PB to Change the World: Exploring Intentional Sustainable Shopping at Nude Market

Are you an eco-warrior?

A peanut butter to change the way we shop.

“Eco-warrior” is no longer a dirty word. Gone are the days when you would picture a spaced-out flaky person, planting a flower, and flashing you a peace sign. Words like eco-warrior, eco-friendly, and sustainable are having a moment…and Nude Market hopes to celebrate that. Not just for the moment but into the long-term.

One way to be an eco-warrior is to shop as zero-waste and as locally as possible. Nowadays, with the internet blowing up about harmful overseas labour and smoke-spewing factories, a lot of consumers want to know where their products come from. And I’m one of them.

So, when I saw the news story about Nude Market, I had to visit it. A zero-waste, locally run market with Canadian products? You had me at zero waste, Nude Market.

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A peek into Nude Market.

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And, you know what, I think I found my new fave store! There are so many exciting products there: from the silk floss, to the Kliin cloths, to the famous peanut butter. The Kliin cloths help replace paper towels and are one of her best-sellers, after the delicious peanut butter, of course.

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Nude Market is owned by Margaret (@nudemarket.yyc) and has both an online store and a physical location. It’s physical location is in the back of the Reworks Upcycle Shop, which is run by Solita (@reworksyyc), in downtown Calgary. Eventually, Margaret’s dream is to run an entire store of her own. For now, this partnership of stores is the perfect marriage of interests.

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Nude Market is tucked into the back of the Reworks Upcycle Shop. Just keep walking, and then go back to Reworks to check out their cute goods.

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When I stepped into the store, I was struck by how many products there are to see. Next, I noticed how beautiful and organized it looked. Even if you don’t need anything, I encourage you to visit and take a look around. You’ll feel simultaneously calmed and wowed with a future shopping list to bring you back to shop.

Nude Market’s focus is on the basics: peanut butter, kitchen needs, laundry basics and bathroom products. There is an emphasis on community: all of the products are as locally-sourced as possible. If she wasn’t able to find it in Calgary, Margaret finds it in Canada. And, to qualify for placement in Nude Market, the products must be refillable, reusable and waste-free.

Mindful shopping

An owner in motion.

We live in a consumerist culture. Marketing and advertising encourage us to buy more than we need-causing waste and overflowing landfills. The damaging impact to the environment is HUGE. Margaret recognizes this as a big problem.

She noted that most stores are set up to convince you that you need items you won’t use (and would probably ignore, otherwise).

“Sure, in the store it looks perfect. You get it home and feel great about it for about 5 minutes. Then, it doesn’t look as amazing as it did in the store and you’re wondering why you bought it.”

Margaret, owner of Nude Market

Her approach is rebellious.

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The aim is to reduce waste, such as using a reusable straw, and building a loyal customer base.

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Nude Market doesn’t want to leave you feeling that way. She’s not interested in convincing you to impulse shop or sell you goods for a “show-home perfect” looking house. This store wants you to shop in an environmentally-friendly way: Buy what you need and be a loyal customer for years.

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Why? Because Margaret is happiest when you buy local, quality goods in a “just enough” quantity and coming back when you’re all out and NEED more. For that reason, she’s consistent with her product selection. If you find a product you love there, you can always come back for more later.

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Kitchen = Community

The best part of Nude Market is the Nudefood peanut butter: with yummy flavour options.

The kitchen is where most people gather: to be social, to eat, to play games, to craft at the table, to bake. It’s our most used room. So, Nude Market isn’t surprised it’s kitchen-based products are the most popular. The peanut butter is a big hit but she also carries dishwasher tabs, Kliin cloths to replace paper towels, refillable dish soap and more.

The Nudefood peanut butter is the crown jewel of Nude Market. I had the chance to try it when it came in our YYC Growers CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) box. We received the coconut peanut butter and it was cool to get a recognizable local brand to taste. I was a fan the second I tried it!

I wondered why it tasted so much better than other PB. Then, I talked to Margaret and found out why.

Nudefood waste-free PB

Responsibly sourced and waste-free.

The peanut butter made at Nude Market is kept as natural as possible. There are no added oils, salts, or fillers. (You don’t even have to refrigerate once open). To keep ingredients as close to home as possible, the peanuts are sourced from the USA, since we don’t have peanut crops in Canada.

Peanuts from the USA were chosen thoughtfully, since the lower levels of humidity keep the aflatoxin level lower than peanut crops in other parts of the world.

What is aflatoxin?

HealWithFood (www.healwithfood.org) describes aflatoxin as:

Aflatoxin are toxic substances that are primarily produced by two types of mould: Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Virtually any plant-based food can become contaminated with aflatoxins if stored improperly, but peanuts seem to be particularly susceptible to contamination by these mycotoxins.”

This is why peanuts sourced from humid, tropical weather countries are more susceptible to having larger amounts of aflatoxin. I had no idea!

Canada’s allowable aflatoxin rate is so low, at 15 parts per billion, that it won’t hurt you. This is lower than the U.S.A’s allowable rate of 20 parts per billion.

No matter what peanut butter you buy, the low rates of aflatoxin won’t hurt you. However, since Canadians eat peanuts and peanut butter at such a high rate, Margaret thought it best to be aware of it and keeps the levels in her products as low as possible. Why eat higher rates of this mold if you don’t have to?

It is worth noting that if you’re more susceptible to mold, then you should either limit your intake of peanut butter or find out its aflatoxin level. For you, Nude Market’s peanut butter is a smart choice.

You know your body best, so just be aware of your sensitivity to mold- and then make the healthiest decision for you!

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“Reuse me!”

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The best benefit to buying my peanut butter locally is twofold. One- I know who is making the food and can ask any questions directly to the producer. Two- I can return the jar to be fully sanitized and refilled. Nothing ends up in a garbage dump. Cuz, let’s be honest, my cupboard is already bursting with jars to reuse.

Reducing waste in the laundry & bath.

“Shampoo bars are travel essentials!”

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Since we all need to wash our clothing, brush our teeth and clean our homes, Nude Market has a lot of waste-free options to cover these needs. You can buy silk floss, to Kliin towels (replaces paper towels), to natural-based laundry soap you can refill. She even has toothpaste tabs (great for travel or camping!). I was impressed by the range of products. And, although Margaret stresses the practicality of her products, they are, in fact, really beautiful.

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Personally, I can’t wait to be out of my floss, laundry soap, and shampoo & conditioner so that I can refill them. I want an excuse to go back. I would rather pay for quality than for quantity. (Believe me, my mindset has shifted a lot in recent years!)

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The item I’m really lusting after is the locally made wood-handled razor. Beyond being gorgeous, it will save me from throwing plastic refill blades in the trash. It’s definitely on my birthday wish list!

What a work of practical art!

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It’s so pretty!

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Support good people

Margaret is personable, passionate and knowledgeable. You’re as sure to be as charmed by her as her store. Her support for local makers, producers and artisans is genuine and full-fledged. If you’re in Calgary, take the time to get to know this store! Support local, YYC, and help people like Margaret spread the love.

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Margaret, Owner of Nude Market. Photo credit: @substance.yyc

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And if you’re too busy to get down there or you don’t live in Calgary, you can visit her online location:

https://nudemarket.ca/

Let me know if you give it a visit (either in person or online) and what you fall in love with!

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