Social media is a digital haven for finding out about new businesses and entrepreneurs and after discovering each other on Instagram, we were invited by The Hive Bulk Foods to learn more about the store - the first of its kind in the Klang Valley!
A self-proclaimed environmentalist and feminist at heart, French native Claire Sancelot left her home country at the age of 19 and subsequently lived in New York and Hong Kong before moving to Malaysia. Claire decided to open her zero waste concept store, The Hive Bulk Foods in Bangsar, after failing to find a similar concept in KL.
She had already made a name for herself in Hong Kong as a bit of an eco-warrior, and she made the move to our shores with her wealth of knowledge and wisdom on zero waste management along with her!
So what does the term 'bulk foods' mean?
It means that you can buy whole food products in bulk by weight and do away with all the unnecessary and harmful plastic packaging that can be found in standard supermarkets.
You are also encouraged to bring your own containers with you when you shop hence reducing waste. Not only is that great for the environment but it also works out great for the pocket too, as the prices end up being more competitive than traditional supermarkets!
Claire started off with bulk foods such as non-perishable goods like flours, honey, grains and legumes and we picked up some vegan cheese and spreads, as well as some local honey and trail mix while we were there. The Hive also sells freshly baked breads, spreads and locally grown organic produce which are dropped off at the store on designated days of the week.
Claire has since diversified into selling personal hygiene, beauty products and lifestyle accessories as well. You can buy guilt-free beauty and personal hygiene products such as re-usable sanitary pads, stainless steel straws, bamboo toothbrushes and more. You can also pick up soap bars, moisturisers or beauty products, all using glass packaging that are less harmful to the environment!
One of the major attributes of The Hive Bulk Foods that Claire is particularly proud of is that its handmade products are locally sourced and she has built up a network of local Malaysian producers over the past two years. This aligns with her strong beliefs in supporting women empowerment; how better to encourage that than by working with women micro-entrepreneurs and doing business with them! She also works with refugee communities such as the Chin community and a local Pakistani women's group that sews the reusable mesh bags that we love.
Furthermore, The HIve not only sells products, it also has some fun and interesting workshops to work towards a greener and healthier quality of living!
They host workshops such as 'How to ferment your own Kefir', 'Cooking with local organic produce' and 'How to Make your own Beeswax' wraps amongst many others. This in turn helps in creating a fantastic local community that is interested in promoting and practising these concepts of conscious living.
The Hive has also expanded to being part of a special pop-up collaboration called 'The Pilgrims' store at level 2 in Bangsar Village II, which was set up with five other like-minded sustainable businesses. Some of The Hive's products can be found there as well as items from Metisse Maison, REAL Material, Root Remedies, Fireworks House and Nadsy. It really is a great place to pick up a thoughtful gift or perhaps treat yourself to some ethical and eco-friendly goodies!
Sitting down with Claire and listening to her dedication and perseverance when it comes to taking better care our planet and what can be done on an individual level, was indeed very inspiring to hear! Her clear cut, determined and practical tips for how individuals can do our part to contributing to a healthier planet, are easy to follow in our everyday lives! This busy lady not also runs her store and organises workshops, but Claire also gives talks at various green events at Universities to help educate the younger generations.
We were so pleased to connect with The Hive and firmly agree with the principles on how it was founded. We do encourage you to check this special store out and you can bet that The Hive is one of our top go-to favourite spots to visit in Bangsar!
If you can't make it there, do visit their website for some easy and convenient online shopping!
The Hive is located at 92A, Lorong Maarof, Bangsar Park, Kuala Lumpur. Online shopping and delivery is available on their website at www.thehivebulkfoods.com. Opening hours are daily from Monday-Sunday, 9am-7pm!
You can also visit their pop up at The Pilgrims - Malaysia's first ethical store at Level 2, Bangsar Village II @thepilgrimsbrand
Farena's pretty scarf is by Matchali ~ you can find it on Instagram @matchali_in_kl or call at 0122019676