Interview with Carmela from Herbie Unverpackt

Feb 22, 2021

Why did you create Herbie Unverpackt ? 

I created the Herbie Unverpackt shop with the aim of changing tomorrow’s consumption by reducing waste. The zero-waste objective concerns all companies, cosmetics shops, soap shops, cafés, restaurants, etc. I hope that all these shops, in Berlin and everywhere else, will develop more responsible and sustainable consumption. For example, when you buy a coffee, why not have your own cup, like a thermos flask?

I would like to create a conscious community, reconnecting people to nature, good food and more responsible consumption. I chose Berlin because it is a city with lots of green spaces, very creative, where many sustainable businesses and start-ups are being created. 

I am based in Neukölln, it is for me a perfect location because there are many families, the environment is green and there is a dynamism all around. 

Why did you launch Herbie Unverpackt during the lockdown? 

I had the idea to create this shop before the covid, I quit my job 15 days before the lockdown in Berlin to have time to plan HerbieUnverpackt. It was a frightening situation because I used crowdfunding in a difficult period when some people were losing their jobs and didn’t have any money. Eventually many structures were closed with this confinement and it was the best time to start the business because people could only go to the supermarket. 

During this confinement, people stay at home all day long, and they have to consume more, eat more and then the families accumulate more waste, bad waste. Some people are aware of this and an awareness of this situation has developed. 

In addition, two more zero waste shops have opened, one in Charlottenburg and one in Schöneberg. 

You have created a shop focused on zero waste but also on the local, why did you choose that? 

I offer organic and regional products whenever possible. With the same objective as zero waste, consuming locally helps to reduce our waste. But some products such as black tea cannot be found in Berlin, so for the moment, selling local products is a big long-term goal. To tell you the truth, one of my first products was oranges from Sicily, grown in mixed farming. 

What are your core values? 3 words to define your company 

The community, because it is above all a common goal and a common struggle where it is important that everyone becomes aware of our environment and of the importance of reducing our waste.

Sustainable ecology is the first value, because I believe that only together can we make a difference by creating the eco-sustainable consumption of tomorrow.

Conception conscience, people have to appreciate the food they eat, when we go to the shop to buy our products, the only thing we see is the packaging, the brand image, it’s very marketed but we don’t really see what’s inside, we don’t see the food we eat.  

How do you see the future ?

I see the future positively, I see a very strong new generation, sensitive to nature, agriculture and the origin of products. I see that the children who come with their families to my shop are sensitive to the reduction of plastic, I think it is these children who will end up supporting the planet, even locally. I see the future with greener, more responsible cities and a common goal: to protect the planet by creating a new way of consuming. 

Visit Herbie Unverpackt:

Instagram: herbieunverpackt

Montag-Freitag 12 – 19 Uhr

Samstag 12 – 17 Uhr

Elbestraße 19

12045 Berlin