If you talk to Hailee about starting an ecofriendly lifestyle, she’ll mention the benefits of reducing your personal waste.
She designed her Charleston area business, The Naked Pantry Co, to provide access to healthy foods and sustainable goods without creating waste. She was inspired to live a zero-waste life after watching a documentary about the negative impacts landfills have on the environment.
“I really wanted to do my part in supporting our environment,” she said. “The documentary deeply inspired me and made me want to do more.”
The zero-waste movement is a lifestyle where people aim to eliminate their trash output completely by not using items like plastic or wrappers, according to Planetaid.org. The idea to create a business centered around zero-waste came to Hallie after she encountered barriers to living that lifestyle.
“Shopping at the local grocery stores was becoming harder,” she said. “I would bring in my own bags and jars and sometimes they would accept it and sometimes they would say they couldn’t. It wasn’t consistent.”
Her experiences motivated Hallie to create a space for people to shop while also being conscious about their waste. She participated in SCCLF’s Feeding Innovation program and was awarded the first place $30,000 seed capital prize for having the strongest investment pitch and business plan.
Feeding Innovation increases access to healthy food while supporting the development of strong, local entrepreneurs and community-based businesses. Find out more about the program.
“The award money allowed me to fund my dream,” she said. “I am honestly so happy and grateful.”
The Naked Pantry Co. is South Carolina’s only package free shop. Hallie converted a school bus into a mobile grocery store which allows her to travel to different locations across the Charleston area.
The products inside her mobile grocery store are package free and allow the customers to bring in their own bags and containers to help with eliminating waste. The Naked Pantry sells items you would expect at a conventional store like dry foods, household products, and toiletries.
Hallie worked with majority of local businesses to stock the pantry. Most of the items are either organic or artisan-made. She wants to influence the local community to support the environment by changing one habit at a time.
“We as a community may not reach a total goal of being zero waste but we can aim to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly life,” she said. “That starts with paying attention to your impact on the environment.”