Want Not Waste

Johnny James, Managing Editor
Want Not Waste

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 a container, weigh it empty, fill it with the product, weigh it again and pay.

Another thing that separates Want Not Waste from the many Zero Waste Shops in Greater Manchester 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, that will help nudge sustainable shopping from the fringes to the becoming the norm.

Manchester Academy 1ManchesterM13 9PR View map
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Opening Hours

  • Monday10:00am - 2:00pm
  • Tuesday10:00am - 2:00pm
  • Wednesday10:00am - 2:00pm
  • Thursday10:00am - 2:00pm
  • Friday10:00am - 2:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near Want Not Waste

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Tourist at Canvas

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Elephant Gym at Canvas

Elephant Gym bring their patchwork of jazz, contemporary math- and post-rock to Canvas this May in support of their new album, World.

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