THIS MONTH, Kigali Farmers´ and Artisans´ Market (Kigalifaam) will be opening its flagship store for the first time in Kigali. The shop dubbed ‘PIMA’, which is Swahili for Weigh will provide a place for people to shop knowing their impact on the environment is as minimal as practically possible, while at the same time supporting Made in Rwanda and Made in Africa businesses. To achieve this goal, all of the food or artisanal products are bought in bulk quantities, in either reusable, recyclable, or returnable packaging. According to the organisers, the grand opening week will include five percent discount off of all products, official access to drop-off points at the store for items that can be recycled or up-cycled, free product samples as well as take-away food from Pats bangers food trailer, all the while observing Government regulations on gatherings. According to Flo Mwashimba, the founder of Kigalifaam and PIMA, the new inititiative is part of their efforts to support #madeinrwanda and #madeinafrica home industries and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). “I am always thinking of ideas to support them and this seemed like the perfect fit. We buy our food products in bulk quantities, directly from the producers in either reusable, recyclable or returnable packaging. Consumers are encouraged to come with their own containers and/or reusable bags and we will serve them according to what they require,” she added. She noted that artisanal vendors are usually environmentally conscious so consumers can also expect to find jewelry, home decor and even potted plants made from up-cycled materials. “Its not possible to practice 100 percent Zero-waste but, we hope to encourage a movement whereby the community can weigh their choices in how they spend and what they spend on, all the while knowing there is a place to finally deposit their ¨waste¨ safely,” she said. PIMA store also offers an opportunity to save some money while helping keep a local or regional business open. In partnership with MSMEs and organisations like Duhope, Kandaka Naturals, El Amore Garden Kigali, East African Foods and Beverages, Hope for Children Ministries among others, PIMA Zero-Waste Shop is able to ensure that all ´waste´ brought to their shop for recycling or up cycling reach their respective partners. This also means Kigalifaam through PIMA can help reduce the cost of production for some of their vendors which in turn can translate to savings for consumers. With Rwanda being the first African country to ban plastic bags combined with the comprehensive approach to recycling and repurposing electronic waste (it is among the few countries that have an electronic waste policy and regulations and the second in Africa to have a state-of-the-art e-waste dismantling and recycling facility). Mwashimba says she is excited to see this new phase of Kigalifaam take off together with its partners and vendors, and is looking forward to creating an impact in Rwanda.