LØS Market is slowly becoming a big hit in Denmark thanks to their package-free shop. Everything started back in 2016, in a working-class neighborhood of Copenhagen, with Constance Leth and Frédéric Hamburger.
Løs Market “is a new way of buying food here in Copenhagen: organic products, sold in bulk and without packaging. Food products are set up in specially designed silos from which you can get the exact amount you wish to buy. You can come with your own jars, containers, or use the pretty jars sold in the shop, or the compostable paper and material bags that are at disposal.”
“My goal here is not just to reduce waste, but also optimize the buying experience” says Frédéric. Consumers usually never know what’s inside their Kellogg’s or Nutella packages. Here, the owners know their suppliers, where the product comes from and how it is produced.
Today, they are selling a very wide range of items: fruits, veggies and spices, of course, but also lotions, wine, cider and beers! Every day, they keep rearranging the aisles of their store to propose new products to customers. “…Over time you see what is selling and what is not selling, so we optimize that for our customers. We like to try and find new products they’ll enjoy.”
They also encourage them to bring their jars, bags and bottles from home, even if they can provide recyclable bags, totes and some glass jars/ bottles in case you forgot yours! To use andreuse, of course!
You’ve probably already seen some of these bulk sections in grocery stores or maybe even in your local supermarket. However, these options are still different from a package-free shop. First of all because cost-cutting is generally understood to be the primary goal rather than helping the environment. Second, it’s more common for these package-free options to be part of a larger store where packaged goods still represent the majority.
LØS Market does not only fight for organic goods package-free. They also make sure that all the procedures are in line with their goal: it’s about ensuring that suppliers don’t use plastic or unnecessary waste when getting the products to the store.
“The system is geared towards plastic,” Frédéric mentioned. “Luckily, we’ve worked with our suppliers and have most things delivered in three- to five- kilo cartons as opposed to plastic.” This means the wholesome goods they sell are just as healthy for humans as they are for the environment.
A few years ago, Denmark was one of the European countries with the highest amount of waste per inhabitant. While it might be difficult to measure the positive impact of such initiatives, stores like LØS Marketdefinitely opens the way for customers to modify their buying habits.
Of course, these kinds of shops involve new behaviors for consumers, such as shopping on a more local scale, and getting used to having less pre-packaged foods.
Still, the growth of package-free shops at least brings awareness to consumers and encourages them to change their daily shopping habits by bringing their own reusable bags to the supermarket and skipping the plastic ones, avoiding contributing to tons of plastic waste!