THE NORTH EAST’s first store with a conscious is set to open its doors this weekend (16 June).

Open House at Durham Road, Low Fell will offer products which are recycled, renewable or from a sustainable source, helping shoppers make the transition to a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

The shop is the brainwave of Richard Murr, who has sourced ranges from across the UK, which include clothes which will be available for the first time outside of London.

“Everyone today is very aware of the fact we need to protect the environment and move away from products made of plastic,” said Richard.

“But that doesn’t mean people necessarily know how to find alternatives, which is why we are hoping to be able to offer them everything they need.”

The shop will sell vintage clothes along with items made from unbleached cotton, as well as offering cleaning products such as environmentally friendly soap powder alternatives.

Cosmetic ranges available will include shampoo bars – which save on excessive packaging and wrapping – and candles made of soya, which don’t release any harmful chemicals into the atmosphere.

As well as being a “planet conscious” store, the owner hopes that it will also become a meeting place for the local community.

“We’re having a sitting area where people can have a drink and we’re installing a tv where we’ll play programmes and information relating to the environment,” said Richard.

He has also switched to a 100 per cent green energy company and is offering local people the opportunity to pop in and charge up their phones knowing they are using renewable energy.

The shop’s basement has been renamed The Spare Room, which will be available for groups to hire and will also see a number of events being staged there.

“No two people use their spare room for the same thing and we thought it was a great name for something that is a really versatile space,” said Richard.

“We’ve already organise a candle making workshop with our candle suppliers and we’re hoping that people will embrace the space and use it for whatever they need.”

Now the hope is that the former bridal shop, next to Belle View Estates, will attract customers from across the region.

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