In a day and age when almost anything is accessible at the click of a button, it comes as no surprise that we have come to be a throw-away society. Whether it be food wasted, cheap clothing bought only to be worn once or buying single-use plastic as some think it easier to buy a water bottle everyday than carrying their own, we have become a society brainwashed by consumerism. This is accompanied by a disregard for the environment. It is estimated that in the UK around seven million tonnes of food is wasted everyday (WRAP); three out of five fast fashion items end up in a landfill (Clean Clothes Campaign) and over one-hundred and fifty plastic bottles litter every mile of UK beaches (SAS). Even though, as standalone acts, these behaviours may seem minor, individual action is incredibly important.
Yes we urgently need systemic change but the little changes which can be made to everyday life can have impressive impacts on the wider climate crisis—and think how far we could come if everybody made those small changes.
Now, let’s set the scene. It’s a Tuesday evening, sports night is just twenty-four hours away and once again you have nothing to wear—this week’s theme is ‘Jungle’. Of course the first solution that comes to mind is Amazon prime.
BUT have you ever considered how wasteful and resource intensive Amazon Prime really is? Think about it: you order a set of leopard ears and a tail which arrive in plastic packaging, in the most enormous box full to the brim with plastic advertisements. In addition, your idea is not revolutionary and probably 90% of sports night goers are doing exactly the same thing. Therefore delivering all of these costumes in such a short amount of time is going to lead to a higher number of delivery trucks on the roads, creating more congestion and even higher levels of carbon emissions—not to mention the excess of plastic packaging.
How can we overcome this issue and try to make student living more sustainable?
The answer: HAZAAR!
Hazaar is a new zero waste student marketplace designed specifically to enable students to become more environmentally friendly and reduce their carbon footprint. Most of the time the item you’re after is lying under the bed of someone who lives two doors down from you, as such there is no justification for the excessive plastic packaging and travel miles which comes with one-click shopping.
Hazaar simply acts as the middle-man in this situation meaning shopping can be done online within the individual’s university jurisdiction and the goods can simply be handed over in person. Anything can be bought on Hazaar, whether fancy dress; textbooks; household paraphernalia — the opportunities are limitless!
Hazaar was founded by University of Birmingham student, Harriet Noy (21), following the success of her society ‘Plastic-free UOB’ which she had co-founded in September 2019. The society aimed to reduce single-use plastic on campus which led her to notice the issue of waste within student trading habits and thus Hazaar was born.
After gaining investment during lockdown in March Hazaar’s app development is currently underway and is expected to be released shortly after Christmas. In the meantime, there have been Facebook marketplaces set up for thirty-seven different universities across the UK with over ten and a half thousand members in total. Each Facebook marketplace has its own Head of Hazaar to help organise trading at each university and is a great indication of how the business will continue to grow in the coming future. Here is a snapshot of some of the universities Hazaar is at!
Finding sustainable alternatives which remain convenient for students to go about their daily lives is an ever-increasing challenge. Yet given the severity of the current climate crisis and the limited response from our authorities, it is a challenge which Noy and her team are eager to take on board and determined to support to the fullest extent.
Whilst Hazaar is primarily a zero waste marketplace, the company wishes to spread the message of sustainability within all aspects of life to help students lead a greener, more environmentally conscious existence. Across all of Hazaar’s social media platforms are regular posts which share useful facts and tips regarding sustainability. Recent posts include charity shopping tips and hard facts about fast fashion, as well as sharing insightful and entertaining podcasts.
Hazaar’s aim is to create awareness of how habitual student practices are harming the environment and to provide simple solutions to overcome this. Other features of Hazaar’s social media include ‘Reworked Wednesday’ and ‘Fix up Fridays’ which focus on the environmentally friendly trend of ‘upcycling’. These posts demonstrate how to go about turning the old into the new and showcase some of the people who are doing a great job of it!
Noy has also set up a blog in which she exhibits the logistics of starting up a business. So far the blog has showcased the ongoings of the business from the inside through personal accounts from members of her team and a description of the process behind brand design.
Through being completely open and honest Noy hopes her blog will help inspiring entrepreneurs to take the leap of faith and pursue their ideas, as she never thought she’d reach the level of success that she has at such a young age.
To see whether or not Hazaar has reached your uni check out this link: https://linktr.ee/justhazaar. If not then why not get involved and become the head of Hazaar at your uni! If you are interested please drop us a message on any of our social media channels linked below or email firstname.lastname@example.org—we’d love to welcome you to the team.
Follow us on our social media channels to keep an eye out for the release so you can get downloading!
No hassle. No waste. Just HAZAAR!
By Charis McInnes
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