A collection of our thoughts, sharing inspiring refill, reuse, retail & sustainability culture from around the world


Unpackaged 9th Anniversary Newsletter – December 2015

Nine Years & Counting…

Can you believe it has been nine years since Unpackaged began? November each year sees our anniversary and I seem to always forget to stop and take stock, but nine years suddenly feels like a very long time!

From the kernel of an idea; to market stalls; a small shop; a larger shop and now our supermarket partnership with Planet Organic – it has certainly been a rollercoaster ride as we have birthed this idea into retail culture.

When we started, there was no Zero Waste movement, no blogs telling people how to live a plastic free lifestyle, we were very much the lone voice. But what we found was you – our amazing customers – who also want to shop without packaging, you have supported us all along and proved that things can be different.

Our ambition remains the same as we move into our 10th year – our sights are firmly set on the mainstream and how to make shopping ‘Unpackaged’ as normal as popping to the supermarket.


A European Network 

Last week, with the climate change talks going on in Paris, I found myself in Berlin, talking to partners about how to collaborate on a European level and develop our packaging free sector. There tends to be a desire for everyone to say that they were the ‘first'; but my message is that the more we group ourselves as a movement; the more mainstream retailers will see this as a growing trend that can’t be ignored.

In that vein, our friends Bepakt in the Netherlands have produced this map showing how many Unpackaged-style shops now exist all over Europe. The majority of the boom has happened in the last 3 years or so. It’s hard to say how, or why, something suddenly gathers the necessary momentum but its amazing to think how many customers are now able to live a Zero Waste lifestyle thanks to all these incredible pioneers – as everyone is finding out, running one of these shops is no easy task!

We’re looking at lots of different ways to work together in 2016 so watch this space!

So all that remains for me to say is have a wonderful, Unpackaged, Christmas and may we all look forward to a bright 2016. We’ll be back in January with news about new products at Planet Organic & our Circular Economy work.

Best wishes,

Catherine & The Team

© Unpackaged 2018