Thursday, 15 November 2007

Faith Restored

Unpackaged 42 Amwell Street, London, EC1 launched their first shop last week.

It's a shop where you bring your own packaging to take stuff away in.

Thanks to Luce from halfway round the world in Quebec, Canada for bringing it to my attention, despite the fact that The Hub who I visited today are somehow supporting this. Must find time to read noticeboards and chat to more people there next time I'm in.

Anyway how lovely is this whole idea? Sian Berry (the green candidate for london mayor) seems to agree


Luke Tipping said...

This is a super idea at looking at the value chain, and asking "how do we give consumers responsibility and get them to contribute?"

Given that the value chain consists of:

- Inbound Logistics
- Operations
- Outbound logistics
- Marketing and Sales
- Service

How about involving consumers in other areas, beyond Outbound logistics?

Service is an interesting area. Retail outlets are generally carbon inefficient. Could we dis-intermediate these and accentuate the Online trend a bit more?

John Grant said...


That's a very longstanding IKEA idea; you do some of the work and share some of the rewards. Okay they also invented out of town retailing, but collaboration is otherwise a very powerful idea (imagine if they transported all that furniture preassembled) & is the absolute cornerstone of web retailing (amazon reviews, ebay overall)

Luke Tipping said...

IKEA are brilliant.

Their unique approach to operations and transforming inputs into finished products (well, empowering consumers to transform inputs, into finished products) is something other categories could learn from.

We live in an era of 'modding' mass individualisation. Could other categories cut emissions and save money in operations, and wrap it up in 'modding' and personalisation?

Clothing and fashion could be an interesting area...

joellybaby said...

Unpackaged! What a brilliant idea.

Not a new idea of course, but one of those things that has gone away and is due a comeback. When I was a kid (early 80s), we went to the Food Weighhouse for all our flour, lentils, cereal etc. My dad had an allotment and my mum sewed quite a few of my clothes. They did have a bit of the hippy generation about them but these things were normal - options that were popular as they were low cost.

Since supermarkets and cheap clothes stores made these type of things unnecessarily from a money-saving point of view, they started to disappear and they are now making a comeback, for different reasons. Bravo I say.

Anonymous said...

here is an idea that has the potential to be green: