I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend. I’m so pleased to be able to share this interview I did with Lauren from Nada, the first zero waste store in Leicester. Here are Lauren’s thoughts on all things Nada, going self-employed and leading more eco-friendly lifestyles. I also managed to take a few photos of the shop. The cereal dispensers are storage goals!
What is Nada and how did it come about?
Nada is Leicester’s first zero waste shop and we sell dried goods, food without packaging, refillable kitchen and bathroom goods, and alternatives to single-use plastics. It came about because I was trying to reduce my own plastic waste at home and couldn’t find anywhere to shop to do that, so I opened the shop.
Aside from being zero waste, why should people shop at Nada rather than supermarkets where they can get everything all at once?
It’s more convenient to go to a supermarket, which is why they became so popular, but this is a more ethical way of shopping. It reduces waste and plastic. I’m not necessarily cheaper than Asda or Sainsbury’s because I don’t have the buying capacity, but everything I stock I try and source locally and ethically, so it doesn’t have as many miles. It’s supporting local businesses and tradespeople.
For people who don’t live nearby, are there any other ways to help support Nada?
They can spread the word. I think I had a customer come in and she lived in Leicester, but had been told about it by someone that lived in Southampton. They had heard about it and said, “Ooh you live in Leicester, you should go here.”
There’s also a click and collect service. If you don’t live locally and don’t have the time to pop in, I can package it up and people can pick it up.
Setting up a business is hard. What would be your top tips for someone wanting to go self-employed?
It’s hard because it’s one thing to say ‘oh just do it, it’s really good, don’t plan too much…’ but then the other side of it is you need a plan, you need to know how much money you need, how much you need to be making and have a bit set aside just in case things don’t go too well. But being self-employed is great, it gives you loads of benefits and I would say if it’s something you want to do and you’re passionate about it, then I think you can make it work.
What can we easily change in our daily lives to better support the environment?
Things can be different for different people. I always say look at what you use the most often and look at what you throw away the most. If that’s a lot of water bottles, buy a reusable water bottle. Reusable cup, bamboo toothbrush, these are all things that are immediate. Look at where your food is coming from, look at the packaging, try and source things locally and use what you’ve got before you start buying other stuff, and that goes for food, clothes, everything really.
What future plans do you have for Nada?
I’d like it stay around (laughter). I’m staying there. I’m trying to expand and get different products all the time. If I don’t stock something that someone wants, I’ll try and source it, so the stock is expanding all the time. I’d quite like to get into delivery, but that’s quite complicated. I’d like to have a few more sites, not necessaily shops, but more access in different shops. I’ve got a shop in Wigston, Nada Nano as it’s tiny. You can click and collect from there the stuff you’ve ordered online. It’s quite good going forward. I’d like to go into a few more little corner shops.
If you want to discover more about Nada, you can visit the store at
5 St. Martin’s Walk, Leicester, LE1 5DG.
If you enjoyed reading this interview, then take a look at my eco-friendly section here for more environmental lifestyle content. If you liked this interview and would like to see more interviews on the blog then let me know!
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DISCLAIMER: This is not an ad, I asked Lauren to do the interview and she kindly agreed.