Reusable containers have come a long way since the birth of cocktails in jam jars and plants in tin cans. They’ve become the singular way to stock your home while caring for the planet (and your health). Let’s go zero-waste shopping in Hong Kong…
It’s official: the zero-waste movement is alive and kicking in Hong Kong. From having to pay for plastic bags in all supermarkets and shops, to some restaurants only offering takeaway to those who bring their own containers, Hong Kong is making real strides towards Earth-friendly living. Further proof can be found in the many zero-waste stores that have popped up over the last few years, offering the public new and effective ways to be eco-conscious. Here are some of our favourite places to shop for groceries and lifestyle goods sans plastic with a conscience.
Hong Kong’s first zero-waste bulk food store, Live Zero has every wholesome ingredient under the sun, from homemade granola to chickpea flour and beyond. Each item is housed in a transparent jar or dispenser and clearly labelled so there’s no need to spend excess time trying to figure out what’s what (although their staff are happy to help!). They even list all of the ingredients within their chocolate treats (e.g. chocolate buttons, salted caramel eggs) and note if items are vegan/gluten-free so you can make a super informed choice. Oh, and they have a fresh peanut butter machine. We kid you not.
Shop here | Locations: G/F, 33 High Street, Sai Ying Pun & 22 Yi Chun Street, Sai Kung
The ethos is in the name: slow. Slowood’s 7,000 square foot flagship store radiates calm, clean vibes which makes it a pleasure to wander, as well as shop in. Alongside bulk foods, they also offer organic grocery products from other brands. You can also find eco-packaged household products, beautifully made bamboo home accessories, gift-worthy kitchenware, and an impressive selection of beauty products here. They also sell a few pieces of local homemade jewellery and sustainably made clothing.
Shop here | Locations: The Hudson, 11 Davis Street, Kennedy Town & Shop Unit No. 151, 1/F DB Plaza, Discovery Bay
Edgar has been around for a while – it was one of the first companies to bring unpackaged bulk items to Hong Kong – but it became even more popular once the movement itself gained traction. Here you can find organic and fair-trade everything, from cereal to tea leaves, and a large variety of eco-friendly containers in which to store all of your goodies, from bamboo boxes to stainless steel lunchboxes.
Shop here | Locations: Shop 201, 2/F, K11 Art Mall, Tsim Sha Tsui & 5 Moon Street, Wan Chai
Lively Life is a little gem quietly doing its part for the zero-waste movement. The shop offers simple fresh groceries (many of which are trickier to find in other bulk food stores, such as noodles) as well as branded planet-conscious favourites such as vegan ice cream and organic kombucha. Best of all, they really are a community initiative: they sell locally made skin and hair products, organise farmer’s markets, and host workshops.
Find out more here | Location: Shop UG 6, UG/F, CC Wu Building, No. 302-308, Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay
Seed is another excellent spot for pantry staples as well as cleaning and household products. Moreover, they practise what they preach. All of their furniture is planet-friendly, from their preloved shelves to their shop sign, which is made out of old crates, wood leftover from their shop installation, a used can, and rubber retrieved from a dumpster. Their motto is: saving the earth every day. And by earth, they don’t just mean the planet itself, but the people on it. They charge $5 to use one of their donated containers but give back 100% of the proceeds to the community in various ways.
Find out more here | Location: 29 Yee Kuk Street, Sai Kung
Wet markets (!)
Not just great for fresh fruit and veg, wet markets in Hong Kong are often home to small stalls and shops selling fresh noodles, fresh tofu, and spices and herbs – all sans packaging.
Plastic Free HK
It does what it says on the (reusable) tin – Plastic Free HK is an online shop based in Hong Kong that stocks household and beauty goods, free from plastic. It has all of the basics (bamboo toothbrushes, beeswax wraps) but also goes beyond (copper kitchenware, wood bento boxes) to help you create a beautiful, minimalist aesthetic for your home.
Live Zero Bulk Beauty
The gang at Live Zero also run a bulk beauty store, essentially a self-care bazaar. They have a whole area dedicated to menstrual hygiene, stocking (and advising on) everything from menstrual cups to jazzy reusable sanitary pads, as well as the typical cosmetic favourites from respected global eco brands. Famed for their glass containers of just about everything, they also have a variety of powders and clays for DIY face masks (and list the properties of each so you can opt for the perfect skin pal).
Shop here | Location: G/F, 20 High Street, Sai Ying Pun
Lush has become a cruelty-free, toxic-free mainstay on the global eco-beauty scene, but in Hong Kong the brand has gone a step further, opening the first Lush Naked shop in Asia. You’ll find all of your favourite Lush cosmetics without packaging (e.g. soaps and shampoo bars), as well as their exclusive naked makeup collection, which includes package-free pressed dry shampoo and face serum. To enhance the experience, the downloadable Lush Labs app allows you to scan products to see all of the ingredients and watch helpful how-to videos.
Shop here | Location: Shop Q, G/F & M/F, Hong Kong Mansion, 2, 10 Great George St, Causeway Bay
This store might be small, but its variety of items packs an impressive punch. Organic We stock zero-waste, vegan, and chemical-free products, including health foods, mineral makeup, and natural skincare. They also sell organic pet food, so your furry friend can get in on the eco-action.
Shop here | Location: 1601, Good Hope Building, 5-19 Sai Yeung Choi St S, Mong Kok
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