‘Eco-friendly general store’ aiming to fill gap in Regina’s sustainable market

Regina's only "eco-friendly general store" has recently expanded after it filling an absence in the city's sustainable retail market.
Regina's only "eco-friendly general store" has recently expanded after it filling an absence in the city's sustainable retail market. Facebook / Mortise & Tenon

A store which aims to be local, eco-friendly and sustainable, is now walking in its new and bigger shoes.

Mortise & Tenon, Regina’s only self-proclaimed “eco-friendly general store,” has been in business for almost four years and has been in its new space for just over three months.

The store was founded by four friends who saw an absence of sustainable and eco-friendly products in the area.

“We saw a market in the city that was needed, that wasn’t available,” Mortise & Tenon co-owner Dani Hackel.

READ MORE: Should Regina ban single-use plastic bags?

The downtown shop was initially a place for local artisans to sell their homemade, custom furniture and eco-friendly products began to fill all the empty spaces as time went on.

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“We started looking for more sustainable options for ourselves, for our homes, and we were having trouble finding items,” Hackel said.

“We started going in that direction and it’s evolved ever since.”

In June, the federal government announced a proposed ban on all single-use plastics by 2020 and Hackel said their business aims to help people take baby steps towards achieving that.

“I know a lot of people get overwhelmed by the thought of trying to accommodate a single-use plastic ban when they’re not used to living that way,” Hackel said.

READ MORE: Is Canada’s recycling industry broken?

“We encourage people to pick one thing and change over, and just do what you can when you can. Our motto is that every little bit makes a big difference.”

Plastic pollution has become an almost unavoidable topic these days. In April, Global News published a months-long investigation into Canada’s recycling industry. What was discovered was an industry in peril and more plastic heading to the landfill than ever.

Regina’s city council has also recently taken a look at what it can do as a city to reduce plastic waste, making steps towards banning things like plastic bags and takeout containers.

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In an effort to help people reduce plastic waste, Mortise & Tenon has a re-fillable station with things like detergent, shampoo, conditioner and some cooking products like oils.

“Instead of having to purchase a container every time you purchase those products,” Hackel explained, “you can just bring either your own container into the store or one of ours and re-fill it.”

The store also sells re-usable plastic bags, cutlery, beeswax wraps which can replace saran wrap, as well as compost bins for indoors.

The re-fillable station is where people can bring in their own containers and fill them up with things like detergent, shampoo, soap, and cooking products.

Hackel said the feedback from the community has been encouraging.

“It’s been very, very positive. We have lots of customers coming in and having no idea where to start, so generally, we have people commenting on how nice it is to have a one-stop-shop for all the eco-friendly things they could be looking for.”

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READ MORE: Regina city council approves report looking at restricting use of single-use plastics

Above all, the store aims to be as local as they can be, with all of the art and furniture being made by artists in Regina.

“We have some of our local makers that do some of our eco-friendly products as well, and we stay Canadian whenever we can,” she said.

The friends and co-owners are enjoying the moment, according to Hackel, as they fill out their new space.

“We’re moving in and getting our new space to feel like home, we’re always bringing in new products and looking for new eco-friendly products.”

Mortise & Tenon recently moved into their new, much bigger home downtown. Facebook / Mortise Ten

WATCH (April 29, 2019): Post-China ban — Canada’s new recycling reality

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Post-China ban: Canada’s new recycling reality – Apr 29, 2019

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