Zero Waste Shops in Greater Manchester

Johnny James, Managing Editor

Zero waste shops specialise in environmentally friendly products that leave behind no packaging waste. Just a few of years ago, they were few and far between, and the whole movement was very much in the ‘fringe’ category. In 2023, though, it’s edging ever closer to the mainstream.

Even supermarkets are getting in on the act, with everyone from Asda to Waitrose providing refill stations. It’s not that we’re applauding these retail giants’ baby steps towards solving a problem they helped create. We’re just making the point that, well, if they’re doing it then things must be changing.

At the centre of this change, of course, are the independent zero waste shops – hundreds of them, up and down the country – who are, in a much more authentic way, making it easier for consumers to make small, personal steps towards tackling environmental issues, particularly plastic pollution.

Eliminating packaging and encouraging the use of re-usable containers to be filled with wholefoods, natural beauty and cleaning products, these shops hark back to a time before pointless plastic and the accompanying guilt you feel as you unpack those shrink-wrapped bananas (nature has literally wrapped them for us, guys).

Post pandemic especially, there’s been a noticeable boom in zero waste shops around the country, but Greater Manchester seems to be a particular hotspot. From Manchester city centre to Urmston to Withington, we cover a lot of ground as we round up our favourites below.

Now, not all the shops in this list are 100% zero waste – some offer the consumer choice. But even with these, you can easily take home a full bag (re-usable, of course) of guilt-free goodies. Other shops you’ll read about are entirely plastic-free, making sustainable shopping easier than ever.

Our top picks

Want Not Waste

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.

Want Not Waste

Goodness Zero Waste

Goodness Zero Waste, 10 Crofts Bank Rd, Urmston, Greater Manchester, M41 0TS - Visit now

On a mission to help making a difference more convenient, Urmston’s Goodness Zero Waste is a great spot to shop sustainably for food, beauty and household products, and it has a few surprises in store…

Image courtesy of Goodness Zero Waste

Lentils and Lather

Lentils and Lather, 50 Burton Rd, Withington, M20 3EB - Visit now

A top destination in South Manchester for a wide range of sustainable, plastic-free and zero waste products, Withington’s Lentils and Lather makes it easy to shop in an environmentally friendly way.

Image courtesy of Lentils and Lather

Scoop and Scales Plastic Free Shopping

Scoop and Scales Plastic Free Shopping, Old Sunday School, Roe St, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 6UT - Visit now

Macclesfield’s Scoop and Scales is a fill-your-own, plastic-free store enabling shoppers to buy ethical products – and only what they need – helping avoid unnecessary packaging that might end up in a landfill.

Scoop and Scales
Scoop & Scales Plastic Free Shopping

Eighth Day

Eighth Day, 111 Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 7DU - Visit now

Oxford Road’s Eighth Day is a co-operative selling ethically-sourced food, wine and cosmetics. There’s also a café that serves hearty, healthy meals in the basement.

Eighth Day.

Unicorn Grocery

Unicorn Grocery, 89 Albany Rd, Manchester, M21 0BN - Visit now

An ever popular food cooperative in Chorlton, the supermarket-sized Unicorn stocks a huge range of locally and ethically sourced organic fruit, veg and fair trade products.

© Unicorn Grocery

General Store Deansgate

General Store Deansgate, Deansgate Square Great Jackson Street, Manchester, M15 4PA - Visit now

General Store Deansgate is a one-stop-shop for retail and food, based on Deansgate Square. They’re not 100% zero waste but a lot of the products are from small companies with a commitment to eco-friendly policies.

General Store Deansgate
General Store Deansgate

Stretford Foodhall

Stretford Foodhall, Chester Road, Stretford, M32 9BD - Visit now

Whether you fancy visiting to sample some delicious street food or to top up your refillable containers, Stretford Foodhall is well worth a visit.

Stretford Foodhall
Image courtesy of Stretford Foodhall

Ancoats General Store

Ancoats General Store, 57 Great Ancoats Street , Manchester, M4 5AB - Visit now

Sitting in the heart of the ‘11th coolest neighbourhood in the world’ (according to Time Out), Ancoats General Store serves the local community as a (largely) sustainability-focussed convenience store stocking craft products, locally-sourced wares and top tier vegan produce.

Image courtesy of Ancoats General Store

Deadstock General Store

Deadstock General Store, 46 Edge St, Manchester, M4 1HN - Visit now

The Northern Quarter’s Deadstock is a small shop with a well-curated range of stock designed to last. With everything from Japanese hemp socks to botanical paperweights and HAWS plant misters, each object is environmentally friendly and beautifully made.

Deadstock General Store
Deadstock General Store

Where to go in Manchester

Manchester
Shop
Village Books

Village Books on Oxford Street is a cultural utopia. Offering a selection of contemporary art, design, fashion and photography.

Manchester
Shop
House of Books & Friends

Playing a powerful role in the community, this venue functions as a bookshop, café and place to meet and chat with likeminded individuals.

Manchester
Shop
Bags of Flavour

Bags of Flavour is the Northern Quarter’s answer to high end vintage with high quality exclusive garments and accessories.

Altrincham
Shop
IDAHO

Every piece in IDAHO has something special and will guarantee to make your homes, offices and wardrobes feel a little more inspiring.

Manchester
Shop
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.

Ancoats
Shop
Ancoats General Store

Ancoats General Store serves the local community as a sustainability-focused convenience store stocking craft products, locally-sourced wares and top tier vegan produce.

Urmston
Shop
Goodness Zero Waste

On a mission to help making a difference more convenient, Urmston’s Goodness Zero Waste is a great spot to shop sustainably for food, beauty and household products.

Stretford Foodhall
Manchester
Café or Coffee Shop
Stretford Foodhall

A one-stop-shop, Stretford Foodhall is a place for those who like to eat, drink and shop with a guilt-free conscience. Whether you fancy visiting to sample some delicious street food or to top up your refillable containers, Stretford Foodhall is well worth a visit.

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