These “unboxed” stores sell groceries, cosmetics and cleaning supplies in all their naked beauty

These “unboxed” stores sell groceries, cosmetics and cleaning supplies in all their naked beauty

Eco and Amour

In a Scarborough industrial park, Sarah Marcus and Laura Craig crank out refillable home and personal care products under their Eco and Amour label and stock luxe green home and beauty brands like Lines of Elan, the Bare Home and the Sudsatorium. They’ve also placed kiosks of refillables in Pollocks Home Hardware on Roncey and Shea Organics in Collingwood, with more partner retailers coming this year. 30 Bertrand Ave., 647-948-9084,

Solid dish soap scented with grapefruit and orange essential oils. $18


Lavender-scented pet wash. $0.84/oz


Jocelyn’s Soil Booster Worm Manure, made with food waste from Ontario businesses. $20



Michelle Genttner and Luis Martins owned a College Street brewpub. When they closed it in 2018, they focused on their next project: Unboxed Market, a BYO jars, bags or beeswax wraps grocery store full of seasonal produce, specialty grains and flours, and Ontario-raised meat from the butcher counter (especially the house-made Portuguese chouriço). In the basement industrial kitchen, chefs prep daily meals and catering trays using ingredients from the upstairs market. 1263 Dundas St. W., 416-533-9017,

Their bulk oils and vinegars are top sellers


Honey on tap from Ontario beekeeper Graeme Foers. $14.59 per pound


Moo Free Blue Lavender Majik almond milk. $6 for 473mL


The Green Jar

Sisters Mara and Tannis Bundi grew up in a minimal-waste household on a 50-acre horse farm in Stouffville. As adults in Toronto, they found it both time-consuming and frustrating to maintain that lifestyle. Their solution was to open the Green Jar in midtown, a hub for zero-wasters packed with refillable personal care and household products, and gizmos like a reverse osmosis water station and bamboo teething rings for baby ecowarriors. 1061 St. Clair Ave. W., 416-652-6991,

Organic mesh cotton produce bags. $6.99 per bag


Routine activated charcoal natural deodorant. It works, even on Tannis’s preteen boy. $32 for 100g


Meow Meow Tweet Coconut Cacao Vegan Lip Balm in a compostable paper tube. $21 for 28g


Pretty Clean Shop

Miriam Juarez’s Pretty Clean Shop in the Junction sells refillable body, hair, skin, beauty and home care products, including creamy Elate lipsticks, makeup encased in compostable bamboo, and turmeric and calendula–infused shampoo and conditioner bars by Unwrapped Life. 3072 Dundas St. W., 416-766-9633,

Tru Earth Eco-strips laundry detergent. $14.95 for 32 loads


Soy-based, acetone-free refillable nail polish remover. $7


Cheeks Ahoy facial rounds. $14 for 12


The Green Guide

Part 1: The sustainability sisters—Toni and Lin Sappong, zero-wasters since March 2018

Part 2: The diaper warriors—Ryan Dyment and Emily Hunter, zero-wasters since January 2015

Part 3: The queen of green—Meera Jain, zero-waster since March 2018

Part 4: A sustainable sanctuary in Leslieville

Part 5: A lakeside eco-retreat

Part 6: A natural oasis in Midtown

Part 7: How one super turned his building into a miraculously low-waste condo

Part 8: Incredible bulk—four packaging-free shops

Part 9: Supernova Ballroom—the low-waste cocktail bar

Part 10: “I went green—maybe a little too green

Part 11: The green shopping guide—guilt-free goodies for climate-conscious consumers


This story originally appeared in the March 2020 issue of Toronto Life magazine. To subscribe, for just $29.95 a year, click here.