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When Let Them Eat was first created in 2008, an ethos of environmental sustainability was at our core. Founders Danielle and Tanya were driven to create a sustainable and ethically minded business, with aspirations to be an industry leader. Now, a decade on, we’re renowned for our environmentally friendly practices and vego philosophy.

But our sustainability story doesn’t stop there. In 2023, Let Them Eat were singled out with a special accolade. We were recognised for our ethical approach by Plastic Free SA who awarded us the coveted ‘Championship Award’. This accolade is only bestowed to businesses who have completely eliminated all plastic items from their operations (e.g. straws, coffee cups and lids, takeaway containers and lids, cutlery, plates, water bottles and bags), replacing them with recyclable options.

So, what has Let Them Eat implemented to be a sustainability leader, and how have our operations changed to embrace environmentally friendly principles?

This article takes a deep dive into our work in this space, with our top 5 key sustainability practices revealed.

5 ways we’re saving the planet

It has been a work in progress, but the below 5 sustainable initiatives have not only set us apart from others in our industry, but have significantly reduced our carbon footprint.

Here’s how we’re making an environmental difference, for the greater good.

1. A vego philosophy from day one

From inception, Let Them Eat had a vision to create wholesome, healthy and tasty food celebrating vegan and vegetarian produce. Why?

Generally, a vego or vegan lifestyle requires fewer resources (e.g. less water, land, and energy) than foods with animal products. Plant-based diets are also lower in carbon emissions, helping to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas production.

In addition, vego and vegan diets can also reduce the risk of soil and water contamination due to the use of pesticides and antibiotics used in the production of animal-based foods. But most importantly, it can also help reduce the demand for factory-farmed animals, which are often overcrowded and operate in inhumane conditions.

2. Compostable packaging all the way

Ten years ago we transitioned to 100% compostable packaging. At the time we were one of the first retailers to do so – and we’ve led the way ever since. Here are just a few of our compostable packaging innovations that reduce landfill every year:

  • Our coffee cups and takeaway containers are 100% compostable and can be thrown in your green bin.
  • We commissioned special reusable clear plastic lids to cover our food, instead of using plastic wrap. This innovation alone has saved 1.4 tonnes of cling wrap going to landfill each year.
  • Our reusable coffee buckets have saved 3,500 aluminium coffee bags going to landfill each year.

3. We reward our customers for being environmentally-minded

We support our customers to be as environmentally friendly as possible and incentivise them to bring in their own coffee cups and containers.

At every store, our customers receive a:

  • 20c discount when they supply their own coffee cup, cold take away or salad containers
  • 30c discount when they bring their own hot meal tray and cutlery.

We love it when people take sustainability as seriously as we do!

4. We locally source over 80% of our produce

We love sourcing local produce to make our delicious food. Not only are we supporting our local economy, but the environmental impact of sourcing locally is undeniable.

Buying local food can reduce the amount of fossil fuels used for transportation, lowering emissions and our carbon footprint. Additionally, local food production can help conserve soil and water resources, supporting biodiversity.

We’re proud to source over 80% of our produce locally and will continue to do so. It’s part of our business philosophy and how we roll.

5. Reusable products to reduce landfill

We have a range of quality reusable products available in-store. The next time you visit us, grab yourself a:

  • Tasteful Let Them Eat branded glass coffee cup. You’ll even receive a free coffee inside when you purchase one!
  • Gorgeous reusable cooler bag boasting exceptional quality and style.

Join us in the fight for a better future

It’s clear…we take sustainability seriously. It’s core to the way we do business, and always will be.

We invite you to join us in the fight to save the planet by eating vego food where possible, choosing retailers that think about their environmental impact, and making decisions to reduce your personal carbon footprint.

If you have any ideas for how we can increase our ethical and sustainable impact, we’re all ears! Simply contact us here and we’ll seriously consider your suggestion. Afterall, we’re dedicated to continuous improvement, and we love challenging ourselves to do things better.

Ready to embrace a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle? Simply head down to a Let Them Eat location near you.