After 18 months of building refurbishment, As Nature Intended reopened its Balham store in London today – the first of the chain’s branches to open without any plastic bags.
“As Nature Intended has always been committed to sustainability,” explains CEO Caroline Gooding. “By stocking only paper, cotton and jute bags from opening day, we are taking that important first step towards eliminating traditional plastic carrier bags in all our shops so that by 2020 we will be completely free of traditional plastic carrier bags. Likewise, we will be encouraging customers to bring their own carrier bags because the act of ‘reusing’ has the least impact on the environment.”
The new Balham shop is 3,381sq ft including the back-of-the-house offices and staff rooms, and stocks over 1,500 lines new lines, including many bulk options such as pulses, grains and nuts, laundry and washing-up liquid, haircare and bodycare, in a bid to reduce waste.
In total, the store offers more than 5,000 products, including organic produce, chilled foods including fresh organic meat, seafood and food-to-go, along with cheese, olives, charcuterie, natural remedies, skincare and supplements.
A standout feature of the new store is a vibrant sustainability-themed mural that adorns one of the shop’s interior walls. As Nature Intended commissioned the painted mural from influential Tooting street artist, @whoamirony, of the Blight Society collective.
“We are dedicating one entire wall to communicate our commitment to sustainability by showing our customers a selection of reusable products,” explains Nigel Morley, the chain’s MD. “We are very lucky to have such a talented, local artist to help bring this commitment to life in the form of a mural. It is perhaps the most exciting project I’ve been a part of in all my years in retailing.”
As Nature Intended opened its first organic store in Chiswick in 2000, and this new Balham branch brings its total to six shops across London.