Two months ago we had the pleasure to meet Béa Johnson. We traveled all the way up north to Unverpackt Kiel – the very first zero waste bulk store that opened in February 2014 in Kiel, Germany, inspired by Béa Johnson! What can I say – I fell in love with this gorgeous store! This isn’t just some store that has decided to install a bulk aisle – Marie Delaperrière opened this store to enable her customers to buy everything they need on a day-to-day basis completely zero waste – almost 100% organic! Seriously – just how awesome is that ❤️?
These kinds of zero waste bulk stores focus on sustainable practices and usually only offer bulk items or at least the most eco-friendly alternatives ❤️!! I have only heard of comparable stores in the Netherlands so far. Not really surprising – if you have been to the Netherlands you’ll understand 😁!
In German, “unverpackt” means unpackaged. Ever since this very first “unverpackt” store opened almost two years ago, the concept of selling in bulk and reducing waste by reducing packaging has become more and more popular. Up until this point I don’t think anybody had ever even seen a bulk bin in Germany! The next store (called Original Unverpackt) opened just six months later in Berlin with a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign and a lot of media coverage.
Since then, more and more package-free stores (some are rather package-less than package-free though, probably seeing a profitable niche there) have opened or are about to open. My list that I had started September 2014 has grown from measly 4 entries to 22 in just over a year! Fingers crossed that all the people saying they love the idea will actually spend money there! (Everybody keeps telling me they love, love, looove the idea and think this “should be supported”, but then they still buy all of their groceries at one of the numerous “discount supermarkets” here, because I guess they rather leave the “supporting” part to somebody else 😢.)