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Refill market

A smart shopping system that responds to your habits and reduces packaging and food waste.

Photo of Marije Haas
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The refill market is a supermarket where you get refills on all your consumer needs. You need to supply your own receptacles which you can fill with as much or little as you require. 

As I researched my idea I found I was not the first to come with this idea, in fact there have been some really amazing efforts to make this concept a reality. Please see for more information.

I think this concept could be more successful if integrated with a wise home. Your kitchen can track your eating habits, to fine-tune your actual needs. This can then we translated into a shopping list, which can be communicated directly to the Refill market, or you can go in person to collect your food.

Conscious brands could play into this concept by designing and supplying custom receptacles that can keep food fro longer. Creating bespoke refill stations or supplying some other personalised service.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We can learn a lot from the unpackaged shop already in existence and liase with them on their learnings over the past 10 years. Additionally we can see if there can be some integrated apps for smart home appliances.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

User studies. Working out the service chain between producer and consumer. How can all parties benefit?

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a designer, have worked a lot with sustainability and have also done some lecturing. // image 1 from: // image 2 from: // image 3 created by me.

This idea emerged from

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Photo of Ma. Antonia Villacís Ce.

It´s an excellent idea! I recommend this proposal 

Photo of Marije Haas

Hi María Antonia Villacís C. 
Glad you like the idea. The link you sent is brilliant, it is wonderful to see that this solution is already out there being tried and tested. Especially wonderful that Algramo has worked out a solution for the dispenser machines. I think it would be worth investigating why these refill super markets haven't taken over the world already? How can we help to improve them?

Photo of Ma. Antonia Villacís Ce.

Hi Marije Haas 
Well, I would like to have some Algramo near of my house, but I understand Algramo was born as a solution for the people of poor neighborhoods of Santiago (Chile) and it´s in local shops (or little supermarkets) and its focus in social impact because the consumption of the products (like detergent and rice) was not available quantities by manufacturers and shopkeepers sold the amount that their customers needed. In this year, Algramo arrived to Barranquilla, Colombia, I think it´s a step to other countries, and it isn´t easy to participate in the big markets or large retail chains.
Further, for improving the case of Algramo it´s necessary to connect explicitly with the challenge and that woulb be a part of a value proposition of zero food waste or a creation the business model that not only benefit those who buy but also people who have no food security elsewhere (Similar with this product
¿Could we search or talk more about this?
Thanks! It´s amazing to think about the how improving the world. 
(I hope you understand me, English is not my native language)

Photo of Marije Haas

Hi María Antonia Villacís C. 
I think that the real potential in this /these ideas is the zero waste altogether; zero food waste, but also minimising packaging. Often ideas born out of necessity are good ones. If we can somehow make this not just a necessity, but change perception and make it interesting and valuable for everyone – we should all care for the planet after all.
I love the begirl "power panty" by the way! I really like this way of designing: working with what you have, in order to make a positive change.
Let's definitely talk more! ps. Your english is brilliant. It's not my first language either, but I think we are understanding each other ;-)

Photo of Ri Caragol

This is actually a pretty cool concept, it would reduce packaging dramatically and people would only need to purchase what they are going to use.

Photo of Hannah Butland

This is a very cool futuristic idea! Refill market would not only make it easier for consumers to keep their kitchen stocked with everything they need, it would also cut down on buying access food. The idea of using your own receptacles to fill your order is also a great for cutting down on waste and reusing material. This is the first time I have heard of the concept of a refill station and after reading this I believe it’s a beneficial idea to lessen food waste. Great job furthering this idea and I am interested in seeing this come together!

Best of luck,

Hannah Butland

Photo of Marije Haas

Thanks Hannah Butland 

Photo of Ahmed

Good idea,some giant stores here in Pakistan have provided this service though  not exactly as you have mentioned: