Stain for The Source

We partnered up with The Source Bulk Foods to create uniforms for their new Singapore branch at Cluny Court. We designed and created eco-friendly Oeko-Tex certified t-shirts made of natural bamboo and cotton fiber.

The Source Bulk Foods Singapore opened their doors in July 2019. We chatted with Sarah Widjaja to learn more about her journey to sustainable living and franchising The Source in Singapore.
The Source, Bulk Food Store, Singapore, Zero Waste, Uniforms, Bamboo Cotton, Stain, Stained With Intention
When did you start becoming interested in zero-waste and sustainability?
I’ve always been conscious about the waste I create at home, but it has definitely come to the forefront of my attention more in the last couple of years. I became more aware of ways to minimise waste while I was studying abroad in Europe where they have measures in place to help people reduce the use of plastic and promote recycling. Also, the movement has been growing around the region with neighbouring countries like Indonesia and Australia taking big steps to ban single-use plastics and encourage sustainable living.

What is The Source Bulk Foods?
The Source Bulk Foods is Australia’s largest zero-waste bulk foods retailer. We have over 50 stores around the world, with the first one opening in Singapore last month. “Back to basics” underpins the entire The Source Bulk Foods retail concept, ie. “shopping the way it used to be”. At The Source Bulk Foods retail store, customers can not only experience an interactive shopping experience but can also be educated in the selection and use of an extensive range of whole foods, buying as little or as much as they want. The Source Bulk Foods is about empowering customers in making decisions on how to use whole foods to become part of their daily routine of food preparation and eating and offering themselves and their families the best possible health outcomes.

How did The Source Bulk Foods begin?
The Source Bulk Foods was founded in Byron Bay, Australia in 2012 by Paul and Emma Medeiros who, at the time, ran a health food store selling local organic produce. However, they were troubled by the excessive packaging that came with selling these products and decided to revolutionize the way we shop by creating The Source Bulk Foods where a wholesome array of ingredients are delivered the way food ought to be, not packaged in plastic, nor tied with string. Customers are encouraged to buy only what they need and connect with the source of their food.
The Source, Bulk Food Store, Singapore, Zero Waste, Uniforms, Bamboo Cotton, Stain, Stained With Intention
Where and when did you become familiar with The Source Bulk Foods?
I first walked into a Source store 7 years ago in Sydney, just down the road from my sister’s house in Willoughby. I was amazed at the array of products they offered and was in literal foodie heaven! At the time - and even now - it was difficult to find these quality whole foods in Singapore; even if you could, you had to pay ridiculous prices and buy large quantities of them. I found myself hoarding bags of products back from The Source every time I made a trip down to Australia because I just loved what they had to offer.

What made you want to franchise The Source Bulk Foods, and why in Singapore?
I’ve been in love with the brand ever since I first walked into the Willoughby store and it’s been my dream since then to bring the bulk foods concept to Asia. I think the pendulum has swung too far in terms of how much packaging we use for our food in Asia and we’ve been brought up with this notion that more packaging equals better quality and cleaner food - that’s so far from the truth. I want to bring back the days of when we used to shop at the wet markets and had relationships with the people who sold us our produce. It’s so important that we know where our food is coming from and be conscious about buying only what we need. I chose to set up in Singapore because I could see the market was ready for a concept like this. The community is already jumping on the natural whole foods bandwagon - we just need to change the way they shop! There was a gap in terms of finding top quality pantry products at reasonable prices all in one place. It was my goal to fill that gap and to make healthy, sustainable living as easy as possible.

Was there something that made you want to bring awareness to this zero waste food movement in Singapore?
Despite being such a developed country, I think Singapore has a ways to go in terms of promoting sustainability. In terms of food waste alone, we are generating over 800,000 metric tonnes every year as a nation. That’s crazy to me! If everyone was just a little more conscious about how much food they actually need to buy for a meal or for a week, we could bring that number down significantly. There have also been very few measures taken to reduce plastic usage in Singapore; we are still able to get plastic bags and straws freely anywhere we go. I believe it needs to start from the individual level to change these habits if we’re going to see any push from the government. Many establishments are saying no to straws and bags, but if we can get people to start making changes in their home, then that will elicit a bigger movement.
The Source, Bulk Food Store, Singapore, Zero Waste, Uniforms, Bamboo Cotton, Stain, Stained With Intention
Where are you sourcing all your products? Is it all produced locally or do they come from suppliers all over the world?
Our products come from all over the world. Our top priority is ensuring the highest quality of produce for our customers. As we expand the brand in Asia, we are working on finding suppliers closer to home as this is in line with our ethos of reducing our carbon footprint and food mileage.

What do you hope to achieve in opening The Source Bulk Foods in Singapore?
We hope to make sustainable living and healthy eating as easy and accessible to everyone as possible. We want to create a community that embraces the zero-waste philosophy, not just with our customers, but our suppliers and other businesses as well. The Source Bulk Foods has already achieved great strides by reducing the amount of plastic packaging used by suppliers when delivering our products in bulk; it’s not always perfect, but we’ve created an awareness among our partners, which we are extremely proud of. As I mentioned before, it has to start from the individual level before institutions follow suit.
The Source, Bulk Food Store, Singapore, Zero Waste, Uniforms, Bamboo Cotton, Stain, Stained With Intention
Cluny Court
501 Bukit Timah Road 01-05a Cluny Court, Singapore