To kick off Plastic Free July we spoke to the wonderful team at “North Wales’ most extensive, independent health store”, Dimensions.
Please tell us a little about you, your people and Dimensions
Dimensions was opened over 35 years ago by a group of Bangor University students, with the aim of sharing health and lifestyle tips with the local community, an aim which has remained the same to this day. The team in the shop and behind the scenes have worked hard to uphold these ideas and possess an extensive range of knowledge which they are always willing to share.
What inspired you to open the shop?
Shop Manager Brendha tells us “We wish to inspire a naturally healthier way of living for everybody, from young to old, from all walks of life. Our aim is to give back to the world in which we live; this is one of the ideals that started our store and that still burns brightly for us today.”
What are you most proud of about your business and why?
Our staff’s willingness to provide friendly help and advice to our customers and our relationship with the local community. We regularly offer leftover fruit and veg, that would otherwise go to waste, to charity, and give regular donations of food and household goods to our local foodbank.
What’s your local area/ high street like?
Bangor is a small city on the coast of North Wales, only a short drive from Anglesey (the largest island in England and Wales) and Eryri, Snowdonia National Park – both boasting beautiful scenery and plenty to explore. Bangor itself is largely known for the University which is only a short walk from us here at Dimensions.
What sets your store apart from others in the area?
Access to a huge range of different organic food and household products, supplements, homeopathic remedies, essential oils, fresh organic fruit and veg, zero waste foods, zero waste household product refills, and the extensive knowledge of our staff!
How are you and your other local independent high street retailers fairing?
Bangor high street has definitely struggled in the past few years and several of the shops have had to close. But things are definitely starting to pick up now and we’re getting busier and busier once more.
What kind of products can we buy in your shop?
Anything from coconut flour to zero waste coffee beans, local kombucha to organic fresh veggies, every tea you could possibly dream of, and every supplement you could imagine! And, if we don’t have the product you’re looking for, we’re always happy to see if we can order it for you!
What are the bestsellers at the moment, and what’s your favourite product?
Zero waste pantry staples and our refillable household products are definitely some of our biggest sellers. Our favourite product right now is probably the Meridian dark tahini – we’re all obsessed!
Is there anything else you’d like our audience to know about Dimensions?
Our mission statement is “To help people create optimum health by sourcing and supplying natural, organic and ethical foods, supplements, remedies and lifestyle options, whilst simultaneously respecting and preserving a sustainable environment for future generations.” We think that says it all!
Do you have any criteria to ensure that your products are sourced sustainably, or to determine their suitability for your store?
The ethical standards of our suppliers is crucial to us. Our focus is to stock products from independent businesses and local, smaller scale suppliers who demonstrate high standards in relation to plant/animal welfare and social justice. The majority of our product range is organic, which is very important to the vision of this store. Other criteria for us include maximising recyclable packaging and fair trade manufacturing.
What measures do you have in place to reduce waste in your store or make it more environmentally friendly?
We try to donate leftover fruit and veg to charity, as well as using our local food waste composting and recycling systems. Additionally, thanks to the zero waste and refillable products we have on sale, we aim to encourage more customers to practice plastic-free living, with the aim of generating less waste. We only use recyclable packaging.
Can you share any popular or standout plastic-free products that your store offers?
Zero waste pantry staples, refillable household and beauty products, plastic-free shampoo, conditioner, soap and washing up bars, and loose, organic fruit and veg.