Creating a perfect circle for home delivery

Based in Waltham Forest, Top Up Shop is a zero waste, online delivery service aiming to change the way people shop in the local area and make sustainability as accessible as possible. The shop is the brainchild of local couple, Ava and Daisy, who between them handle all the day-to-day activities. In her own words, Ava does ‘all the fun parts’ – packing, order handling, admin, and deliveries, while Daisy, a freelance artist/graphic designer, puts together all of the shop’s graphics, aesthetics, and everything that makes their website and socials look beautiful. “We even made a Top Up Shop TikTok the other day… a TikTopUpShop, if you will…”

Top Up Shop started because the couple recognised that, while most people want to live a much more sustainable life, shopping in a minimal impact way or getting out to the shops at all can be hard even at the best of times. Online ordering and home delivery were the obvious solution. 

Top Up Shop offers household essentials such as food staples (including pasta, rice, and pulses), cleaning liquids, toiletries and even some treats, like coffee from local supplier Wood Street Coffee.

Food items are delivered in hand stamped Fairtrade cotton bags and liquid refills in recycled glass bottles. The service operates almost entirely like the milkman, delivering in reusable packaging, which is simply collected and switched out with shiny new products when customers are ready to reorder. By making the system totally circular, the couple have managed to ensure that they don’t create even one unit of single use waste.

Top Up Shop began in April in the absolute eye of the coronavirus storm, which Ava says gave them a unique responsibility as a delivery service, “It meant we were able to help some of the most vulnerable members of the local community still receive the products they needed most but in an entirely sustainable way. It has also meant throughout the crisis that our customers can shop confidently knowing they’re not further lining the pockets of huge corporations but helping out a whole supply chain of local gems who are all feeling the heat at the moment.” Top Up Shop works with some of the best local suppliers offering British-grown and -made products, such as artisanal pasta from Pastificio Carleschi based in Leytonstone.

Since the shop began, it has saved over 500 pieces of single use plastic waste from ending up in the bin with its reusable Top Up service. The couple are proud of the initiative they have created in Waltham Forest so far and grateful to have developed some incredibly committed regular customers. Ava adds, “Most importantly I couldn’t have done it anywhere but in the community I call home and grew up in and I’m so glad they have welcomed Top Up Shop with open arms.”

Top Up Shop currently delivers to E4, E7, E10, E11, E12, E15, E17, E18, and E2