When launching Stasher in Malaysia, we knew The Hive Bulk Foods had to be our first retail partner! Claire Sancelot started the The Hive back in 2016, they were the first Zero Waste store in Malaysia. Since their humble beginnings they have impressively scaled from a single shophouse to 5 locations across Kuala Lumpur.
The Hive's concept is shaped by Claire's passion for sustainability and her commitment to catering for individuals with different preferences including vegans, gluten intolerant, they health conscious, zero waster and/or minimalist enthusiasts.
Find out more about The Hive online at thehivebulkfoods.com
Thanks for chatting to us Claire!
How would you describe The Hive to someone that's never set foot in a Zero-Waste concept store before?
The Hive offers this amazing experience in sustainability, you just need to bring your own containers and pay solely for the pure products. Most of our food comes "naked" 100% organic or natural and package free.
The Hive has been around in Malaysia since 2016, what milestones are you most proud of?
I am extremely proud of opening South East Asia's first zero waste store, since then we saw a lot of babies coming in the region and it has been extremely heart warming to see even franchise's from Australia are coming now to the market. It means people are changing and want to buy more sustainably.
As a very visible and well known advocate for Zero Waste living in Malaysia, what do you hope the lasting impact of The Hive will be?
I hope people will be more concerned about the environment, I have given a lot of lectures on sustainability over the past 4 years and I am glad to see the (small) changes.
Over the past couple of years, we've observed a sharp rise in consumer desire to go plastic-free, what other areas of zero-waste living do you think need a spotlight like this?
I am so happy to see people more and more concerned about plastic and are trying as much as possible to cut it from their daily lives mainly the single use plastic items.
The Hive has been extremely successful in the region in promoting The Hivette, Malaysia first menstrual cup and our washable sanitary pads.
We are often faced with legitimate questions about zero-waste shopping and eco-friendly products. The concerns center around the perceived higher cost of bulk foods shopping and effectiveness of eco-friendly cleaning products vs supermarket brands. What are your thoughts on these questions and concerns?
Those are legitimate thoughts, running a zero waste store requires much more labor work than a traditional store. Just, setting the store with gravity bins or glass jars is more expensive than shelves but customers do understand that and are happy to support. At the same time, I always encourage our customers to compare prices as The Hive is trying to be as competitive as possible.
Getting started is often the hardest part of a lasting shift to more sustainable living, how would you advise someone to start? What would be your quick tips or hacks to get started?
I am saying Baby Steps, start small and enjoy the journey. Look at what is in your garbage and see what could be substituted by reusable alternatives.
Lastly, I must ask, what do you stash in your Stasher?
I stash my daily snacks in my Stasher.