Rugby friends open minimal-packaging shop in town centre

Owners Sharon Lee (left) and Clair Saxton.
Owners Sharon Lee (left) and Clair Saxton.

Many people making small changes can be better than a small group making big changes – that is the message of two Rugby friends who have set up a packaging-free shop in the town centre.

Rugby Unwrapped opened on Saturday, June 1, and owners Clair Saxton and Sharon Lee said the reception so far has been very positive.

The shop sells a range of dried foods, spices, coffee and cleaning products with one difference – customers bring their own containers so as to save on the use of packaging and help the environment.

Sharon said: “We would in no way claim to be eco warriors, but we feel it’s really important that we encourage people to make small changes that are practical and affordable.”

Clair and Sharon said they do not wish for the store to become a niche business – and to that end they have made efforts to keep the costs down.

Clair said: “We’ve not been down the organic route - it’s expensive and we want to encourage everyone to change their shopping habits.”

The shop uses some Rugby suppliers, with herbs and spices supplied by Spicy Joe's and the flooring and dishwasher for the store supplied by nearby, independent retailers.

The store is sited on Church Street, in the unit which used to host Shadow Games, and there are plans to keep increasing the range of products on offer.

Sharon and Clair said they were happy to be in the town centre, adding that it was important to attract Rugbeians into the area, and not retail parks.

Stores based around little or no packaging are not a new phenomenon, and some Rugbeians might remember the Scoop and Save in town, which sold some items in huge buckets that allowed customers to scoop out what they needed.

Now, because of concerns over the impact of the extensive use of plastic packaging in consumer goods, the idea of minimal packaging is experiencing a resurgence - with some supermarket chains trialing minimal or zero packaging schemes.