

Mel has been back at the reopened Woking Market for about a month and said there is a sense of relief in the town centre.

“It’s good to be back and lovely to see people face to face, albeit from behind a mask.”

A few years ago, Mel, a lifelong Woking resident, became aware of the zero-waste movement and adopted eco-friendly principles at home with her husband Will and their three young children.

She found it difficult to buy refills and other products locally and so set up her own company  with help from the borough council’s start-up scheme.

For more information, visit https://bareandfair.co/pages/contact

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