Who is behind Sustenance?

Sustenance is founded by Katie Pitts a mum and environmentalist (amongst many other things).

We have part-time staff and volunteers which you will meet at our stall or pop-up shop.

There are also many other very kind and supportive people and customers behind Sustenance - without them we would not exist. THANK YOU!

What is Sustenance about?

Our mission is to provide an alternative to supermarkets. We want to provide environmentally and socially friendly food, locally at affordable prices. Our produce is of highest quality and sourced from sustainable and socially fair suppliers to make sure the earth, the suppliers and our customers can live in an improved world.

We achieve this by using high-quality wholesalers that are co-operatives with responsible environmental policies in place. And by providing alternatives to harmful plastic products which includes loose food without packaging, refillable household cleaning solutions and items like toothbrushes and dish scrubbers that are made with eco alternatives that do not drain or pollute the earths resources.

Our dream is to create a store that sells organic, plastic free groceries such as dry pantry food, cosmetics, household cleaning products and eventually gifts. Customers will be able to come and fill (and refill) their own containers to buy zero waste products in small quantities or in bulk.

What is Zero Waste?

Simply put zero waste is less rubbish. The main aim is to cut down on single use items for example, the plastic bags that pasta comes in.

Instead of a plastic bag being made, used once to put pasta in and then thrown away we supply unpackaged food for people to buy and carry away in paper bags or, preferably, in their own containers. By doing this we’ll cut out the wasteful single use plastic bag! Customers can then reuse their containers to buy whatever they want at the stall and in whatever quantities.

We sell bulk and small amounts, for example 2KG of organic white rice or 50G of organic dried mango to try and limit food waste (which is another area of waste that needs to be addressed) and cater to all appetites and budgets.

Why?

Humanity is at a cross roads.

We are literally throwing our lives away, as well as the life of our planet.As the saying goes “there is no planet b”.

As a worldwide community we are transporting petrol by products such as plastics to be used once and then to sit in a landfill or be incinerated. The this is the plastic we see in the form of straws up turtles noses and washed up inside whales. These plastics are now entering the food chain and pose a real risk to human health.

We have all recently seen the Extinction Rebellion movements worldwide and school strikes started by Greta Thunberg to highlight young peoples concerns about climate change not to mention David Attenboroughs call for change.

As a consumerist society the best way we can use our power is through our political action and consumerist action. By buying ethically produced and environmentally friendlier food we are making choices for ourselves about the impact the items we consume have on our and everyone elses future.

How is Sustenance Environmentally Friendly / Zero Waste?

I have to be clear, we are not perfect - my zero waste business is 100% zero waste for customers and I try my upmost to be as low waste as possible but I do resort to reusing and recycling some plastic to provide zero waste for customers. I also have other methods to be environmentally friendly as possible:

Local or Ethical Produce.

We source produce that has been grown or made as close to us as possible to cut down on delivery distance and the associated carbon emissions. For example, Hodmedod’s Quinoa is British grown! However, due to the British farming capabilities there are many dry food items that cannot be sourced in the UK so we source from accountable companies that have high traceability as well as solid environmental and social values.

Organic Food.

We have chosen to stock organic whole foods where possible due to the damage of fertilisers and pesticides to soil, water and animals (for example birds).

Organic over conventional produce can be a tight road to walk as new studies come out detailing the pros and cons of organic agriculture, but for the moment we will stick to organic produce where possible.

Recycling and Reusing.

Some produce we get do come in plastic bags. Some of these bags are compostable (due to amazing wholesalers who are already eco-friendly) and some of them are not. I save up my personal and business plastic and pay to send it off to be properly recycled as these types of plastic are not commonly recycled in council recycling schemes.

No Plastic!

We do not have plastic bags for customers to put produce in nor to carry home produce in. We supply recycled brown paper bags for customers if needed which can be reused or composted. Produce is stored in UN approved food grade metal bins with airtight lids or glass jars.

Sold by Weight.

All produce is sold and priced by weight. We have weighing scales that can tare the weight of containers so that we can place a container on the scales, the scales are then zeroed for food to be weighed directly into so customers are charged for the only food they buy and not the weight of the container too.

We then add the amount of food purchased to your bill and move onto the next container and item. All orders are added together on an to create the final bill.

Selling in weight means that customers can buy as little or as much as they want in a additional bid to beat food waste.