The Indie Oxford Guide To Plastic Free July

 In Inspiration

This month we celebrate #plasticfreeJuly, a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and communities. The aim is to reduce our reliance on single use plastics, and look at alternatives that are better for the planet and easy to incorporate into our daily busy lives too. Here are 10 tips to reducing your household plastic intake, and help the local economy at the same time! >>

Cultivate Oxford

Reusable Coffee Cups

Head to one of the awesome indie coffee shops in Oxford such as The Missing Bean, Society Cafe or Jericho Coffee Traders and pick up a reusable coffee cup to save using take away cups.

The Missing Bean Oxford

Plastic Free Fruit & Veg

Buying fruit & veg through Cultivate or 2 North Parade, enables to you to buy sustainably grown local veg without the plastic you’d get in a super market. Buying from a local grocer means less food miles too.

Cultivate is Oxford’s Local Food Cooperative supplying local, organic, fresh fruit and veg to the people of Oxford via their Summertown Farmer’s market stall, and online click & collect and delivery services. Less than 1% of the food consumed in the county is actually produced here and they’re looking to change that by working closely with local growers, farmers and producers to help create a more sustainable food chain in the county. Shopping with Cultivate not only means you’re getting a wide variety of fresh, tasty, and organic produce, but you’re also helping them create a better food system for Oxford. Better for everyone who eats food, better for everyone who grows food, and better for the planet.

Cultivate Oxford

Buy Reusable Packaging

Buying skincare and toiletries in glass or refillable packaging is a great way of reducing the amount of single use plastic you have you in your bathroom.

Claire, founder of Ermana natural skincare products, makes her products from a rich blend of botanical oils, butters and waxes that are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega oils and fatty acids, which are essential to keep the skin hydrated and nourished, and packages her range in glass containers.

ermana oxford


Buy laundry liquid, washing up liquid and household dry goods in refillable bottles. Both Added Ingredients and Cultivate stock a range of SESI refill.

Added Ingredients: purveyors of fine food, is located in the historic market town of Abingdon on Thames and stocks a good range of products for a more sustainable home.

Added ingredients oxfordshire

Buy Second Hand

Fast fashion has a huge impact on our climate with the use of chemicals, plastics and vast amounts of water. Buying second hand from stores like Eagle Vintage helps reduce the amount of new synthetic materials being produced.

Eagle Vintage is a vintage clothing store based in Jericho, promoting sustainable fashion at affordable prices. They stock male and female clothing and hand pick all their items to ensure quality and variety.

Eagle Vintage Oxford

Make Do And Mend

As well as buying vintage, you can also quit fast fashion by caring for, and mending clothes you already have. If you have items that are tired and need a refresh, talk to Oxford Alterations about altering pieces to give them a new lease of life.

Also check out OXWASH who provide an eco laundry & dry cleaning services, collected from, and delivered to your door by bike.

Oxford Alterations

Plastic Swaps

There are now some great products available across Oxford to help you live a more plastic free life. Check our Fairtrade at St Michael’s on Cornmarket Street and Indigo on Cowley Road for a whole range of products from bamboo tooth brushes to refillable drinking bottles, and wooden chopping boards to metal reusable straws.

Fairtrade at St Michaels was the first shop in Oxford to offer a high quality range of fairly traded goods from across the globe, safe in the knowledge that the environment is being honoured. They pride themselves on great customer service and on being kind to the planet.

Indigo has put sustainability, beauty, good quality and design at the heart of their business, and the gorgeous products they sell.

Their intention is to support small producers and suppliers and align with the Zero Waste ethos as much as possible, offering something a bit different to their beloved Oxford community.

Fairtrade St Michaels Oxford

Traditional Home-wares

Invest in quality, well made house hold items that will stand the test of time.

Objects of Use is a source of enduring household tools and functional items, consciously sourced from around the globe, with a special focus on everyday archetypes and vernacular objects. Beautiful, hand-carved ‘Kuksa’ cups from Finnish Lapland sit alongside beeswax candles from Cumbria, glassware from the Atlas mountains, cutlery from Sheffield and Catalonia, Japanese kitchenware and Dutch garden tools.

Objects of Use Oxford

Ditch The Sandwich

Plan ahead and make work lunches in advance, or better yet get out of the office and grab lunch at one of the awesome indie cafes across the city.

Waste2Taste, based at Ark T next to Templars Square Shopping Centre in Cowley, have a fantastic cafe from Tuesday to Thursday, offering healthy and sustainable food, and are committed to packaging and food waste cuts. They are fighting climate change by reducing food waste and using high quality food surplus. They are a fabulous team, made up of two friends, who in March 2017 decided to put together all their food knowledge and skills to show the world that magic can be made with surplus food, creating fantastic healthy and super tasty dishes!

waste2taste oxford


Refill, is an award-winning campaign designed to help you reduce your plastic pollution, by making it easy to refill your reusable water bottle instead of buying a plastic one. There are loads of participating indies where you can refill in Oxford including Turl Street Kitchen, Fairtrade St Michaels and Handle Bar Cafe.

Turl street kitchen Oxford

I hope this has provided you with some useful tips and inspiration to make the most of Plastic Free July!

We’d love to hear your ideas too! Please leave a comment below, or chat to us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Love, Rosie


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