Introducing Club Zero: the online zero waste shop



We’ve been building something exciting behind-the-scenes and it’s now time for us to introduce ‘Club Zero’ – our sustainable refill shop. With Club Zero, we’ll drop your sustainable essentials to your door in zero-waste, returnable and refillable packaging. It’s zero-waste shopping with a difference.


Sending single-use plastic packing


We’ve always challenged ourselves to use conscious packaging. We pioneered switching from Polystyrene to WoolCool, and we’ve saved roughly 60,000,000 plastic bags by collecting our delivery boxes to reuse. But that doesn’t mean the work on packaging is done.

Club Zero started with a lightbulb moment – what if we did away with single-use plastic packaging altogether? It’s important to remember that there are plenty of places where packaging is absolutely needed. For starters, keeping food fresh to prevent waste and preventing the contamination of allergens. But, where we can, we knew that the right thing to do was to cut out packaging waste altogether and reduce plastic pollution specifically.

Enter Catherine, the refill shop expert behind Unpackaged. She started working on Unpackaged back in 2005 because “I wanted to be able to refill my packaging. I used to go to a local health food shop and fill up Ecover products and I remember coming home one day and looking at all of the single-use plastic food packaging I had generated and thinking why can't I go to a shop and refill everything?” A question we’ve answered with Club Zero.

Introducing our Very Important Pots and Pouches


We’ve been collecting cardboard delivery boxes from our shoppers each week for years but with Club Zero, we wondered – why not collect other packaging too? So, to help with this, we brought in our VIPs (Very Important Pots and Pouches). For our top-ups of pantry staples, like rice, pasta and nuts, we turned to hardy plastic pots with secure, screw-on lids. As for our sustainable cleaners, our friends at Miniml had the perfect solution, with their refillable 1-litre pouches, made leak-proof thanks to their screwable caps. Both of these containers were designed to top-up existing storage containers at home rather than for keeping in someone’s cupboards. In fact, we thought their plain, functional look might encourage our Club Zero shoppers to send our VIPs back as promptly as possible. Keeping our pots and pouches circulating through Club Zero is really important because, as Catherine puts it, “the environmental benefits dramatically increase the more 'cycles' you put the pot through.”

One interesting challenge for our Club Zero VIPs was choosing the materials they were made from. “Plastic wasn’t our first choice (we would have preferred glass),” explains Stef, Head of Sustainability here at our Wimbledon Head Office. “But given the fact that the VIPs need to be light enough to travel efficiently and be durable enough to make as many trips as possible, we conceded that plastic was the best material for the job.” Plastic hasn’t always been seen as the most sustainable material, and its misuse is a huge environmental challenge. But, when used responsibly, it can serve a sustainable purpose.

Storage jars on a shelf, full of our Club Zero pantry and household products

What makes Club Zero so sustainable?


Our goal with Club Zero is to cut out as much single-use plastic packaging as possible and limit our plastic pollution. One way Club Zero has helped us achieve these goals is by switching to buying our pantry products in large bulk portions. By ordering fewer individual items, we can reduce the amount of packaging they are transported in and cut back on how much is disposed of at our depots. Much like a zero-waste refill shop, bulk buying really helps cut down the amount of single-use plastic packaging used right throughout the chain, getting your refills to your door much more sustainably.

At home, there’s no need for Club Zero members to even open their bin. There’s no single-use packaging to throw away at all. Once your organic goodies are decanted at home, we collect the VIPs to refill and reuse over and over. Despite our collective efforts to recycle and compost our waste, local authorities often don’t have the infrastructure in place to dispose of everything responsibly. This is what makes Club Zero so innovative – we are cutting the packaging waste in your home right down to zero. As we reduce the waste we send to landfill and our plastic pollution, our environmental footprint treads that bit lighter.

Our delivery service also helps keep that footprint light. We don’t just take a heavy load of weekly shopping off your hands, we save carbon all throughout our sustainable delivery model. We start by carefully planning our routes to be as carbon-efficient as possible. We visit each area once a week, and incentivise our drivers to head out in the early hours of the day so there’s less time spent sitting in traffic. It’s a far better approach than everyone driving their cars to zero waste refill shops for a top-up. Stephanie, one of our Club Zero heroes, describes the service as “a God send for people like me who'd actually have to use extra time and fuel to get to a refill shop.” By doing all of the hard work for you, we hope that making the sustainable switch to Club Zero is as simple as can be.

How does Club Zero work?


1. Choose a container - 2. Pick your refills - 3. Return your VIPs



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