Tare Market is a Zero Waste store that empowers consumers to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. The company provides a variety of product options that are plastic-free and eco-friendly.
“Zero Waste” is a growing movement amongst consumers to reduce their individual burden on the environment and limit the amount of waste generated by individuals or households. Zero Waste requires pivoting toward items that can be reused multiple times and avoiding unneeded waste such as packaging and single-use plastic. The reuse / preserve concept of circularity is central to the zero waste philosophy. While this lifestyle requires behavior change and effort on the part of consumers, many individuals have gravitated to this philosophy as a way to drive sustainable change in their own lives and in turn for the planet.
Tare Market is a new retail concept that supports a zero-waste and plastic-free lifestyle. The company opened its first retail store location in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has since built an e-commerce presence as well. The store offers a variety of products including:
- Shelf-stable grocery items (i.e. rice, coffee, pasta, etc.)
- Sustainable living products (i.e. bamboo cutlery, reusable swabs, cosmetics)
- Household products (i.e. cleaning supplies, food storage solutions)
The majority of the products are sourced locally to reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation and support local, underrepresented businesses.
The in-store experience differs from a traditional grocery store in that items are unpackaged and consumers are required to bring their own reusable containers to transport the goods home. Pricing for an item is determined by weight and varies depending on the volume purchased. Consumers practice circularity by coming back to the store for additional purchases using reusable containers - eliminating the need for new packaging for each purchase.
Behind the scenes, Tare Market practices the zero waste and circular practices within its supply chain. Inventory arrives in bulk in reusable containers which are returned to the vendor for reuse and future packaging after each delivery.
Tare Market encourages consumer behavior change with its educational programs and outreach. They offer seminars and educational resources on subjects such as transitioning your home to Zero Waste. Within the store, staff will help find simple swaps / replacements for items that are typically thrown away such as swaps for plastic dental floss or cotton balls that are used on a daily basis. The company has grown a strong community of Zero Waste enthusiasts.
During Understory’s March ‘Startups Driving Sustainability’ Showcase, Amber Haukedahl, the Founder of Tare Market, suggested that moving toward a Zero Waste lifestyle starts with one single swap / replacement. Being sustainable doesn’t have to be overwhelming. We agree. Sustainability transformation is iterative and should be both practical and approachable.