How Hazaar is Helping Leeds Students Become More Sustainable

Compared to the past, today there are endless options to sell your belongings and/or buy second-hand items. Increased awareness about the green movement and Extinction Rebellion protests, gave an opportunity to younger generations to have their own say about how the government should protect the environment.

According to data from Mintel, a market intelligence agency, at least half of the people part of the 25-34 age demographic purchased used clothes, as well as sold their unwanted items. Moreover, ‘swishing’ is becoming more popular, where people swap clothes with others, as “[75%] of 16-24-year-olds say they either have swapped fashion items with others or would be interested in doing so in the future”.  

A new online service that helps you be part of this second-hand market in an effective and convenient way is Hazaar. This is a new online marketplace designed for students all over the UK where individuals are encouraged to reduce their waste and sell/buy all kinds of objects, from books to plants to clothes.

This platform was founded by Harriet Noy, an Economics student from the University of Birmingham, who says that “Our mission is to make it easier for students to live sustainable lives”. One of her first initiatives aimed at students to promote a sustainable lifestyle, was setting up the ‘Plastic-free’ society at her University with her friend Sarah Granville.

During their first year, they noticed all of this unnecessary waste at their university. From nights out, where drinks come in single-use plastic cups, to parks, where these unsustainable materials even polluted the local lake and the environment around them.

They decided to take note of every issue regarding sustainability and sent it to the chancellor of the University of Birmingham, and then after various meetings, the ‘Plastic-free UOB’ society was set up in September 2019.

This helped raise awareness about the impact on the environment of single-use plastics with regular meetings with the student union, organised events with speakers and litter-picking walks. One of their biggest achievements was the opening of a totally plastic-free café on campus.

With a desire to develop a second-hand platform aimed at students, while eliminating unnecessary packaging, Harriet founded Hazaar. It now primarily functions on Facebook as a marketplace, but a new app will soon launch after Christmas this year.

Hazaar enables individuals to buy/sell their belongings and hand them over in person, while reducing postage and waste of packaging materials. This is one of their main guidelines as they want to promote a sustainable business and reduce pollution.

As of now, Hazaar has more than 11,000 members from Facebook pages of 37 British Universities. The Hazaar Leeds page was established a little over a month ago and already gathered more than 980 group members. Bethan Partridge is the head of Hazaar at Leeds, the second biggest page after the one of the University of Birmingham.

To celebrate the approaching of 1000 members, Hazaar Leeds has partnered with Pop Boutique, a vintage clothing shop in Leeds, to give one person a £20 gift card to use in their store (to see the details go to the announcements’ section on Hazaar Leeds Facebook group).

On Hazaar’s Instagram page (@justhazaar), they posted about ‘Reworked Wednesday’ and ‘Fix Up Friday’, which are about giving items (eg. clothes, coffee pods) a new life by recycling them. The initiative claims that “Hazaar’s aim is to create awareness of how habitual student practices are harming the environment and to provide simple solutions to overcome this”.

Lilly’s Plants, an account of a student who sells plants on Hazaar, says that she uses the platform “because the page has a diverse following” and that she has had “a few customers” since joining. She likes the Facebook group as “it’s important to help reduce waste and carbon footprint”.

Header Image Credit: Medium