BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Tracey Wei has a favorite quote about sustainable living – “we don’t need a few people doing zero waste perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”
“Every little bottle that you skip that doesn’t go into the landfill, it adds up,” the fashion designer-turned-Elmwood Village shop owner said.
Wei and her partner Michael have opened Little Salmon at 230 Lexington Ave. The zero-waste concept shop features home goods, products and toiletries that are all refillable, reusable, or compostable to help eliminate plastic waste.
“We started a shop to kind of create a solution for that problem,” Wei said.
At Little Salmon, you can find waste-free alternatives to many daily essentials – package-free soaps, toothpaste tabs, refillable floss containers with floss made from silk or bamboo charcoal fiber.
They have a filling station for shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, and dish and hand soap.
Wei decided to change course in her career after the pandemic struck.
“I had to go back to the drawing board and figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life,” she explained. “I wanted something meaningful and to support our two kids.”
So the family moved to Western New York, where Michael grew up.
“We find that Buffalonians are very supportive of small businesses, and I feel like Buffalo is changing, in a good way,” Wei said. “It’s a good opportunity to be here.”
The name “Little Salmon” is reflective of the business concept.
“We picked ‘Little Salmon’ because we feel like we’re going against the main stream,” Wei said. “Salmon swim upstream to get back to their natal stream and create the next generation – it’s a symbol of circular living.”
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Kelly Khatib is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.