eco-friendly healthy food retailing has well and truly moved on from hippies in hessian to smart hipster low-fi value. Catherine conway’s london store ‘unpackaged’ hits the mark.

I’ve been travelling a bit in the past year and have a whole goody bag of interesting innovation ideas and design delights, great branding examples and unusual products from around the globe which I’m dripfeeding in amongst the L.A. madness.  First cab off the rank though is this gorgeous little store I found in Clerkenwell, London a while ago called Unpackaged. It’s run by a clever little lady named Catherine Conway who started it as an eco-friendly low-fi approach to grocery shopping.

Catherine Conway, founder of Unpackaged, says ‘Unnecessary packaging is a waste of resources and a waste of money. Unpackaged is about rewarding people for reusing their containers and doing their bit to tackle our wasteful culture. We all know that packaging increases the cost to the environment and consumers’ pockets. At Unpackaged, we take the costs of packaging out of the equation and help people save money and the environment.’ 

From an environmental point of view it’s spot on; it hosts loads of delicious healthy goodies in large containers, jars and pump packs and customers are encouraged to bring their own containers and refill in a bid to reduce household waste. From a general retail point of view it’s another example of a cracking eco retailer who has managed to take eco-friendly out of the hippies-in-hessian niche and present itself as a gorgeous and stylish little grocer. For those of us who have some conscience about the ten thousand kilos of rubbish we produce each year, it’s a great opportunity to cut back our waste even more. Even if you’re not so environmentally inclined but love a stylish grocer with pared back wholefoods and a real low-fi sense of style, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

I loved this store both for its eco efforts but also for its understated style.