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bulk bins, zero waste,
Chloe Tremain
Culture

Scoop Durham: Everything You Need to Know About the Student Go-to Shop

To preface this article, I want to state that this is not one of those paid testimonies about how a product is great while it’s actually average or worse: I have been volunteering at Scoop for some time now, and I want to share with you why I think it’s a worthwhile project that deserves your attention. I am going to lay out several aspects of Scoop that I think are key to its personality, which will hopefully inspire you to come and visit.

Firstly, it is important to spell out what Scoop actually is. It is a zero-waste shop built by students, mainly for students. Scoop Durham is not the first Scoop in the UK, but it has been here for a few years and is now part of our student life. You can find your daily kitchen staples such as pasta, rice, spices, oats, or snacks (yoghurt dipped banana chips seem especially popular), as well as sustainable household items like bamboo toothbrushes, reusable tea bags, locally produced soap, and more. All the products offered are good quality, durable, and our foods all rate highly on tastiness. You don’t have to worry, the execs try to make sure everything is accessible to students so the prices are matched to Tesco prices – you would find most of the items for the same price in a Durham supermarket.

The premise is that the customer brings their own container, usually Tupperware (for me it is used jars or large yoghurt containers), or uses the small paper bags available. In this way, the goods are transferred from the producer, usually local, directly to you without any excess plastic packaging being used. Here is where the phrase, “Easy on the wallet, easier on the earth”, comes in. Scoop is a student initiative, so when you do come and visit you are indirectly seeing the work of your friends or maybe the friends of your friends. Durham is a large university, yet it has a strong sense of community, so if one of us gives support, it usually has a greater impact on the community than we might realise. By supporting Scoop you not only help to sustain the shop’s existence, but also help to spread that which is dear to our students: sustainability, community and low-budget food.

Image 2: Photo by Jeanie Li, shared with the permission of Scoop Durham.

Scoop started as a zero-waste charity shop, but it has grown into more. All its profit goes to a charity of the customers’ choosing, and you can ask the volunteers in the shop about the process behind this and the charities supported. Today, Scoop has grown to host events, organise clothes swaps and support student businesses. The number of student and alumni sellers in Scoop has been increasing, and they are highly creative and skilled at producing beautiful art and/or jewellery. Recent events run by Scoop have included the SCOOP X WAYZGOOSE Art Exhibition and the Wecraft launch. Currently, Scoop is collaborating with DUCFS to organise a clothes swap event. If you are able to drop by Scoop before the 24th November, consider dropping off some spare clothes: you’ll receive tokens to swap these for someone else’s unwanted clothes on November 25th in Revolution Bar. 

Now for the important info you have been itching to Google – Scoop is located in Unit 44, the Riverwalk (opposite Timpson’s), and it is open on Wednesdays and the weekends (Wednesday and Saturday from 12 till 5m and on Sunday only until 3 during term-time). If enough students stay in Durham over the holidays Scoop may also hold some special opening hours. To receive news about Scoop’s events and for more information on its sustainability policies, follow @scoopdurham on Instagram. We are also proud to release our Weekly Scoop over on our Instagram – snippets of environment-related news compiled by our lovely exec team. Hopefully this article and the information on our Instagram convinces you to come by, we would love to see some of you there!

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