Who we are
Harmless Store is a vegan, minimal packaging, grocery shop based in North London, with a goal to helping you lead a more ethical lifestyle.
The shop was founded by Tami Jarvis in 2018 and opened April of that year. If you are a long-term customer you probably remember the first little shop inside the Yellow Shed, Wood Green. We are proud to have recently expanded to our larger, current premises along Tottenham Lane, Hornsey.
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We are currently getting the store ready for re-opening. Please check our instagram to find out more and Google Business listing for our most up to date opening hours.
IN-PERSON SHOPPING WILL RESUME AT THE END OF JUNE 2021
How it works
Just 4 easy steps:
- Bring your own clean, dry containers.
- Weigh each container (with its lid on) using our scales and mark the weight.
- Find a spot around the shop to gather all your containers.
- Once full, bring everything to the till and we will weigh it again and calculate the final bill.
Some extra points to remember:
- Don’t switch scoops. Find a clean one in the clean scoop pot or ask a member of staff.
- Try not to put the scoop on the side, if you have it’s not a problem but let a member of staff know so the scoop can be washed. This is so we don’t cross contaminate allergens.
- Please keep an eye on the taps as they fill rather quickly. Watch and be ready to turn them off to avoid spillages.
We will be happy to help you with any of the steps above, just ask one of our friendly assistants. You may read about the way our system works in more detail under our FAQs.
Why we exist
As a population of almost 8 billion, and with an imbalance caused largely by the developing world, we are consuming more than our planet can provide. In 2019, ‘Overshoot Day’ was July 29. This is the day that ‘humanity exhausted the biological resources our planet could renew that year.’ This means that we are using almost twice as much we have every year, and as a result, we are diminishing the Earth’s natural ability to replenish these resources.
Below we have listed some of the important statistics that urged us to find a new way to eat, shop, think, share and talk.
- If we reduced global meat consumption by 50% and used more calories from plants, we would move Overshoot Day 5 days.*
- The amount of wasted food is equivalent to about 9% of the global Ecological Footprint. If we cut food waste in half worldwide, we would move Overshoot Day by 11 days.*
- The UK recycling rate for Waste from Households was 45.7% in 2017. There is an EU target for the UK to recycle at least 50% of household waste by 2020.**
By partnering with more environmentally conscious suppliers, we can offer healthy, package-free vegan groceries. It is our goal to promote a plant-based diet, a low-impact lifestyle and a deep respect for our planet and the diversity of life that it holds.
The Harm Less Scale
At Harmless, we have developed our own system for choosing suppliers, based on our ethical priorities.
- VEGAN—Everything we stock is vegan first. We believe that it is unnecessary and cruel to farm animals and animal products in order to sustain ourselves.
- PLASTIC-FREE—The majority of our products come plastic free. This is because we understand that single-use plastic and the irresponsible disposal of it is harming wildlife and wrecking ecosystems around the world. In some cases we stock vegan, plastic-wrapped items; this is with the intention to encourage a more plant-based diet, which is our first priority.
- HOME-GROWN—We choose UK suppliers, closely followed by European. By sourcing food that requires a shorter distance to reach us, we reduce our carbon footprint. We can also be sure about the regulations under which it was produced, according to EU agricultural laws.
- INDEPENDENT—We love independents like us! Especially if they are vegan-owned. We like to support amazing suppliers who are creating change through their own sustainable businesses.
- SUPER LOCAL—Some of our suppliers are based in London, even the same neighbourhood! We are especially interested in the fantastic local businesses situated near us.
- PALM OIL-FREE—It is safer for us to say no to palm oil in order to avoid ingredients grown on deforested land. It is possible to find more sustainable sources but as a general rule, we avoid!
- ANTI-MONOCULTURE—We do not like to support monocropping and intensive agricultural or manufacturing techniques. Monoculture destroys the natural diversity of life, polluting, weakening and even destroying ecosystems. This point takes a lot of work because large suppliers frequently change their suppliers, which therefore requires extra research from us.
- ORGANIC—We choose our suppliers based on (among all the above points) what we know about their production methods and how sustainable they are. It is actually quite expensive for small businesses to obtain ‘organic’ certification. This means that we may choose a supplier who is organic in every sense of the word but who lacks the badges.
We understand that these probably won’t match your own order of values and we ask that you if you plan to shop with us, that you come with mutual respect for our differing opinions! Feel free to read our FAQs for more information. If you disagree very strongly with our values, why not open your own shop! We would be happy to share our learning with you.