Lauder resident Charlotte Aitchison had the vision of a zero waste refill shop and has worked tirelessly to develop the idea, and pulled in pals Amanda Cunningham, Jenny Fausset and Nina Kunkel, who all shared Charlotte’s green dream.
Following extensive market research to establish local appetite for such a shop, team Weigh Greener launched a crowdfunding campaign in November 2019, and within four weeks, a staggering £12,400 had been raised by 158 supporters, showing how much local support there was for such an enterprise in the community.
As a social enterprise, all profits above running costs will be reinvested into community environmental projects.
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The ladies were successful in gaining further funding from a variety of sources, including Scottish Borders Council’s Community Fund, however, once sufficient cash was raised, the Covid-19 pandemic arrived and everything was stalled.
Well, nearly everything. Charlotte’s family undertook the shop fitting as a family project during lockdown, and last Wednesday, it opened to the public.
Charlotte said: “It’s been a long process, but it’s been a real community project, with members of the public wishing us well all the way. It’s great to finally open.”
The shop stocks a large selection of pasta, rice, beans, pulses, cereals, flours, baking products, herbs, spices, teas, oils, vinegars, nuts and sweets, as well as cleaning and personal hygiene products.
Charlotte said: “It is a very simple to use process whereby you weigh your container, fill it up, reweigh and pay.
"Glass jars and bottles are available for purchase as well as reusable fabric bags.
“We also stock other products such as environmentally-friendly non-food items such as soaps, toothbrushes, balms and reusable sanitary products.”
Stock has been sourced from environmentally friendly, local and ethical companies, some offering a closed loop system whereby they refill their own empty containers ensuring there is no waste associated with their product.
The shop is open Tuesday to Friday 9am-5pm, and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
Charlotte added: “We would like to thank all those who have helped us on our journey to bringing the first zero waste refill shop to Lauder.
"We are looking forward to being one of Lauder’s amazing local businesses, serving our community and helping everyone shop Weigh Greener.”