Want Not Waste, Manchester Academy 1, Manchester, M13 9PR – Visit Now
Want Not Waste is a student-run, not-for-profit zero waste shop operating out of Academy 1 at the University of Manchester Students’ Union. Their aim is to make sustainable living accessible to all by providing low cost dried goods, cleaning products, and lifestyle products from local and student-run businesses.
Set up in 2019 as a little pop-up shop with a big mission – to help tackle the plastic crisis within Manchester and globally – Want Not Waste has gone on to be a permanent fixture within the Students’ Union, where the shop provides much more than plastic free alternatives. It focuses on a wide range of sustainability issues and acts a hub for learning and community, offering everything from slow-stitch repair workshops to TerraCycle schemes to clothes swaps.
As a not-for-profit project, they’re able to sell products at a cost much lower than you’ll find elsewhere, and all of it is plastic free. Think a wide range of dried goods and cupboard essentials (spices, pulses, grains, teas and the like), ethical, non-toxic cleaning products and plastic-free bathroom essentials, such as menstrual cups, homemade soaps, refillable shampoo and conditioners. Much of their stock falls into the refillable category – just buy or bring container, weigh it empty, fill with the product, and weigh it again.
Another thing that separates Want Not Waste from the many Zero Waste Shops in Manchester and the North is their commitment to the way they source. The majority of their stock comes from student enterprises, small businesses and graduate start-ups. As a hub for social justice, they also support many activism groups through advertising, event collaboration or by stocking their products – so expect to see some campaign merchandise in store, too.
All in all it’s a great little spot on Oxford Road, and one that’s genuinely affordable to many. It’s that, at the end of the day, which will help nudge sustainable shopping from the fringes to the becoming the norm.