Kuru Kuru Shop, a Good Earth Project

In my travels through the UK to Finland and across the globe to Australia and New Zealand, one of my favourite pursuits is to browse around the markets and charity shops to find interesting preloved items for keepsakes.

Facade of the Kuru Kuru Shop in Sutera Mall, Johor Baru
I’m ready to pay for the collectibles, from elegant ring-holders to charming candle-stands, antique costume jewellery to novels by favourite authors, because these are so rare to find here.

For me, the 17th century proverb, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” certainly rings true.

In Japan, they practice the concept of kuru kuru, which means "circular" or “circulation” and encourages consumers to donate usable items that are offered for Free to other consumers who need them.

The Kuru Kuru “circulation” concept founded by the Zero Waste Academy in Kamikatsu, Japan, in 2006 is now in Johor with the opening of the first Kuru Kuru Shop in Sutera Mall, Johor Baru.

On a poster in the shop
Those who are familiar with Tanah Sutera Development Sdn Bhd are aware that the developer of Sutera Mall, Taman Sutera and The Seed, has earned a proud reputation for being committed to creating a zero waste and sustainable living environment.

In 2014, the Good Earth Project was launched to promote the application of the 5R principles – Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and be Responsible – with a mission to create a zero-waste township by eradicating the use-and-throw habit.

One of the main initiatives of the Good Earth Project is food waste composting through the recycling of food waste into compost, aimed at reducing waste that would go into landfills.

When I met the FOLO (Feed Our Loved Ones) farmers to feature them and what they are doing with “black gold” under Portraits in my Book 2, My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People, they told me about their composting project in collaboration with Tanah Sutera.

Useful items donated to Kuru Kuru Shop are offered for Free
For a start, the developer installed two food waste composting machines within the mall to recycle 500kg of food waste from the tenants.

To recycle a larger amount of food waste, the SuteraFOLO farm was set up with a natural composting plant to ultimately use the compost (also known as black gold!) to grow vegetables in their community farm and for maintaining their landscaped gardens.

It’s encouraging to know that the SuteraFOLO Farm has successfully converted some 300 tonnes of food waste collected mainly from Food & Beverage outlets in Sutera Mall, into compost.

The Kuru Kuru Shop is yet another exciting effort by the Good Earth Project.

A collection of books and novels
A retail space on Level Four in the new wing of Sutera Mall is dedicated to the Kuru Kuru Shop where the public can donate items such as books, clothes, shoes, bags, accessories and household essentials, that are in clean and usable condition.

The Kuru Kuru Shop aims to benefit consumers who truly need these items, all for Free. The only condition is each person may only pick up to three items per day.

When I visited the shop recently, I was thrilled to see a wide collection of useful items – including a wheelchair – as well as books and novels.

Because I had to crane my neck and bend double to look at the book titles, I started to reorganize the arrangement – same author, same genre – for more comfortable reading and access.

Favourite books by Enid Blyton
When I reacted with joy at the sight of a range of familiar books by Enid Blyton, En Zazali, the gentleman who is minding the shop, must have thought I was mad.

Knowing that others can benefit from the donated items in Kuru Kuru Shop, I told En Zazali that I will send my books – collected since childhood and from abroad – and other useful items to the shop.

He explained that the shop welcomes all kinds of useful items, including men’s and children’s clothes but there is limited space for women’s clothes.

We know that some well-thumbed books may be read and re-read, until the pages are yellow and have come off its spine. Then En Zazali showed me a book which he had successfully mended with masking tape and is now ready to be enjoyed again!

The Data Collection poster 
This certainly reflects the spirit of Kuru Kuru where every effort is made to keep the item in circulation, to benefit others who can appreciate it and give it a new start!

Then I spotted a Data Collection poster on the wall and saw the weighing scales.

And when I quizzed En Zazali, he told me that items are weighed to record the quantity (by weight) to chart their daily intake (donations) and output (takeaways).

And probably because he observed my interest in the books, En Zazali told me that they also welcome volunteers to help in the shop…

To donate your preloved items or to volunteer at Kuru Kuru Shop, go to L4-021 on Level Four of Sutera Mall, Taman Sutera Utama, 81300 Skudai, Johor.

Kuru Kuru Shop is open daily from 10am but may be closed on Public Holidays.

For more info, visit Facebook.com/kurukurushop/


  1. Selamat petang miss Pegy... Apa khabarnya... Saya Sazali yg dulu jaga kedai Kuru Kuru...

  2. Selamat Pagi En Sazali. Saya sehat. Harap En Sazali sekeluarga pun sehat.