I know a lot of people are trying to cut down on packaging, but up until now it hasn’t been easy to buy in bulk using your own containers in Paris.
Many health food shops like Naturalia and Bio Coop have bulk bins for cereal, nuts, pasts, tea, coffee, and other food items. But it’s not as easy to find regular household items available in bulk or without excessive packaging where you’re allowed to use your own containers. But now the Italian chain Negozio Leggero (Italian for “Shop Light”) has finally opened a location in Paris’s 3rd arrondissement near République.
Negozio Leggero sells dishwashing soap, essential oils, shower gel, liquid body and face soap, massage oil, face masks and exfoliating scrubs, and bath salts in bulk using containers you bring yourself (you can also buy their containers if you don’t have one). Liquid shampoo and facial creams are also available in glass containers that you bring back for a refund (for hygiene reasons they can’t sell those in your own container).
There’s a large selection of bars of hand and face soap, solid shampoo, soap flakes, soy-based candles in reusable glass jars, bars of dishwashing soap, dishwashing brushes with replaceable wooden heads, loofah sponges, bamboo toothbrushes, powder toothpaste, reusable/washable diapers and feminine hygiene products, reusable straws, paper ear buds in a cardboard container, make up and powders. Basically your beauty and home cleaning needs are taken care of here, and the products themselves are high quality and environmentally friendly.
In addition to these products, you will also find the usual food products in bulk: cereals, grains, nuts, beans, rice, herbs and spices, flours, pasta, candies, teas, coffee beans, eggs, wine, and oils.
When I visited in the evening there were a half dozen clients but only one shop keeper, which can be a bit of an issue if you’re in a hurry because the bulk items are NOT “self serve”, you need to ask for each container to be filled. I didn’t mind because it gave me time to look at all of the products available (she told me they’re usually two shop keepers).
I brought containers without labels on them, and each time they were filled with one of the products, the shopkeeper added the corresponding label so I would know what it was (that’s my stash in the photo above), something that is really handy if you’re not the only one using the products in your household. The only item that came in its own packaging is the half-liter glass bottle of thyme-lavender shampoo with the pump distributor (which I can return for a discount on future purchases) for €10.
On the question of price, I found almost everything to be cheaper than I usually pay when purchased in containers. The most expensive item on my list was the savon d’alep liquide made with organic olive oil and 20% bay leaf oil, which came out to €21 for my full liter bottle.
37 Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth, 3rd
Open Tues-Sat 10am-8pm
First of all congratulations on 20 years! Quite a milestone.Thanks for the article on "bulk buying". One of the things I discovered I liked about "bulk" is that you can buy just the quantity you want, which sometimes is just a little bit (not bulk at all). For example a spice you don't use much of but for a special recipe you need it. It is so nice to be able to buy just what you need and not a whole jar that'll just sit around. Less waste and expense all around!