Weigh Ahead on the High Street Zero Waste Shop

by Rosemary Hunter in Dunblane, Scotland, United Kingdom

We did it
On 29th August 2019 we successfully raised £17,866 with 222 supporters in 34 days

Weigh Ahead is a zero waste, plastic free, sustainable living, social enterprise opening in Dunblane

by Rosemary Hunter in Dunblane, Scotland, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Money raised via the stretch target will go towards sourcing a cargo e-bike/trike with panniers to use for local deliveries. This will further the environmental aim of reducing waste, while improving air quality and allow us to take the idea to people who can't easily come to the shop themselves and keep our delivery folk fit :-)

Hello I'm Rosie and have dreamed about opening a shop for years. 

Having listened to the community I decided a zero waste, plastic free social enterprise was the way to go.

So what is this 'Zero Waste' idea all about ??

As a new business start up for Dunblane, 'Weigh Ahead', will bring a new concept to shopping on the High Street.  A zero waste, plastic free shop enabling sustainable living. We will stock eco-friendly, sustainable products that will be sold without plastic packaging.   By setting up as a social enterprise it will also bring the opportunity for profits to be re-invested back into the community.  These profits will go back in various ways, by promoting environmental issues, recycling, Ecobricks projects, and by providing outreach programmes and sustainable living workshops for the community, with a particular emphasis on reaching people who would find practising a zero waste lifestyle most of a challenge.  

As many products as possible will be sourced from other social enterprises to support the circular economy, and from local / Scottish artisans with the odd more exotic product that will, of course, have been ethically checked out before being placed on the shelves.

If you have any small up-cycled or other suitable products you think we could stock, please get in touch. 

What does a zero waste shop look like?

'The Simple Weigh' in Hartlepool is an example of a current Zero Waste shop (thanks for the image)

and here is Locavore in Glasgow another social enterprise CIC and Eco Larder in Edinburgh

and this is where we are with the Dunblane shop at the moment....so there is a LOT of work to do !

Look at that amazing original wood panelling we've uncovered that we can hopefully bring back to life.

and so far we've salvaged these items from landfill as we've been taking things to the recycling centre - the unit was in the wood recycling and the other two were headed for landfill with the mirror still in its removals packaging from 7 years ago! 

So, how will it work? 

You will either bring your own containers, buy a jar, use a jar from the amnesty box, or use paper bags to fill up with whatever products you need and more importantly in the amounts you want.

You weigh your container, fill it up, re-weigh and pay. 

What will we stock?

Our recent survey has given us a heads up on what you want to see on the shelves and these include a variety of dry foods including pulses, pasta, spices, bread, very happy eggs, very happy milk and home made 'mylks' (substitute milks -eg oat and almond).  We will stock household items like washing up liquid, washing powder, cleaning products, toilet rolls; and personal items like hair soap bars, period products, nappies, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. There will be some specialist sections suitable for vegans, or those needing gluten-free and diabetic-friendly options.  

To add some variety there will be a selection of locally sourced, up-cycled items, such as jewellery, local art and reusable mugs and bottles.

Below is a word cloud of the most popular requests so far from the survey - it remains open so you can still let us know what you are looking for via this link - Weigh Ahead Survey. If you add your email address at the end of the survey we can add you to our database for updates.

Why is this important or worthwhile?

Most people have watched and been touched by Blue Planet and from seeing horrendous pictures like these below.

There is a feeling that it doesn't matter what YOU do as an individual - but it does.  Even if each of us only makes a few small adjustments to our behaviour we can collectively make a BIG difference.  By moving to choosing organic produce or reducing the amount of meat we eat, even if we don't cut it out altogether, these changes will make a difference.  Along with saying no to plastic packaging and no to our throwaway society. This won't only benefit the planet.   Living a more sustainable lifestyle costs less over time as you aren't constantly replacing everyday items and are only buying what you need, so you will have more money left in your pocket.  We will collectively consume less and so collectively spend less and collectively make a difference.  

Weigh Ahead hopes to be able to encourage the whole community towards zero waste living.

What will your pledges purchase?

In addition to refurbishing the shop there is a long list of things we need before we open....

  • Gravity Bins
  • Scoop Dispensers
  • Scales - these are very expensive to make the transition to weighing your own food easy.
  • Nut butter and nut milk machine
  • Coffee grinder
  • Fridge and freezer
  • Dishwasher
  • Shelving        
  • Lots of Stock

How can YOU help or be involved?

1. Purchase one of our great rewards.
Join us by purchasing an 'Annual Discount Card' and be one of the first 'A-Head-Starter's via this Crowdfunder, at £30 instead of £35 for the year. This provides a 10% discount at each visit to the shop. If you can afford it, how about Paying Forward an annual discount card to help fund the automatic 10% discounts for all lower/non waged/student shoppers?
If you live further away why not take advantage of one of the starter packs rewards that we can send out to you, or you can collect in shop if you want to make a one-off trip, or maybe you would like to name a shelf?

2. Spread the word by sharing our crowdfunder, video, and liking and sharing our social media pages - see the links below.

3. Get in touch to have a product or item considered as part of our stock. 

4. Volunteering.  Do you have a passion to help others move towards a more sustainable lifestyle and have a few hours free each week?  Then you will be welcome to be part of our team to promote this.

5. Refer or recommend a person or group who would benefit from a workshop or supported session on how to move towards a sustainable lifestyle.  We are trying to reach people and groups who would be typically most hard to reach and least likely to naturally embrace this way of living.

However YOU can help in whatever way, small or large, will be hugely appreciated.

A special thanks to everyone who has been involved so far, Bill Bruce for the video; Keith, Jim, Christopher and Diarmid on helping to strip-out/refurbish the shop; David, Alice, Donald,Jools, Maggie, Michelle, Ally and my huge What's App group and other friends for helping with the ideas for branding, colours and the myriad of other things to be decided; Jan for market research and Stephen for accounting advice, Amber for advice on shop fit; Fiona at The Wire, the many existing zero waste shop-holders for their invaluable advice so far and to the community for embracing the concept of this idea.


This is an ALL OR NOTHING Crowdfunder so pledges are only paid across to the project if the target is achieved, so every penny counts.  If funds are low but YOU love the idea, please spread the news about Weigh Ahead so that we can bring this project to life on Dunblane High Street.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£30 or more

Annual Discount Card be 'A-Head-Starter'

The Annual Discount Card brings you a 10% discount across the shop valid for one year from the opening day and perfect for regular zero waste shoppers. It will cost £35 after the Crowdfunder is over and in the shop. A plantable thank-you card.

£10 or more

10% Discount off your first shop

10% off your first shop and if you decide to take out a membership when you are using the voucher £10 will be deduced from the annual membership cost. A plantable thank-you card.

£20 or more

Branded Jute Tote Bag & 20% off first shop

You will receive one of our branded jute tote bags and 20% discount from your first shop with us. Collect in shop when you come in or we can send it out to you if you don't live nearby. A plantable thank-you card.

£20 or more

Ecobrick Making Workshop

Come along to our session or give the session as a gift. Help construct something like this for the shop................................................... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbPwzZVxgkI ............................................. It is proposed to run on Sunday the 8th September from around 2-5pm but you can drop in to suit. If this is very popular then more than one session will be organised.

£25 or more

A Head to Hydrate

A Co-Branded Klean Kanteen Sports Bottle 27oz and a plantable thank-you card. Can be collected in the shop or we can send out to you. Various colours - choose from spring green, sierra sunset (orange), winter plum (purple), coastal waters (blue), wild orchid (pink), Sea Crest (light teal), Mineral Red, Shale Black, Brushed Stainless or Lemon Curry (Mustard)

£30 or more

Out of Town-ers Reward

Help support our start up and unless you want to make a one-off trip to the shop we will send you out a branded re-usable bottle and branded jute bag for life along with a plantable thank-you card.

£50 or more

16 of 20 claimed

Buy And Name A Shelf

Shelfie McShelf Face anyone?? Help sponsor one of our shelves and choose a name for it. This would be suitable for the local businesses to support as a bit of high street advertising. A plantable thank-you card.

£60 or more

£60 Pay-It-Forward Annual Discount Card

One year's annual discount for you, offering 10% discount across the shop valid for one year, plus a 'Pay-It-Forward' Annual Discount Card for a low/non-waged/student also valid for one year. A plantable thank-you card.

£100 or more

Sustainable Lifestyle Starter Kit

A starter kit with three kilner reusable jars, a set of beeswax wraps, a branded jute tote bag, a branded reusable bottle and annual membership offering 10% off all purchases for one year. A plantable thank-you card.

£150 or more

Buy & Name A Bulk Dispenser & Annual Discount Card

The bulk dispensers have to be very robust and the cost of them is equally robust. With this reward you can buy and name one of them (or have it named after you) and you will also receive an annual membership giving you 10% discount across the shop for one year - or you can pay your discount forward if you don't live nearby. A plantable thank-you card.

£500 or more

£500 Supreme Supporter

With such a generous donation you will receive three years annual membership giving you 10% discount across the shop, a branded water bottle for life, one of our branded jute tote bags and an invite to our preview opening event. A plantable thank-you card.

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