Producer Spotlight - The Arty Vegan

Who are Arty Vegan?

A father and daughter collaborative; vegans for over 30 years; and two culinary souls bringing fresh, handmade, clean & ‘green’ goods, to food lovers across London.

The’artyvegan particularly specialises in the sustainable uses of the soya bean & with an artisanal-vibe, we have assimilated plant-based-food secrets from travelling and living all over the world...all the while mastering ‘vegan cooking’ through an international audiences palette..

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Why they are amazing...

We are expanding our current position from producing these goods in a home kitchen, to a fully equipped kitchen which we hope will also become a community space... but it isn’t just an expansion - we have a vision: 

We want to aim to be completely zero waste - so unlike many factories that make soya based products who throw the copious amounts of okara (fibrous residue soy pulp) away, we want to start up a food initiative - dedicating one part of our business that will use this amazing by-product in a variety of ways -to not only make healthy food for the homeless, but train interested people in need to become plant-based chefs.

We want to eventually also have a space that can host a range of events from - high-end supper clubs; a kitchen that can allow our deliveries to zero-waste shops across London to continue;  affordable workshops so people can learn skills to use themselves at home; and in a nutshell create a hub that allows a food based bridge between all walks of life, bringing our local community together and celebrating the diversity in people.


Why plant-based, and socially inclusive? 

Because we deeply hold the notion, that change and compromise in everyone’s day to day living choices is essential to a harmonious collective way of life.. and one of the most readily available changes we can make - is how we eat - and the choosing of outlets we support. 

Products currently stocked at Get Loose:

Muenster (right): a scheese with a smoky paprika rind, with hints of mustard and onion, and creamy middle - great as is cold, melted on a seitan burger, or in Reuben sandwich!  Piquant (left) : a firmer scheese, with a spicy kick, garlic tones and Mediterranean herbs - the best simply served on crackers and washed down with a red wine.

Muenster (right): a scheese with a smoky paprika rind, with hints of mustard and onion, and creamy middle - great as is cold, melted on a seitan burger, or in Reuben sandwich!

Piquant (left) : a firmer scheese, with a spicy kick, garlic tones and Mediterranean herbs - the best simply served on crackers and washed down with a red wine.

Chevre (chive & garlic): a tangy, little crumbly take on the goats cheese with hints of ground black pepper...and wonderful cold or on a hot jacket potato!

Chevre (chive & garlic): a tangy, little crumbly take on the goats cheese with hints of ground black pepper...and wonderful cold or on a hot jacket potato!

Mozza: the’arty mozzarella! Small balls of creamy joy, stored in a salty brine.. when sliced and melted this is true heaven. Add on top of pasta bakes, in toasties & on pizza

Mozza: the’arty mozzarella! Small balls of creamy joy, stored in a salty brine.. when sliced and melted this is true heaven. Add on top of pasta bakes, in toasties & on pizza

Tofu! We make specifically Momen tofu, and it’s as versatile as it comes. We make our tofu by hand, and we think the results show in the taste - it’s fresher, creamy, lighter and we think tastier than most tofu you buy in the supermarket!  Cook with it however you want: stirfryrs, as is cold with some soya sauce, blend to make sauces, crush and add Kala namak for scrambled eggs... the list is endless!!

Tofu! We make specifically Momen tofu, and it’s as versatile as it comes. We make our tofu by hand, and we think the results show in the taste - it’s fresher, creamy, lighter and we think tastier than most tofu you buy in the supermarket!

Cook with it however you want: stirfryrs, as is cold with some soya sauce, blend to make sauces, crush and add Kala namak for scrambled eggs... the list is endless!!

Both Mozza and Tofu are sold in a glass jar with returnable deposit, whilst the Muenster, Piquant & Chevre are in compostable wrap.

Check them out on Instagram @theartyvegan

Tell us in the comments below what you love to make with The Arty Vegan products.


So how does Get Loose compare on price?

It can be a challenge for any small independent shop to compete on price with the supermarkets. They can buy in much larger quantities and sell some of the most popular items at cost price to attract customers in. Sometimes called a “loss leader”. 

Our competitive edges are;

  • Fully organic / wild or foraged on our food items.

  • We research products to ensure they meet the shop values so you don’t have to. 

  • Providing many items packaging free and the rest plastic free.

  • Being able to buy what you need not what the packet dictates, reducing waste.

  • A lovely shopping experience.

  • Friendly helpful volunteers.

  • Helping change the food system from the inside.

  • Supporting small independent producers / cooperatives wherever we can. 

  • Reducing the temptation to buy highly processed foods (we don’t stock any!)

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BUT we appreciate that for many people price is the most important factor in choosing where, and how, to shop. We also want to be honest about our prices. Our website does not currently have all the prices listed due to the amount of work involved for our volunteers in ensuring this is kept up to date. If there are items you would like to know the cost of, in advance of visiting, please do contact us by email, or social media, using the icons at the bottom of the page.

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Note: all prices for this article were correct as of September 2019. Supermarket own brand organic range used where possible, or closest branded alternative.

How to shop plastic free

Our Assistant Manager Justine looks at why and how to shop plastic free. Shared from her blog littlegreenduckie.com

The problem of plastic waste

The scary fact is that every piece of plastic ever made (unless burnt) still exists in some form. That’s 60+ years of plastic and counting. With only 5% of plastic actually getting recycled into something new. This fact goes part way to explaining how 8 million tonnes end up in the oceans each year! The Blue Planet II documentary has brought the impact of all this plastic to the mainstream consciousness like nothing I have seen before. Meanwhile in our supermarkets, almost everything is wrapped in plastic. The #PlasticFreeAisle campaign, by A Plastic Planet, is hoping to change this, campaigning for every supermarket to have a plastic free section. Their research shows 9 out 10 people would like to see this a reality. Here in the UK the government has just pledged to reduce “avoidable plastic” and increase R&D funding to find alternatives. I don’t want to wait for these things to happen, so I have been shopping thoughtfully to reduce the amount of plastic (and other unnecessary packaging) from my food shopping.

How does it work? What do I take?

No need to buy anything new. Save packaging you already have e.g.; jars, takeaway containers, bottles, egg boxes and paper bags. For fruit and vegetables make simple bags from old fabric, search online for inspiration. Or buy from Get Loose, made by volunteers with upcycled fabric. I wish that Onya UK had not stopped making their “weigh bags”. Luckily Australian Onya Life have them, and I have relatives who can bring them for me! But if this is not an option Lakeland have started selling very similar ones made in Sweden. Consider if you need leak proof containers for buying meat, fish, or deli items.

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Packaging free shops have scales to tare (check) the weight of containers, before filling. This will be deducted from the final weight of your item.

Benefits of packaging free;

  • Reduces the amount of waste I am putting in to my landfill and recycling bins.

  • Less packaging means less CO2 emissions from creating it and transporting it.

  • Saving me money, only buying what I need.

  • Cutting down food waste, less leftover bits of packets to be forgotten.

  • Supporting my local economy. Research on spending by local authorities shows that for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized business 63p stayed in the local economy, compared to 40p with a larger business. I find the biggest range of packaging free items are from small independent retailers.

  • I have got to know the people who work in my favourite shops. This I feel connects me to my community. It’s easy for them to remember me with my own bags, jars, boxes and bottles.

History & food safety

Remember the bulk bins in the 1980’s? These had the potential safety issues of cross contamination and poor stock rotation. New gravity dispensers mean that these issues are now avoided.

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It might be an obvious point, but it is my responsibility to make sure my containers and bags are clean and suitable for the food.

Zero Waste!?

The term “Zero Waste” is used a lot on blogs and social media. People proudly show the tiny amount of landfill (trash) waste they have produced in a year or more.

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I feel that this can often seem so unachievable to many people that they don’t see any point in trying to change anything. It can create a lot of “green guilt” and even conflict within the home environment. Everyone’s personal circumstances and local facilities are different. I feel that any reduction I can make in my own waste is a positive achievement. On the other hand I can see that the term makes a great hashtag and call to action.

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One thing that the tiny mason jars of “trash” don’t show is the plastic waste up stream. By this I mean the waste that the manufacture, growth, or production of your item has created. This is another reason to buy food that is as un-processed as you can. Here in the UK I bulk food stores currently struggle to get pulses, spices, nuts and seeds delivered plastic free. However the amount of plastic used is dramatically less than the same food packaged in much smaller bags for consumers. So it might not be the full answer, but it’s a step in the right direction. Change takes time, and more people asking for it.

Start here…

Feeling inspired to make some changes to your shopping habits? Try some of these easy wins;

  • Vist Get Loose! Check out the opening hours, the product list and plan your trip.

  • Use your own bags for fruit and vegetables.

  • Politely tell staff to use your leak proof containers, for deli, meat and fish purchases.

  • Explore your local shops for zero waste offerings, and ask them to consider stocking more loose items.

  • Add what you find to the Zero Waste app, or Facebook groups, to help others.