I had worked more than 12 years as a video-game graphist and was already very invested in lowering my environmental impact on a personal level when the feeling that I wasn’t being part of the solution became too much and I needed to do more.
Back in March 2019, during a bike trip with my brother through Belgium, Germany and Netherlands, I met a very special someone here in Delft and after a while, came a moment where I knew I had to seize the opportunity to try something different – but what?
On the different occasions I came to Delft, I could not find any zero waste stores; in Montreal, they spring up like mushrooms but here, I suddenly had to deal with supermarkets and packaging again when I had almost erased them from my life.
It was actually triggering to me, and this is why, after a while, I decided that I would be moving to Delft with all my savings to start a zero waste shop!
After some research, I knew that I had to find a way to combine convenience and low costs. While I love a classic brick-and-mortar shop, it has huge starting and running costs: with a hundred products, you’re already in for 10k€ just in gravity bins! That makes it very hard to offer competitive prices.
Also, there have been some attempts at zero waste stores in the past in the Netherlands, but nowadays, the list of them resembles an obituary, even years before COVID hit. A survey that I did in March 2021 confirmed that very few people knew of any zero waste shop around here.
So that got me thinking: maybe the business model was not the right one…?
And in August 2020, I had an epiphany.
On a biking trip (yet another one!) in the north of France with my boyfriend, we encountered a big vending machine that would sell fresh products farms directly to the consumer, 24/7.
We bought a few things from it, but were a bit frustrated that we had to throw away the glass jars our soups came in, instead of returning them to the farm or the locker.
That’s when it clicked.
I knew back in Montreal of a zero waste shop that only worked through online order and home delivery. They would deliver the goods in jars, by bike, that you could then return when empty. While it was very successful, I rarely used their services, mostly because I really dislike to be stuck at home to wait for a delivery.
But what if I used this farm vending machine instead? Making your basket ready for pick-up anytime of the day or night?
This is how Lockoloop was born: a pun between locker and loop, zero waste meets click’n’collect.
Fortunately, the survey results show that more that 76% of our respondents are on board with the idea! Of course, I’m not closing the door at all on the idea of a B&M shop someday. I know a lot of you, like myself, are attached to this idea of a place where you can be around people who think alike, and have some transparency about the products you buy.