In a city where the zero-waste movement was non-existent, Claire Sancelot took a chance, started her own zero-waste store, and it paid off. We had a chat with her to find out how she did it.

Zero-waste store The Hive Bulk Foods provides a range of unpackaged products to help people live a low-waste lifestyle, from pantry staples like organic flour, rice, nuts and legumes to toiletries, menstrual products, straws and food storage products. Customers are encouraged to bring their own containers to fill with food and shower products like shampoo and conditioner. Most of the products are organic and bought from local producers in Kuala Lumpur, so in addition to being plastic-free, each product sold at The Hive has a very low carbon footprint.

During my chat with Claire, she showed me all of the wonderful plastic-free products The Hive stocks from natural deodorant and biodegradable floss to locally made dehydrated pineapple bits (which were delicious). When I asked Claire about a stack of colourfully printed washable pads that had caught my eye, she mentioned that The Hive sells them to charities at cost price, offering low income women access to zero waste menstrual products.

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