New inconvenience store opens at Dhoby Ghaut selling sustainable things you can't buy

Not your average 7-Eleven or Cheers.

Ashley Tan | June 11, 2019, 03:50 PM

Mention convenience store and 7-Eleven comes to mind.

But inside the new convenience store in the middle of Orchard area are not the usual chips, candy or drinks packed and stacked using copious amounts of plastic.

Rather inconvenient, right?

Well, that's because this is the [Not-So] Convenience Store that has replaced conventional "convenient" items, with more "inconvenient" eco-friendly items.

'Inconvenient' but sustainable

In conjunction with World Environment Day, the [Not-So] Convenience Store opened its doors on June 7, 2019 at the Temasek Shophouse along Dhoby Ghaut.

The bright stripes of its retro-inspired shopfront, which are reminiscent of Family Mart and 7-Eleven, draw customers into what is actually an exhibition aimed at raising awareness about Singapore's growing waste problem.

Photo from Kinetic Singapore / FB

Photo from Kinetic Singapore / FB

More often that not, inconvenience is the reason consumers choose less sustainable options over more environmentally friendly lifestyle alternatives.

Four in 10 Singaporeans cited inconvenience as the top reason for not recycling, a 2018 report found.

Convenience wins

Many bemoan it is too troublesome to bring their own containers and having to wash them as the main reason for not swapping out plastic takeaway containers with reusable ones.

Disposable plastics are borne out of convenience.

The [Not-So] Convenience Store capitalises on this propensity to favour quick fixes over greener but more inconvenient alternatives.

Photo from Kinetic Singapore / FB

Stocked with eco-friendly products

But how inconvenient is it to go green then?

Apparently not at this convenience store.

Stores like 7-Eleven are usually stocked with fast-moving products such as sandwiches and chips.

To convince customers to go green, the [Not-So] Convenience Store has instead lined its shelves with sustainable products such as bamboo straws and toothbrushes, reusable tumblers, mini solar charges, and even menstrual cups.

Photo from Kinetic Singapore / FB

Photo from Temasek Shophouse / FB

The items are arranged into four categories: Food waste, household product waste, electronics waste and plastic waste.

These are the four main types of waste produced by Singaporeans, according to the exhibition organisers in a CNA article.

Photo from Kinetic Singapore / FB

To encourage people to adopt a more zero-waste lifestyle, items are accompanied by a small QR code on the price label, which customers can scan to find out more information on the product and its benefits.

Photo from Temasek Shophouse / FB

Plastered around the store are also several quirky tongue-in-cheek stickers of the store's mascots.

Photo from Kinetic Singapore / FB

The designs seem to be modelled after the store's "cashier" staff.

Photo from Temasek Shophouse / FB

You might be disappointed to find that you can't physically purchase any items from the store itself.

However, you can still get them online -- scanning the QR codes will link you to the items' respective product pages.

If you happen to be at Dhoby Ghaut, consider making a trip down to the [Not-So] Convenience Store.

You might find an item that does some good for the planet, and makes the "inconvenience" worth it.

Photo from Temasek Shophouse / FB


Temasek Shophouse, 28 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238832

Opening hours:

Mon - Fri: 8am - 9pm

Sat - Sun: 11am - 5pm

The exhibition will be open till July 30, 2019.

Admission is free.

Top photo from Kinetic Singapore / FB