So, last week was super exciting as we caught up with Debbie from Brighton's organically zero waste shop, Wastenot. We had the chance to look around this extraordinary store and get an insight into the shop's planet saving concept. Below is a short Q & A with Debbie, which proved to be incredibly eye-opening!
Us: When did you open Wastenot?
Debbie: 5 years ago, which makes that 2014.
Us: What inspired you to drive this eco-friendly concept in Brighton?
Debbie: When I lived in Melbourne, I started bin diving and it really opened my eyes to how much food goes to waste. When I came back to Brighton I joined an organisation called The Food Waste Collective and met lots of wonderful like minded people. Wastenot was born from this desire to prevent food waste and also trying to reduce packaging with a focus on reusing plastic.
US: If you had to describe Wastenot in a sentence what would it be?
Debbie: I would say Wastenot is a packaging free shop that helps you to reduce your impact on the planet. (Ah we LOVE this...!)
Us: Do you think somewhere like Wastenot could eventually replace conventional supermarkets and shops?
Debbie: Yes, because in other parts of Europe it is quite common to have a section like this in supermarkets, so I don’t think it’s that far away for the UK. Glass bottles are done very well in other parts of Europe, there’s schemes in other countries where you can return a glass bottle and get money off your purchase.
Us: What are some of your favourite waste free items in the shop?
Debbie: Guppyfred – German Invention. It works by putting your clothes inside the bag and it helps them prevent shedding microfibers and if it does it collects them, so it doesn’t go into water and flush out to sea.
Mango Cheek – I love this because it’s one of my bestsellers. But also, its grown by an all women’s farm in Burkina Faso and we are a female led business selling them and I really like that.
Mintie Snack Pots – Local brand based in Shoreham, which its these stainless-steel snack pots with a silicone lid, and they are oven safe dishwasher safe and freezer safe. Also comes in lunchbox size.
Since I’ve started the business there’s been a whole surge of innovative products with people becoming a lot more aware of plastic use and the market really taking off. With people making funny solutions to problems, it’s really cool and more and more companies are springing up.
Us: Do you have any tips for people trying to reduce household waste?
Debbie: Whenever you have the time cook from scratch, as its one of the biggest ways you can reduce packaging waste, because it’s easier to buy loose vegetables, and tins. Another place to look is your bathroom because there lots of amazing solutions to things like plastic toothbrushes and bottles of shower gels, even if it’s just starting off as buying a bamboo toothbrush, or a shampoo bar.
Us: Lastly what are your goals for Wastenot in the future?
Debbie: I would like to do more consultancy work and help other people set up businesses like this in. other parts of the country. Because I’ve got plenty of experience, as I’ve done it a long time it would be really good to help other people. I don’t feel like I could stretch myself to have lots and lots of branches but I do feel like I could actually help by advising people and it's something that I would like to do.
We hope this has given you some insight into the amazing Wastenot shop, but also inspired you to help reduce waste and plastic packaging and in turn reduce your impact on the planet, because there really is no planet B!
We know we will be regulars at Wastenot but next time you're around the area make sure you check it out. Its located at
Unit 9 Brighton Open Market, Marshalls Row, Brighton BN1 4JU
Written By Ravannah Liddar