UnPackt — Singapore's First Package-free Store
No plastic bag necessary, thanks!
When Singapore's first package-free store opened last month, I didn't hear about it through friends or social media. Instead, the news came from the wisest of them all — mum. She read about UnPackt in the newspaper, promptly informed me, and I visited the store a few weeks later. Florence Tay, one of the co-founders, was around and happily chatted to me as visitors drifted in and out.
Tears & Fears
"I think what we were most afraid of was if we wanted to term it a 'zero-waste store,' because it is a very defined term and sets a lot of expectations. What we would like to share with everybody is that everyone can work towards that goal together. So actually, our brand name Unpackt has the meaning of 'unpack' and you [the customer] make a pact to a journey together."
On (her lack of) eco-anxiety
"I don't feel that. For me, I feel that everyone can do small little steps, whatever they are comfortable with. At least one small step at a time is better than nothing at all. Let's say you look at it with a longer-term plan — you choose one product a year to switch and you slowly switch. You can actually see results. It's cumulative, rather than in one shot you start to take out a lot of items and feel that it's a very tough journey. And then you give up."
Goals for the rest of the year
"Currently, we are trying to stabilize operations and we are considering bringing in fresh foods and produce that is unpackaged from local farms. We try to work as much as possible towards a one-stop zero-waste grocery and lifestyle store. Especially for the younger customers who are not shopping for their groceries, they can pick up some lifestyle [items] and snacks, and build a habit."