Saskatchewan

'Together, we can make a huge difference': Regina zero-waste market opens in midst of COVID-19 pandemic

Karlee Raiwet hopes she can help people choose a more sustainable lifestyle, one step at a time, by providing them with the products to do so.

New store delivers refills and sustainable items, with plans to open storefront in May

Karlee Raiwet plans to open her storefront on May 19, when retail stores are allowed to open again in Saskatchewan. (Submitted by Karlee Raiwet)

Regina's Karlee Raiwet had to make alternative plans after a pandemic hit the province at the same time she had hoped to open her new business.

Raiwet's business, The Alternative, is a refillery and zero-waste market in Regina. She also carries locally made, sustainable items. She hopes she can help people choose a more sustainable lifestyle, one step at a time, by providing them with the products to do so.

"As a community, we don't always do as much as we could. I know I want my kids and generations to come to be able to enjoy the world," said Raiwet.

"Everyone can do one or two sustainable things, and together we can make a huge difference."

The Alternative is a refillery and zero-waste market in Regina. (Submitted by Karlee Raiwet)

Raiwet started changing things up in her own lifestyle a couple years ago, but had trouble accessing some of the products she needed to do so.

"If I was looking for them, there had to have been other people that were looking for them as well."

The idea to start her own business was born while she was on maternity leave with her son.

She got possession of her storefront in mid-March and planned to open early April. Then COVID-19 arrived.

She pivoted to focusing on creating her online store and began offering delivery to Regina and the surrounding area. 

"We've been so fortunate to have success so far because people seem to be really wanting to support local businesses now more than ever," she said.

"We just hope that that trend continues post-COVID."

Now that the province has released its plan to reopen Saskatchewan, Raiwet plans to open her storefront on May 19 while still offering delivery. 

About the Author

Joelle Seal is an Associate Producer in Current Affairs for CBC Saskatchewan. Get in touch with her by emailing joelle.seal@cbc.ca or on Twitter @joelleseal.

With files from CBC Radio One's The Morning Edition

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