Berlin has to be one of the easiest cities for living ethically and sustainably. There is an abundance of local, ethical stores, unlimited vintage and second hand fashion and lots of options for zero waste enthusiasts. Are you looking to enter the world of zero waste or are you new to Berlin and need to pick up the essentials? I’ve put together a list of my favourite zero waste stores in Berlin.
Famous for a reason, Original Unverpackt is Germany’s first zero waste store. Located in Kreuzberg, you’ll find a range of bulk goods (pasta, beans, oats, coffee, tea etc) as well as lots of bathroom and cleaning essentials (toothpaste tabs, bulk shampoo and conditioner, soap bars etc). My favourite items are the bulk tahini and vinegar available on tap! One thing to note is that the stock levels can vary and I have been to the store before where they have hardly anything left.
Denns is an organic supermarket chain which you’ll find in most suburbs of Berlin. I love that they now have a bulk section in store as it’s right beside my house and I get most of my groceries there anyway. While the range is not as extensive as Original Unverpackt, you can get all the essentials there. I also find it to be very affordable, especially for things like oats and ground flax seeds.
Der Sache Weg
This store ticks all the boxes. All products are: vegan, local, palm oil free, fair trade and plastic free. What more could you want! Der Sache Weg even has a list of everything they stock on the website so you can check if they have what you’re looking for before you go. Needless to say they have pretty much everything - well worth the trip to Prenzlauer berg.
Palm studio is a beautiful natural cosmetics store in Prenzlauer Berg. Not only does it sell amazing organic face creams, shampoos and essential oils, it is plastic free! If you return your old bottle, it will be washed and reused again and again - plus you’ll get a discount on your next purchase! What an amazing initiative. As far as organic cosmetics go, Palm Studio is very affordable, too.
Another German supermarket chain, Veganz sells exclusively vegan products. If you are looking for a specific vegan product or ingredient, they will likely stock it. In addition, they have a small bulk section where you can get all your pantry essentials. Note: I do find Veganz to be on the expensive side.
Berlin has a good amount of fruit and vegetable markets where you can buy everything loose. Not all are local or organic, though. There is a Turkish market on every Tuesday and Friday on Maybachufer which has a huge range of veggies plus lots of spices and Turkish treats. Be sure to say "kein tute bitte” (no bag please) as they will reach straight for the plastic bag when you buy something! There is a German potato stand on the side furthest from the canal near Schinkestraße where you can get locally grown potatoes. Most of the rest of the stands are not local farmers. There is a small local and organic food stand every Saturday at Hohenstaufenplatz at the meeting of Schölinestraße and Dieffenbachstraße in Kreuzberg. Other veggie markets include: Winterfeldtplatz and Marheineke Markthalle.