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Independent health store advice on zero-waste living...

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health store can offer a wealth of expertise. This month we talk to Lauren Welch, owner of NADA, in Leicester

NADA is a zero waste, plastic-free bulk store with two branches in Leicester. I opened the first store in 2018 after looking into ways to reduce my own family’s consumption of plastic. I found that refill stores and bulk bins were popular among shoppers looking for plastic-free shopping but realised that no such shops existed in my local area. That’s why I decided to open my own!

Here at NADA we stock a wide range of wholefoods from beans and pulses to pasta and grains, rice and cereals, and nuts and seeds. We buy these in bulk and our customers can purchase as much or as little of these items as they want.

They can bring along their own containers to put the items in or they can use our paper bags or reusable glass containers. Only buying what you need saves on food waste, but also means no needless single-use packaging.

Natural cleaning products

We also stock a range of natural cleaning products and detergents that are pH neutral and friendly to ocean life. We offer refills for our cleaning products, so customers can either purchase glass spray bottles from us or they can bring in their own bottles and have them refilled. Other household items that can be found in store include beeswax wraps, silicone baking liners, sustainable dishbrushes and scourers as well as bamboo straws, bamboo toothbrushes and reusable water bottles.

Natural beauty

Zero waste isn’t just limited to food and cleaning products though. We also stock a range of sustainable and ethical cosmetics and beauty products. Many of these items tend to be packaged in glass jars so that they can be reused. A brand called UpCircle offer a return, refill, reuse scheme where you buy the product and when you’ve finished it, you return your empties which are then refilled for you to use again. Shampoo bars are popular plastic-free alternatives to bottled shampoo and conditioner and we also stock a lovely range of natural soaps from brands such as Dr Bronner’s and Friendly Soap.

Getting started

There is definitely an increased interest in the zero-waste movement. I think the more that’s written about it in the media, the more popular it’s becoming. We’ve always had customers who are eco conscious, but we’re now finding increasing numbers of new customers who are visiting the store to learn more about zero waste and what they can do to make a difference.

Some customers get a little bit overwhelmed because they’re not sure where to start, and I always advise them to just start small. The whole point about zero waste is that you don’t go and throw away lots of items because they’re made of plastic – you use what you have. If you’ve got some plastic bags or plastic bottles at home then don’t throw them away. Instead, use them until you can’t use them any more and then look for an alternative. Or, just start small by perhaps replacing your plastic dishbrush with a more sustainable one and then go from there. Just one change in every household is going to make a big impact.


There are now two NADA stores in Leicester. The first is located at 5 St Martins Walk and the second at the Percy Gee building at Leicester University. Store owner Lauren Welch won the Sustainability Award at the Leicester Business Woman of the year awards. In 2021 she was named Inspirational Woman of the Year at the Leicester Women in Business awards for her efforts during the global pandemic where the shop remained open throughout. She has received support and endorsements from multiple sources, including Sir David Attenborough.

For more information on NADA, visit:
or follow the shops on Facebook: @zerowasteleicester and Twitter: @zerowasteleics

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