I recently gave our tiny loft apartment pantry a makeover and by makeover I mean tons of glass jars, perspex containers, baskets and a label maker at the ready (you can see the process in my YouTube video). Obviously this task fanned my fire to shop at plastic free grocers in order to keep my pantry organised and as another way to live and shop more sustainably. Seeing those words on screen shows how much of an adult I am and how much I love aesthetically pleasing things! So if like me, you’re looking to shop more consciously at plastic free grocers in South Africa (Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban or Port Elizabeth) I’ve got the inside scoop, as shared by all of you on Instagram.
We’ve been watching Down to Earth on Netflix and besides enjoying Zac Efron’s face I’ve also realised the value of eating seasonally – not only for your body but for the environment. We’re lucky that in South Africa we have a wide variety of produce that grows here which means that it doesn’t need to be imported from other countries when eaten in season. Buying from small local businesses also means you’re supporting families, small business owners who do a happy dance with each order placed. And besides all of that, it’s a great way to reduce the single use plastic in your home and less trips to the shop – WIN WIN!!
I’ve tried to include all the plastic free grocers you guys sent and included some extra small produce businesses that have cropped up because of Corona. But if I’ve missed any or you feel your business should be on the list just pop me a mail or comment down below and I’ll update this regularly.
At the beginning of lockdown many brands have had to find ways of providing fresh produce delivery when we were only allowed out for essentials. So Faithful to Nature partnered with a local farm to provide weekly fresh produce boxes. At the moment this is only available in Cape Town but they do also have a wide variety of pantry staples packaged with eco-friendly materials and are home compostable. Their pantry range includes superfoods, nuts, seeds and grains. So if you can’t find what you’re looking for at your local plastic free grocer check out Faithful to Nature.
They used to have a shop in Woodstock and as of August 2020 have decided to move everything online which I think is a fantastic idea! They have a great selection of zero waste lifestyle and plastic free pantry items so check them out if you’re trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Also, if you’re looking for amber glass bottles similar to the one I showed in my sustainable beauty video, click here to grab them on the Shop Zero site.
I’m not even going to try and deny the very much Cape Town culture of life over work – here, most people just work to live so we clock off as early as possible, hate driving further than 15 minutes to get anywhere and the slow sustainable life might as well have been invented in Kommetjie. Having lived here all my life it comes as no surprise that we have so many plastic free grocers. While compiling this list I was shocked but also proud of how much Cape Town has embraced sustainable living.
If you’re looking for a modern, clean and Instagramable plastic free grocer, Sans Community is where it’s at! From their online presence, store design, curation of goods and let’s not forget their Instagram feed, they’re just getting it SO RIGHT! In my opinion stores like this encourage more people to shop consciously and increase the appeal to shop plastic free because it’s quite possibly a far better experience than doing your weekly/monthly shop in a large grocery store packed with people. Doing your weekly shop with them is a fun experience (because it’s beautiful and simple) and it helps a small business grow and flourish. And if that wasn’t reason enough to pop in and possibly switch over from your regular grocer, they also stock Aesop so you could treat yo’self while picking up bread & (oat) milk.
I only found these guys on Instagram this week while browsing (read: stalking people on Instagram). They are a plastic free grocer that’s been around since 2015 but they’re relaunching next Tuesday – they deliver fresh produce as well as luxury seasonal boxes with a combination of fruit and veg. Their produce boxes are substantial so if you’re living alone or with a partner it might be worth sharing this with friends. We often find it quite hard to finish all the produce before it starts going off so doing a share-share box is a great way to split the cost and have less food waste. Check out their online store next week Tuesday for more details.
This is probably the most established plastic free grocer in Cape Town, with a wide variety of pantry staples, nut butters, coffee, sustainable homeware, kitchen stuff, cleaning and of course fresh produce. When I started trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle I couldn’t quite imagine a store that would compare to the bigger grocers but to my surprise this does. Yes it would mean buying salted butter from a small farm rather than Butro or swapping Hellmans for something locally produced but like I said, small businesses do a happy dance for each sale. If in true millennial fashion you like to take pictures when you’re out & you’re in a cool space just be careful here because they can be fussy about it but other than that this store is a plastic free dream! They have a store in both town & Newlands and they also have an online ordering system with delivery within Cape Town.
If you love in the deep South you’ll probably already know about this and if you don’t you’ll be super excited about it, I think! LIL have a great selection of spices, fresh produce, cleaning, body products and grains. During there weird Covid times they’re open for pre-order with delivery or collection on Friday’s and their physical store is open on weekends (Saturday + Sunday) from 8am – 1pm where they sell produce and fresh bread that wasn’t sold on pre-order. So if you’re on a budget, still trying to live sustainably and live near Glencairn this store is for you! You can mail them to place your order for the week.
Image via Cape Town Tourism.
Surely if you’re a millennial or you’ve lived in Cape Town for longer than 3 months you’ll know about the OZC market at the V&A Waterfront! They started out as a really cool inner city fresh produce market years ago (only the OG’s will have been) and have grown to be one of the best outdoor markets in Cape Town (the best, if you’re asking me). Their markets now have MANY amazing local artisanal foods, baked goods, fresh food, vegan treat – I could go on but we’d be here for an hour! The centre of the entire market is a beautiful produce stand (I feel like that doesn’t quite describe it)! It’s the perfect spot to do your weekly produce shop, grab a coffee, breakfast, bagels, flowers – you name it, they have it! And you can grab a cute Instagram shot while you’re at it – nobodies judging because we’ve all done it at least once or twice (read: one or twice a week). If you’re not up for a market visit during Covid times, they’ve collaborated with Ucook to bring you beautifully curated boxes filled with fresh produce. They have meat, vegan & vegetarian boxes, so there’s something for everyone.
A small Muizenberg based natural, organic & zero waste store that stock everything from fresh produce, frozen berries, body products, etc. They have an online store with various zones for delivery within Cape Town but since they’re in the cute Muizenberg village, it’s only a short walk from the beach if you want to browse in store. Their selection doesn’t seem to be as extensive as some of the other stores but if you live in the area and you’re wanting to shop more consciously they definitely have all the basics you’d need.
I briefly mentioned in my sustainability blog post that certain Pick n Pay stores have rolled out a plastic free zone within the store. My local Pick n Pay (Constantia) has this feature and it seems to be really popular. You can either take your own jars, fill them with dry goods like rice, pasta, seeds, spices & lentils or they also have jars that you can buy or you can simply fill free brown paper bags and decant at home. They’ve also brought out reusable produce bags which are available in the fresh fruit & veg section as a better alternative to the small plastic bags most shoppers are used to. I understand that not everyone can shop at a more premium price so it makes such a big difference that the bigger grocery stores are providing better choices for their customers.
Organic Zone is a store I pass regularly when visiting my in-laws and to my annoyance I’ve never ventured inside. They have a store in Lakeside & a new store in Rondebosch with everything from seasonal fresh produce to baby food and cleaning supplies. They don’t have an online store and don’t offer delivery but you can see some their product offering here.
I’m so excited to say that this plastic free ‘grocer’ is based in Stellenbosch and they deliver everything straight to your door or you can choose one of the pick-up locations in Tableview/Milnerton area or Gordon’s Bay/Somerset West area. I’m sure those of you living further from the city will be happy to know that you can still shop local, fresh produce free of plastic. Check out their IG profile and click this link to sign-up for a weekly menu to be sent to you over text. I love that their price list includes vegan treats, bread, pantry basics and even cleaning products so you can have everything delivered with your weekly produce order.
Image via Inside Guide.
If you know me at all, you know my love for Babylonstoren. We got engaged there and on any given day if someone suggests a trip to Babyonstoren I’ll be running to the car before there’s even a chance to say yes! They’ve recently expanded their online store so you can now shop your favourite Babylonstoren products including seasonal harvest boxes. If you’re not sure about heading out of the house just yet for leisurely trips just place an order and create the perfect Babylonstoren picnic at home.
Another store further outside of town, in Hermanus, which is perfect for holiday escapes when you’re still wanting to choose the sustainable option. They have fresh produce, spices, dried fruit, grains, as well as plastic free beauty and home items. They seem to have a really cute space that I can’t wait to visit on our next little weekend away. Pre-Covid we loved doing weekend trips with fiends to Hermanus so I’m really excited to have come across this gem!
Images via The Refillery
In my search for trigger spray’s and lotion pumps for my homemade hand soap and counter spray (I actually can’t help but laugh at that sentence because it’s not something I thought I’d ever be writing about) many of you recommended The Refillery. They are a small family run business that have, in my opinion, changed the game of plastic free shopping with their two beautiful stores! They’ve created a space that’s bright, modern, beautiful, clean and an absolute feast for the eyes. Seriously guys, please open a store in Cape Town, I’ll be your best customer! Their online store is also really easy to use so I ordered a couple of pantry items and my bottle attachments which were delivered pretty quickly. They don’t seem to have fresh produce but they do stock an incredible selection of dry goods, home cleaning and sustainability items. Definitely check out their stores in Cedar Square and Morningside if you’re in Johannesburg or simply order online.
The Farm Table is a small business that are big on living sustainably. Their store design and selection of fresh produce remind me of an old school shopping experience at food markets – similar to the Handmades Tale but less weird/sterile and more homely/welcoming. Along with that they have home cleaning and pantry stuff. So if you live near Linden pop into their store and support a small business doing great things.
The Unwrapped Co describe themselves as a zero waste online store with pantry staples and eco-friendly household products free from packaging. They have an online store with a great selection of pantry items, personal hygiene and cleaning supplies. They’re also reducing their carbon footprint by keeping it local and delivering to only Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Good Source was started by two siblings and two friends just wanting to encourage South Africa to live and shop more consciously. Head in store to browse their herbs, fresh produce, pantry staples, deli meat & cheeses and grab a coffee while you’re at it. They also have a sweet little cafe with fresh food, coffee and cakes. Even as someone that’s never shopped with them, there’s something about their Instagram feed that makes them seem welcoming and non judgemental – especially in this zero waste space that can often be hard to find. So well done to their team. They also have an online store if you’d like to order ahead and pick up from their store.
Founder Foods specialise in providing whole foods direct to their customers so their prices are really competitive. They aim is to help their customers to move toward a simpler and more naturally fulfilling life and do do this by providing quality fresh produce, dry pantry items, locally supplied dairy products as well as freshly baked breads and coffee. So if you live in Durban you can make use of their online store (which is extremely user friendly) and weekly delivery system or shop in store on Saturdays from 9am – 1pm. I love that they’ve also launched solo senior shopping days for anyone over 60. So on Mondays & Thursdays they allow one senior in at a time to keep them safe (because of Covid-19). Well done to them!
House of Bravo was started by a mom simply wanting to give her family the most nutritious foods and to decrease the plastic waste their family was creating. They’ve since opened a little cafe so you can grab a coffee and pick up your pantry staples all in one stop. They don’t seem to have a delivery option so I think for now they’re only doing collections from the store.
This seems to be the only zero waste or packaging free grocer in P.E so well sone to them! They have a small selection of fresh produce, baked goods, zero waste home stuff, farm fresh eggs as well as pantry staples that can be collected at the store or delivered if you live in P.E.
After compiling this list and seeing just how many plastic free grocers we have in South Africa it makes me so happy to see how far we’ve come and how many local businesses have started and continue to grow when we support the plastic free and zero waste lifestyle. If the environment isn’t something that encourages you to shop plastic free maybe the lives enriched by our purchases from local companies will encourage more of us to shop locally and consciously.
If there are any other fresh produce suppliers or plastic free grocers in your city, pop the details in the comments and I’ll keep this post updated.
All images shot at Nude Foods by me, unless otherwise stated.