With the opening of the first unpackaged shop in Munich-Sendling, Christine Holzmann has fulfilled a lifelong dream and, contrary to supermarket chains and discounters, she offers an alternative, unpackaged.
How did you come up with the idea of founding your own unpackaged shop?
I have been dealing with a sustainable lifestyle for a long time. In a big city in 2020, you often reach your limits: everything is packaged, a farm-store or farmers’ market is not always nearby. Regional is not always organic, vegan is not always fair trade and all in all not always sustainable. I wanted to create something that would allow us to shop better in the south of Munich.
How long did it take to develop the shop and what were the biggest challenges?
Five months. The idea was born at the beginning of November and then incidents started to take their course. All doors (up to the financing, which took a lot of time but was only possible with the help of friends and family) opened automatically. I often thought that it would work out… that I had found my place and that destiny was determined to bring my “Resi” to life. But now I am facing an unforeseen and huge challenge: a business establishment during the worst (corona) crisis of the last decades.
Where did you get your inspiration from?
From my childhood. I was lucky enough to spend every weekend with my grandparents on the farm. I was with my grandfather out on the raspberries or in the potato field. I fed pigs with my grandmother, picked vegetables and stole the eggs from under the**** of the chickens. We cooked together and ate. It was delicious… It’s hard to imagine such a natural diet anymore. Regional, local, unprocessed and unpackaged. With my “Resi” (by the way, my grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother were named Theresia and had a little corner shop in the Allgäu for many generations) I would like to try to bring this feeling to the south of Munich.
What special features do you notice in the unpackaged sector?
The operators of unpackaged shops, suppliers and also consumers are very aware of their role: every purchase decision has an impact. As the saying goes: “Be the Change you want to see in the world”. It is not primarily about profit, but about a holistic system: good wages, satisfied employees, and green energy. No fast fashion. No neon lighting, no insane advertisement activities. Not always more and better and faster, but creating something with substance. Many people have become more thoughtful about certain things (e.g. the appearance of products) and they focus on the essentials, such as quality.
Do you have any special advice for people who are just starting to eliminate packaging waste?
First of all, it is about being aware of yourself. The observation of what gets thrown away. Which of it was necessary, which wasn’t? Then you start making conscious decisions. Purchasing decisions: from now on I no longer buy packaged fruit and vegetables. From now on, I will take a thermal flask of coffee from home instead of getting a to-go cup. I buy a good bar of soap instead of a plastic dispenser. Having an unpackaged shop nearby makes things a lot easier of course. A good starter set of shopping essentials are grocery bags and glass jars, which you can buy in any unpackaged shop. Basically, everything that can be filled with something can be brought from home: Tupperware, an empty bread bag, a cleaned out bottle and with time it becomes more and more easier to avoid packaging.