Unwrapping the first anniversary of zero waste shop

COVID-19 and lockdown prevented Rugby Unwrapped from celebrating their first anniversary properly with customers, so we were keen to catch up with owners Clair Saxton and Sharon Lee to celebrate their first year of trading in Rugby town centre.

The Rugby Unwrapped shop is located on Church Street (opposite HSBC) and supplies a wide range of dried food and other household products, all sold on a supply your own packaging basis.

Baking ingredients, cereals, crisps and snacks, dried fruit, drinks, eggs, hers and spices, oils and vinegars, pasta, preserves, pulses, preserves make up the food side of the business. With one of the best selling items being the Two Farmers crisps, in three flavours including Hereford Hop Cheese and Onion. “We get these from farmers in Herefordshire”, says Clair. “They use their own potatoes and all their flavourings are natural. They taste amazing and of course, the packets are 100% compostable”.

Alongside foodstuffs, the Rugby Unwrapped shop stocks a full range of cleaning products. “We get them from Fill Refill in Northamptonshire”, explains Sharon. “They make all their own products without using dyes or harsh chemicals, and only natural scents”. This aspect of the offering covers hand soaps, washing up liquid, laundry detergent and powder, dishwasher powder, toilet cleaner and fabric conditioner.

Due to Covid 19, self-service in the shop has been replaced with three different options for customers. You can drop off your containers with a list of what you want and how much, which will be refilled for you to collect later. Or you can use the shop’s new website to check what is in stock or place an order using the Click and Collect service.

For customers in the nearby Rugby area, orders can be placed online and you can request free delivery for orders over £15. For customers in the Daventry area and some surrounding villages, Sharon and Clair are currently piloting a fortnightly delivery service on online orders for over £25.

Rugby Unwrapped is obviously based around the ideals of sustainability, reducing waste and using recyclable or biodegradable materials, but the business partners are keen to stress this is not just a shop for hardcore “eco warriors”.

“Our belief is that, rather than having a small number of people radically changing their lifestyles and everyone else carrying on as before, it is better for that wider group to start doing something different”, Sharon explains. “In other words, a large number of people making small changes will have more effect than a small number making big changes”.

Clair agrees. “The more you start getting into this, it becomes your normal way of buying things, and you start to learn about other products that you can use. There are some incredible businesses out there making environmentally friendly and sustainable products”.


66 Church Street, Rugby

Open Tuesday to Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday 10am – 4pm. Closed Monday.