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HomeNewsLeeds zero waste store EcoTopia to launch second outlet in Bramley

Leeds zero waste store EcoTopia to launch second outlet in Bramley

A new shop selling zero waste products is set to open in Bramley Shopping Centre later this month.

EcoTopia specialises in zero-waste products and enables shoppers to take their own containers to buy goods, such as pasta, pulse, spices, cereals and dried fruit. It also sells toiletries, pet supplies and eco-friendly cleaning products.

EcoTopia is a family owned plastic-free refill shop, run by sisters Samantha Newton and Michelle Arthur, along with Michelle’s partner Daniel Ribeiro.

Their Bramley store will be the company’s second shop, joining its other outlet at Central Arcade in the city centre. Samantha said:

“We’re so excited to join this local community, as we know it’s a really strong one and we’d love to become a part of it. We hope this community cares as much for the environment as it does for its neighbours, since, of course, this is the kind of thing we offer – plastic free, sustainable and ethical goods.

“When we mapped it out, a large majority of our online custom comes from Bramley, so this showed us that Bramley has a demand for our kind of business.

“We try to be as reasonably priced as possible and compete with the big supermarkets where we can. Our aim was always to make everything as affordable as possible to those of all backgrounds, so being eco-friendly doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank.”

Co-founder Michelle Arthur added:

“We decided that we had to do something extreme to survive this recession, so instead of giving up and closing our doors, we thought we should fight on and do something possibly a bit crazy.

“We’re so excited to join this local community, as we know it’s a really strong one and we’d love to become a part of it. We hope this community cares as much for the environment as it does for its neighbours – since of course this is the kind of thing we offer – plastic free, sustainable and ethical goods.

“We try to be as reasonably priced as possible and compete with the big supermarkets where we can while still being able to pay all the bills. Since our own background is of a working class variety, our aim was always to make everything as affordable as possible to those of all backgrounds, so being eco friendly doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. We’re certainly not here to get rich, we just want to give as many people as possible the option to shop more sustainably!”

The second EcoTopia store will open at Bramley Shopping Centre on Saturday, 28 August.

Commercial property and investment company LCP took over the running of the 132,000 soft centre, earlier this year. Rakesh Joshi, LCP associate director (convenience parades), said:

“It is great to see an ambitious local enterprise wanting to grow its business at Bramley and it adds a new type of retailer to the portfolio, providing local shoppers with even more choice on their doorstep.”

Bramley residents are holding weekly sit-in protests every Saturday morning after LCP removed all 22 benches at the centre in June, saying they were an obstruction. Earlier this month they pledged to reinstate eight of the benches, with four near Poundstretcher and four close to the taxi rank near Tesco. 

But campaigners from the 900-strong A Place to Sit group say LCP’s measures are not enough and are calling for all the seats to be reinstated.

As well as the weekly protests – which this week featured a live band – more than 1,250 people have signed a petition calling for all the benches to be reinstated amid concerns over accessibility for older and disabled people.

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