Waste-free store Bare Market wants us to reconsider our unsustainable shopping habits
Back in 2019, Bare Market was an occasional pop-up shop operating out of Patagonia on King Street. The owner, Dayna Stein, soon realized there was an appetite in Toronto for package-free, sustainable products – and she set out to find a brick-and-mortar space where the pop-up could live on.
Designed by Common Good Studio, a nascent firm founded during the pandemic by Sarah Forster and Natasha Popek-Konieczko, Bare Market’s interior has little in common with your average grocery store. Common Good collaborated with Fourth Pig Construction to embody the shop’s green ethos during its build process. “There was no model to reference,” says Popek-Konieczko. “We designed custom fixtures and did a ton of research.”
Customers walking in are greeted by two bar areas, one a sage-green small café pouring up smoothies and java, the other a white-tiled self-serve taproom for liquids like vinegar and maple syrup. The designers opted for bio-based materials, such as FSC wood for the shelves and display tables, and lime plaster on the walls – as well as incorporating cork, a remarkably durable material low in embodied carbon. The owner wanted the space to host community events, too, and had modularity top of mind, so the tables are mounted on casters. The overall effect is welcoming and warm, encouraging shoppers to stay awhile – and to return.
The team’s advice for anyone looking to integrate sustainability into their projects? Start small. “People get overwhelmed and think you have to go all the way, but you can do a lot of good in small parts of the build.” commongoodstudio.ca; baremarket.ca