These environmentally-conscious stores make it easy to shop sustainably in Leeds.
If you want to do your bit to save the planet, why not ditch the supermarket and check out these zero waste shops in Leeds? They’ve banished single-use plastics and work hard to prevent unnecessary waste, helping you to live more sustainably. You’ll find everything you need from cupboard essentials to beauty products, fresh veg and even sustainable art supplies. That means you can stock up, reduce your plastic consumption and support your community, all at the same time – what’s not to love?
EcoTopia is a zero waste shop run by Michelle Arthur and Sam Newton that’s tucked away in Central Arcade. A few years ago, the two Leeds mums had their eyes opened to the damage single-use plastics cause and decided to live more sustainably to help save the planet for their kids, so they set up EcoTopia.
The way the shop works is simple – bring your container, weigh it, then fill it to the brim with household essentials. They have everything from fruit cordial to nuts, coffee, dried fruit, sweets and spices. It’s not just food either – they also have an array of sustainable toiletries like shampoo refills and bamboo toothbrushes. On a budget? Their prices are low, with 100g of cous cous for as little as 32p, so you can do an eco-friendly shop without breaking the bank.
EcoTopia, Unit 8, Central Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DX.
The Refilling Station
The Refilling Station prides itself on suppling low-to-no waste groceries, so you can do your weekly shop with a clear conscience. It’s the brain child of Kirsty Dodds – when BBC Look North challenged her family to go plastic-free for a week in 2018, she became passionate about reducing waste. Soon after, she opened The Refilling Station so that others in her community could shop locally and sustainably.
Rice, pasta, noodles, oats, tea, sugar and seeds – they sell everything you need to keep your pantry well stocked. Just bring your own jars (or buy theirs), fill ‘em up using the dispensers, weigh and pay. This is a Yorkshire business through and through, so you can also expect a tempting range of locally-made products on the shelves, including speciality coffee from Third Wave roasters and delectable jams from Blueberry Hill.
The Refilling Station, 176 Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, LS7 4NZ.
If you get frustrated at having to buy a new plastic bottle each time you run out of soap or shower gel, head to Seagulls. They specialise in liquid refills and, as a social enterprise, they work hard to raise awareness about how you can recycle, reuse and repurpose old bottles to slash your plastic waste.
You can fill your container with all-natural bath and body products from the likes of Ecoleaf to make your self-care routine more sustainable. Or why not make the switch to low-waste cleaning products? They offer refills of laundry liquid, surface cleaner, washing up liquid and fabric softener. But that’s just the half of it because Seagulls also has an adjoining paint shop! Each pot is made from old, leftover paints that have been reprocessed. This not only prevents waste but creates unique colours you can’t find elsewhere.
Seagulls, 3-4 Aire Place Mills, 103 Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS3 1JL.
Refill & Go
Refill & Go is a family-run shop on a mission to provide loads of plastic-free options for household items, from beauty products to food and cleaning supplies. Sustainability is at the heart of the business – they only work with ethical suppliers and get all their stock delivered in huge paper sacks to avoid using plastic.
Cereals, rice and no less than 13 different types of pasta fill the dispensers that line the walls. There’s even chocolate, so grab a paper bag and get filling! At the end, your containers and bags will be weighed to work out the price. You can also find a fantastic selection of single-use plastic alternatives on the shelves, including metal straws, bamboo cutlery and cloth tea bags. With such an array of eco-friendly products and a knowledgable team ready to help, this is definitely one of the best zero waste shops in Leeds.
Refill & Go, 26 Main Street, Garforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS25 1AA.
Waste Not is an eco-friendly shop run by the Hawkins family. They have two venues for you to visit – one nestled in Ilkley and another in Burley-in-Wharfdale – and each of these rural gems are packed with plastic-free goodies. The team are a friendly bunch, with loads of tips and tricks up their sleeves to help you make more sustainable choices.
It’s whole foods galore here – they have huge dispensers filled with nutritious lentils, beans and grains as well as antioxidant-rich dried fruit, like cranberries and mango. But if you fancy something naughty, the vegan chocolate fudge is a must. Need to stock up on toiletries? They’ve got that covered with nourishing pink grapefruit shampoo, tropical coconut conditioner and more, supplied by local business Miniml. Just bring your own container, weigh it, fill it with whatever you like, get it re-weighed and pay.
Waste Not, 68 Main Street, Burley-in-Wharfdale, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS29 7DF & Waste Not, 5 Wells Road, Ilkley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS29 9JB.
This one’s a bit different. SCRAP is an eco shop that sells low-cost creative supplies that would have otherwise been thrown away. Louise Lucas founded the shop when she realised how many quality resources went to waste. Hundreds of tonnes of art supplies are now diverted from landfill each year, instead used for creative projects across Leeds.
It’s a craft-lovers paradise. You’ll find reams of colourful paper, piles of felts and all the wool you’ll need for your next knitting project. They have more unusual finds too, with unique woodworks alongside mannequins. With a stream of new stock coming in all the time, each visit will be different. The prices are kept low as it’s a not-for-profit social enterprise. And if that’s not enough to tempt you, you can even top up on plastic-free self-care products at their in-house liquid refill station.
SCRAP, Sunny Bank Mills, Town Street, Farsley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS28 5UJ.
Zero Muda is a socially-conscious shop in Horsforth. The folk here believe the future of shopping is both plastic free and local. They channel their profits back into local school and enterprise projects, so when you shop here you do good for the community and the planet.
There’s a whopping selection of organic dried foods in their jars and dispensers, with everything from wholewheat pasta to North Star coffee, alongside an unrivalled range of spices.They also sell oils, vinegars and their own re-fillable bottles of house wine. Yes, eco-friendly wine! Want to grab fresh food? You can get baked goods courtesy of Leeds Bread Coop. They have a partnership with Kirkstall Valley Farm, so keep your eyes peeled for seasonal local veg boxes.
Zero Muda, 85 New Road Side, Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 4QD.
Headingley Greengrocers is a community shop that’s committed to being low-to-no waste. All the produce is sold loose, so you can stock up on fresh fruit and veg without unnecessary plastic packaging. But they don’t stop there – leftovers are donated to local food project Rainbow Junktion Cafe and any waste is composted through Plate to Plate.
Juicy tomatoes? Check. Huge cauliflowers? Check. Red hot chillis? Check and double check. They can always be relied upon to have delicious, high-quality veggies. You can also pick up an abundance of ripe fruits, with everything from blood oranges to rhubarb. They source most of their produce from Yorkshire and what they have changes seasonally, so you always have new local goodies to try. You can take your produce home in your own bag or their recyclable paper packaging.
Headingley Greengrocers, 50 North Lane, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3HU.Cover image credit: Fe Sasson