“I was the only customer for a while,” Claire Sancelot says about opening Malaysia’s first zero waste concept store The Hive Bulk Foods in 2016. A passionate advocator of zero waste (which focuses on sustainable living through the ‘6Rs’: refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle, and rot), Claire opened the Kuala Lumpur-based shop, selling a modest selection of package-free, sustainably sourced dry food and goods. Since then, The Hive’s catalogue has grown to include over 300 bulk whole foods, and has even become a unique place for customers to learn about different cultures and communities.

An economist by trade, Claire grew up in France and learnt the importance of reusing and recycling from her parents. The push to go zero waste, however, only came after having twins; a significant increase in waste shocked her and her husband into making the change. “I started living zero waste in 2010. It was a fun and liberating experience more than anything,” she says.

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