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


When Wholefoods moved to Detroit…

I read this fascinating article about what happened when Wholefoods moved into Detroit.

It’s well worth a read as it brings together all the issues we care about here at Unpackaged – food supply, price, health, the growing gap between rich and poor and what that means for the food choices you have, the subsidies big businesses get from the government to open stores, gentrification, why good food costs more

I won’t give you my cod analysis – it’s all in here, read the full article: http://thefern.org/2014/11/whole-foods-comes-to-detroit/

America’s Shrinking Farms – A great little documentary!

I should probably learn how to write jazzier blog titles but this documentary is fantastic – 18 minutes of innovation and solutions to the problems we face.

At the start when an academic reminds us that “the Human species needs the size of South America to raise its food” you remember the scale of the problem…

As Roy Choi says – you’ve gotta fight that shit man.

Watch it here: https://collectively.org/en/video/americas-shrinking-farms-food-documentary/

(Tweet them @_collectively and be part of the food revolution! http://bit.ly/1Gw8W61)

Sit up, take a deep breath and do something…

Popping Marvellous

One of the problems of the zero waste lifestyle comes when you’ve had a hard day at work, you’ve collapsed in front of the (I’d love to say something high brow…) telly, and you just want a little snack.

You’re options are – go to the shop and buy something horrid, packaged and full of delicious yet horrible processed ingredients. Or you go to the health food shop and get something made of lovely ingredients but still packaged. Or you sit there feeling guilty that you really should hand make from scratch your own biscuits/ cake/ snack but its 9pm on a Wednesday and you’re too tired to stand up, but oh the packaging, oh the guilt of it all.

In these moments we reach for our trusty jar of popcorn (refilled at Unpackaged Planet Organic of course). It’s cheap as chips, sooo quick to make and easy to adulterate with all sorts of things from your cupboard to cheer you up.

You could pretty much combine any of the following and still get something good – cocoa powder, butter, sea salt, coconut oil, cinnamon, lime, chilli…

And if you want to get super fancy, feast your eyes on the popcorn page of one of our favourite websites Tastespotting and see what amazing recipes people have posted.



Chia Goodness – Why this little grain packs a mighty punch!

Starting our series of focusing on all the amazing Unpackaged products we sell – this week, chia seeds!

Chia is a tasteless, gluten-free seed native to central and southern America where it has been cultivated for hundreds of years and known for its medicinal uses. It gained popularity in recent years as a new superfood, but knowing what to do with it and why we should be eating it is less clear.

Don’t be fooled by its size, because this tiny seed is highly nutritious. It is a complete protein, contains good amounts of the omega 3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), soluble fibre, antioxidants, calcium, phosphorus and manganese.

Read the full blog here: http://www.planetorganic.com/all-about-chia-seeds/

And look out for their amazing Red Raspberry Chia Fresca recipe at the bottom of the blog.

Unpackaged is Hiring!

Thank you all for your applications – this position is now filled. (12/05/15)

Would you like to work for Unpackaged? We’re looking for someone to work on weekends running the Unpackaged section at Planet Organic, Muswell Hill – a temporary contract initially for 3 months.



Job Title:                 Team Member, Unpackaged (temporary)

Job Purpose:

Provide outstanding customer service; assist in the handling of stock, deliveries and maintenance of the Unpackaged section & warehouse to company standards.

Responsible To:  Store Manager


Principal Accountabilities


  • Stock the Unpackaged section & maintain it looking attractive at all times
  • Work in the Unpackaged section communicating with Planet Organic customers – explaining the benefits of the Unpackaged concept and how refilling works
  • Upsell the Unpackaged section to maximise sales
  • Contribute to achieving the departmental targets and objectives

Marketing/ Tastings

Work with the Unpackaged & Planet Organic teams to deliver an in store marketing plan to promote the new Unpackaged section to customers.

Customer Service Standards

  • Know and demonstrate Planet Organic’s customer service standards
  • Contribute to the team’s effectiveness to deliver the company’s service standards
  • Provide customer assistance in other areas of the store as required

People, Training & Development

  • Develop one’s own product knowledge of Unpackaged products
  • Attend/complete trainings as necessary

Merchandising & Stock Management

  • Replenish the Unpackaged section maintaining it as clean, attractive and refilled at all times
  • Ordering: create a weekly order list to handover to the Planet Organic team
  • Assist with periodic stock takes of the Unpackaged section as required; this may require working additional hours from time to time

Systems & Procedures

  • Follow correct opening and closing procedures
  • Operate/handle all equipment correctly and safely
  • Follow correct procedures for receiving and checking deliveries and ensure paperwork is processed in line with company policy
  • Maintain hygiene standards: cleaning the Unpackaged section according to the schedule; breaking down boxes as necessary; clearing any spills on the shop floor
  • Complete due diligence procedures: date checks and price checks as required

Additional Duties

  • Any other additional tasks that may be required


Days of Work: Saturdays & Sundays (3 months initially, immediate start)

Hours of Work: 10.30am – 6.30pm (includes 30 min paid lunch break)

Hourly Rate: £7.00 per hour

Benefits: All staff receive 25% off any purchases at Planet Organic


How To Apply 

Please send a CV and a short one page covering letter explaining why you have a passion for Unpackaged and why you would be perfect for the role to [email protected]

You must have fluent English and be able to prove that you are eligible to work in the UK.

Scarcity-Waste at Somerset House

This looks well worth a visit:

The Syngenta Photography Award is a celebration of artistic skill and outstanding photography which aims to draw attention to, and stimulate dialogue around, key global challenges. This year’s award invited professional and amateur photographers from all over the world to submit applications responding to the theme of ‘Scarcity-Waste’.

In the past 50 years, our demands on the natural world have doubled. Many of us are barely aware of the fragility of the resources we depend upon for our survival. While resource scarcity is evident everywhere, it sits alongside enormous waste. As nearly one billion people go to bed hungry worldwide, others are wasting over half of the food they buy. The award called for photographs that tell stories about scarcity and waste and the tensions and relationships between them. Photographers, whatever their approach, were invited to interpret this theme to spark dialogue about our changing planet.

The six finalists (Mustafah Abdulaziz, Richard Allenby-Pratt, Rasel Chowdhury, Stefano De Luigi, Camille Michel and Benedikt Partenheimer) were chosen by a distinguished international jury, chaired by photography curator and writer William A. Ewing and selected from a shortlist of more than 2,000 entries.

Alongside the finalists, the exhibition also presents some of the most thought-provoking and powerful responses to the subject, ranging from the impact of population growth and climate change to the increasing demand on natural resources and food waste.

The 42 photographers from 21 countries represented in the exhibition not only illustrate the ’Scarcity-Waste’ theme in striking and ambitious ways, but also take on the role of courageous advocates, showing deep concern for our planet. Taken together, their 90 images provide a unique voice to one of the greatest challenges the world faces: how in a world that is so desperately short of resources can we ensure that there is enough land, food and water for everyone and for future generations?

11 March – 10 April 2015
Daily 10.00-18.00 (last entry 17.15), until 18.30 (last entry 17.45) on 11 March
East Wing Galleries, East Wing
Free admission

Unpackaged March 2015 Newsletter

Make sure you sign up here to receive our monthly newsletters!



After a year, Unpackaged is back, so it’s hello to our old subscribers and welcome to our new friends.

We have taken the time away to regroup and rethink as we still believe that the Unpackaged refill model is viable. Indeed, with all the environmental challenges our world faces, it seems more necessary than ever! But to really make a difference, it needs to be mainstream and that’s where our focus is now.

So, it is with great pleasure that we announce the first Unpackaged collaboration with our friends at Planet Organic in Muswell Hill.  We both believe that the key to getting refilling into the mainstream is ease, convenience & self-service.

With that in mind we have developed a completely automated, self-service refill area – the first in the world. Planet Organic are the first UK chain to really put their weight behind the idea that refilling could work in a supermarket setting – with the right technology and demand from customers.

Unpackaged Needs You!
Come and give it a go. If you believe what we’re doing is important then come and vote with your wallet to send a signal to other retailers that this is what customers want. Planet Organic is a lovely business with a real focus on exciting, alternative healthy foods, so you’ll see new products that we didn’t sell before. Check out our product range here, bring your own containers and please do give us your feedbackon the self service.

Planet Organic, 111/117 Muswell Hill Road, London, N10 3HS (Map)

Tag yourself refilling on social media:
#planetrefill @unpackaged @planetorganicuk

We’ll be bringing you all our news in our monthly emails and do follow us on TwitterFacebook & Instagram.

It’s good to be back!

Very best wishes,

Full Product List – Unpackaged at Planet Organic

***All products are certified Organic***


Muesli – Gluten-free & Super

Oats – Porridge, Jumbo, Oat bran

Quinoa – Flakes, Puffed


Chocolate Buttons – Milk, 73% Dark

Raw Cacao Nibs

Dried Fruit

Apricots Whole

Goji Berries

Golden Berries

Banana Chips

Coconut – Raw Chips & Dessicated


Figs Lerida

Mango Slices

Pitted Prunes

Sultanas – s/f oil dressed

White Mulberries


Quinoa – Black, White, Red

Rice – Brown Short Grain, Brown Basmati, White Basmati

Buckwheat – Plain, Roasted

Millet Grain

Popping Corn

Pearled Barley

Pearled Spelt


Butter Beans


Puy Lentils

Red Split Lentils



Brazils Whole

Cashews Whole


Pecan Halves

Walnut Halves


Amaranth Seed

Brown Sesame Seeds

Chia Seeds

Hemp Seeds

Golden Linseed

Pumpkin Seeds

Sunflower Seed


Apple Cider Vinegar w/ the mother
Balsamic Vinegar

Wine (Certified Organic & Mafia Free)

Sfuso Catarratto White Wine

Sfuso Nero d’Avola Red Wine


Ecover All purpose Cleaner

Ecover Amongst the Flowers Fabric Conditioner

Ecover Camomile & Marigold Washing Up Liquid

Ecover Lemon & Aloe Vera Washing up Liquid

Ecover Non Bio Laundry Liquid

Jars & Bottles

Preserving Jars – Ball jars (500ml, 1 Litre, Kilner jars (500ml, 750ml, 1 Litre)

Refillable Glass Bottles – (500ml, 750ml, 1 Litre)

2015 Blogs

Coming Soon!

Have a look at our Facebook page here for lots of interesting recent posts about plastic, Terracycle, BPA and much more…

Meet the Producer – Winnie from Wanderlust Nut Butters


Our gourmet Wanderlust Nut Butters have been flying off the shelves! Founder Winnie Maganjo tells us all about their mission:

How did you choose the name Wanderlust?

We’re actually currently doing a rebrand so the name is going to change but I think the change will reflect the business, who we are and mission a lot more. But we have kept the personality that makes as who we are!

What inspired you to first make nut butter?

I just really wanted to see a fun variation from normal peanut butter in stores minus the preservatives, oils and sugar that a lot of mainstream peanut butter companies. I remember scouring the nut butter aisles in supermarkets for a flavoured nut butter and I couldn’t find any beyond chocolate flavour. And to use the overused quote ‘necessity truly is the mother of invention’!

What are the ethical aims behind your business?

At the heart of our business is producing a product that is genuinely natural. Our visions for Wanderlust is to grow into a company that regularly and meaningfully gives back to the local community and we are pursuing ways to do so be it through mentoring young people to start food business or running food banks. Our ethics make up the fabric of who we are and influence our day to day decisions as we try to build a company that we will look back at and be proud of.

We love your flavours, how did you choose them and do you have any more in the pipeline?

Thank you!! With each nut butter there is a different back story. For example for the Coconut Cashew Butter started off as chocolate coconut cashew butter but when I gave it to one of my good friends to try she thought that it was way too many flavours going on. I got rid of the chocolate and it totally changed the nut butter into the best seller that it is. So I do rely on feedback a lot to make nut butters people would be excited to buy. We have many more flavours we are working on. We will release a new one in January next year!

We love your butter spread on a slice of toasted sourdough from the Better Health Bakery. What do you recommend is the best way to enjoy your butters?

In order of nut butter here are my recommendations:

Espresso Almond Butter

Spread onto walnut bread with fresh jam made with crushed mixed berries (simple but glorious!) Or as a marinade with lemon and olive oil (can be used on both vegetables or meat).

Cinnamon Peanut Butter

In a vegetarian stir fry with rice noodles. I normally make a sauce with the peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic and ginger and mix that into my stir fry. Or peanut butter banana bread (take your trustee banana bread recipe then swirl peanut butter into it just before you put it in the oven to bake!)

Coconut Cashew

Drizzled on apples and pears, on rice cakes with some pumpkin seeds for crunch or a spoonful in hot chocolate for a flavour twist!

Maple Pecan Butter

Spread thickly on pancakes, in cake icing or maple pecan and goats cheese and golden onions…trust me!

What are you plans for the future of Wanderlust?

The big goal is to grow Wanderlust into the best flavoured nut butter company in UK. Our short term goal is to successfully launch the rebranded nut butters next year March and expand our customer base to include other cities in UK. As we expand the business we want to keep our customers at the heart of our growth and the best time to start that culture is now, as a start up!


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© Unpackaged 2015