Small Changes is an eco-friendly, plant based, whole foods and household refill store with a fresh juice & smoothie bar and so much more! It began its journey back in 2010 when Peadar opened Small Changes first in Gorey, Co. Wexford where he primarily sold eco-friendly plant-based household products and refills. It then expanded into a whole foods store and cafe. In 2015 the shop upped sticks to Drumcondra where, tucked away in the ABC building, it continues to provide eco-friendly plant-based household/beauty products and refills, as well as a large range of dried food refills, organic and local (when available) fresh fruit and veg all without packaging, and a range of plant-based food and zero waste products. The shop is also a hub for the community with events, talks, and a lot of general chin wagging going on. They run a surplus exchange system where local back garden growers can exchange their surplus fruit or veg for shop credit and a pop-up space for small businesses to meet and greet customers and introduce them to their products, makers have included the likes of Lauren from Buttercream Dream, Sharon from Jiminy, and Benoit from The Nature Of Things which all now sell their wonderful products in the shop.

We chat with brand and content manager JR Doyle to find out more about why their shop is taking leaps to a sustainable future.

1.They’ve seen the impact of plastic on the environment.

We’ve all seen the negative impact plastic packaging has had on our planet; it’s in our oceans(a whopping 8 million metric tons of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans per year), washing up on our docks and beaches, lying in our soil long after we’re gone, affecting our food and killing wildlife. We see it everywhere we look, from the shops to the side of the road. In many of the large supermarkets, you walk the aisles and see rows and rows of plastic wrapped fresh produce. By shopping local and independent you’re not only supporting small businesses and growers, you’re also more likely to find plastic-free options.”

The shop ensures the vast majority of produce is plastic free and they offer plastic-free solutions to household items like toothbrushes, dish brushes, foods wraps, and menstrual products etc. Customers are asked to revert to the old fashioned way of reusing rather than recycling because it means less plastic polluting the planet forevermore.

2. They encourage a sustainable approach 

Ireland is the top producer of plastic waste in Europe with an annual average of 61 kgs per person. 34% of our plastic is recycled with 39% being incinerated and 31% going to landfill. 60% of our plastic waste comes from packaging but only 40% of that is recycled, so the numbers tell us it’s better to reuse than to recycle! That’s why we always quote the 3 R’s in order of priority – Firstly, can you Reduce what you use? If not, can you Reuse it? And finally, can you Recycle it?”

3. They support local producers 

“Where possible/season willing our fresh produce is local, most of it this season coming from Beechlawn Organic Farm in Co. Galway, as well as some Dublin growers and occasionally back garden growers in Drumcondra and surrounding areas. Not forgetting our own little Small Changes garden at the back of the building where there will be a harvest of greens, herbs, berries, and potatoes in the coming months. Supporting local growers safeguards our biodiversity. We’ve lost a huge amount of our indigenous wildlife to industrious scale farming, that’s why we support farmers who align with our ethos and grow a variety of crops. By supporting local we’re also promoting Irish employment, and by lessening the amount of food we’re importing we’re safeguarding our food security and tackling the issue of food miles.”

Next week we talk some more with Small Changes about ways we can a difference.





Leave your thought here