Goodbye, packaging: Zero-waste shop will ask customers to bring their own jars

A new business in Calgary will ask customers to bring their own jars once it opens later this winter. Canary Goods aims to sell household products but without the excessive packaging.

Canary Goods co-owner says she got sick of boxes, bubble wrap and plastic packaging

Canary Goods is a northwest Calgary store that's set to open next month. Along with reusable bags, it will sell household goods that are packaging-free. (Canary Goods/Facebook)

A new business in Calgary will ask customers to bring their own jars when it opens later this winter.

Lisa Watts and Tara Meyer, the entrepreneurs behind Canary Goods, say they'll sell households products, from lotions and shampoos to vinegar and dishwasher tabs — but with no packaging at all.

Instead, they're aiming to have a so-called zero-waste business. Customers will have to bring their own jars, Tupperware or other clean, dry containers in order to bring home their products. And now they're only a month away from opening.

It all started when Watts, as a mother of two young children, ordered household products off Amazon to save time. Her order came in about 10 different packages and all at different times.

When the toothpaste finally showed up, it was buried in three boxes with one tube blanketed in bubble wrap.

"Maybe it was the lack of sleep that morning," Watts said. "I just had a bit of a meltdown over it."

Canary Goods is hoping to open a shop within Blank Pages Studio in Kensington. (Canary Goods/Facebook)

Watts and Meyer were inspired to start their own zero-waste shop after learning of others in Vancouver and elsewhere. 

They hope theirs will be open in time for Alberta's Family Day, Feb. 18. It'll be located on the second floor of Blank Page Studio in the northwest shopping district of Kensington.

The business partners have been selling their goods at Market Collective. In their Kensington shop, they'll start by selling household products that are either reusable or refillable before expanding to other types of goods.

"We're going to carry a lot of products that are designed toward thinking about the whole life cycle of the product," Watts said. 

The products will have good ingredients, Watts said, but not all will be vegan or organic, for example. They're aiming for quality and appealing for a variety of families.

"It may not be the exact same as something you might find at Walmart or Shoppers but we definitely will have a wide variety of price points," she said.

A few other places in Calgary offer refilling services for household products, she said, but to their knowledge, they'll be the first in the city to aim to be entirely zero-waste in their sales.

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.