We are Ullapool Unpacked C.I.C. a social enterprise set up with the aim to help our community produce less waste. To do this we are going to open a Zero Waste Shop - ON WHEELS! A completely self contained mobile unit, that will cover a 100 mile distance from Gairloch, Through to Ullapool, over to Achiltibuie up to Lochinver and everywhere in between. Selling loose dried foods, Oils and vinegars, Fruit and veg, Toiletries, cleaning products and zero waste items. All plastic free, affordable and good quality. Items will be weighed into your own containers, buy as much or as little as you like, save money and save waste.
(Beautiful artwork by Hebe Denny on the process of shopping with us)
What we have done so far...
From August 2019 we held a trial period to test our ideas' viability in this community. We held pop-up shops carrying a small line of staple package free products. This was to gauge interest, introduce people to the idea and gain support. This was made possible by Ullapool Community Trusts Community Benefit Fund. We were awarded £1500 to fund all we needed to set ourselves up. We had a great amount of support for the pop ups, with over 250 sales, and built up an amazing and friendly group of customers that are just waiting to support us when we are properly up and running (We are asked regularly how its all going and when we will start again!) We took these mini pop ups to as many places as we could, spreading the word and being accessible. We were lucky enough to spend time at The Ullapool Community Workshop, Serve our Seniors, Toddler Group, Elphin Tearooms, Markets, Anteallach Ale and more. What a fantastic start to our journey it was!
(A very Smiley Evie and Eireann at our launch in August 2019)
Shaped by the community...
In January 2020 we held a Community Consultation day at the Local Highschool. Where we invited everyone to come and help us shape the future, making it as community led as possible. We carried out a survey with over 150 responses. All extremely positive and stating they would shop with us, especially once we were open on a regular and consistent basis rather than the pop ups that were arranged to suit the volunteers instead of people's shopping habits.
(Evie notebook at the ready, jotting down the communities fantastic ideas)
How we adjusted with the Covid 19 pandemic ...
When lockdown began we teamed up with D M Seafoods, providing access to our dried wholefoods in paper bags. This was really successful and built up our support even more. Especially when we sold pasta and flour! This was all done on a voluntary basis by Evie to help our community have access to affordable plastic free options during lockdown. It was also really great to collaborate and learn from a successful local buisness.
(Our paper packed, dried foods in DM Seafoods)
Why on wheels?...
We were initially looking at opening a shop in a premises in Ullapool, however with the difficulty of finding, acquiring and financing. We have decided just to go for it. No more dilly dallying, we are going to open (as far as we are aware!) Scotland's first Zero Waste shop on wheels.
Through opening this shop we will, reduce packaging and food waste, help alleviate the effects of rural and social isolation, provide an accessible and affordable service, provide employment, and decrease Carbon emissions in our community. For example - If people in Lochinver shopped with us, instead of coming through to Ullapool say once a week, they could save roughly 14kg of Co2 a month (or 3.5kg for one return journey from Lochinver to Ullapool). So the total savings and reduction of carbon emissions in our community could really have a big impact. And less pennies spent on fuel would also be a big bonus!
Ullapool Unpacked is about people and planet. A service designed by our community, for our community. Lets get this show on the Road!
(Mobile Zero Waste shop- The Green Weigh) Similar to what we are planning.
(The sensational folk at Serve our Seniors)
(Kiddy winkles in tow on Sisterly Pop-up Adventures..)