11 Zero Waste Stores in Chicago For All Your Bulk & Package Free Shopping Needs #ZeroWasteStoresinChicago #ZeroWasteStoresChicago #ChicagoZeroWasteStores #bulkstoreschicago #sustainablejungle Image by The Unwaste Shop
Image by The Unwaste Shop

11 Zero Waste Stores in Chicago For All Your Bulk & Package Free Shopping Needs

The SJ Team


Want to greenify your shopping habits?

The best zero waste stores in Chicago can help.

Sure, the Windy City is a uniquely vibrant cultural mecca of the American Midwest, filled with friendly people, deep dish pizza, sky-high sights, and over 75 distinct neighborhoods. 

But it’s also home to a growing number of zero waste and bulk stores. 

Sustainability is no longer a curious buzzword whispered along the city’s Magnificent Mile. Chicagoans are intent on making a positive impact on the environment while exercising some guilt-free retail therapy. 

And the rise of brick-and-mortar zero waste stores in Chicago is testament to the city’s vested interest in the future of the planet and its inhabitants. 

We’ve previously explored Chicago’s best thrift stores (hint: they’re all impressive), and this time we’ll explore Chi-town’s most progressive offerings in the conscious-consumption category. 

On your way to the Bean? Why not pick up some bulk beans along the way. In the following, we present our top go-to zero waste and bulk stores in Chicago for conscious consumers. 

Let’s dig in.

1. Eco and the Flamingo

11 Zero Waste Stores in Chicago For All Your Bulk & Package Free Shopping Needs #ZeroWasteStoresinChicago #ZeroWasteStoresChicago #ChicagoZeroWasteStores #bulkstoreschicago #sustainablejungle Image by Eco & The Flamingo
Image by Eco & The Flamingo

About Eco and the Flamingo

A stylish and conscious zero waste general store featuring cruelty-free, sustainable, and refillable cleaning products, Eco and the Flamingo is Chicago’s OG zero waste store. The business is entirely female owned and run. 

What You Can Find 

Here you’ll find a large selection of package-free pantry foods, oils, vinegars, herbs, spices, rice, sugar, teas, and coffee. 

They also happen to be one of the best refill stores in Chicago where you can bring your own containers to fill up on all of your household cleaning supplies and bath, body and beauty products.

Location: Lincoln Square


2. Tinyshop Grocer

11 Zero Waste Stores in Chicago For All Your Bulk & Package Free Shopping Needs #ZeroWasteStoresinChicago #ZeroWasteStoresChicago #ChicagoZeroWasteStores #bulkstoreschicago #sustainablejungle Image by Tinyshop Grocery
Image by Tinyshop Grocery

About Tinyshop Grocer

Tinyshop, a pop-up shop, is the brain child of a former advertising art director. It’s Chicago’s zero waste grocery store “where the shop is eensie, the waste is weensie, and your impact is teenie-tiny,” according to their slogan. 

Currently, you place your order online and then pick it up at their specified pop-up location, which happens each weekend. 

Packaging isn’t Tinyshop’s only concern; the shop is also careful about what goes inside its mason jars. Products promise to be as local, organic, and fair as possible.

What You Can Find 

Grains, flours, vegan proteins like seeds, nuts, and legumes, dried fruits, and a selection of environmentally-friendly hygiene and household goods. 

Tinyshop also provides honey from Hive Supply, coffee beans from Kusanya Cafe, and bread from Middle Brow Bungalow—all local businesses with community outreach programs. 

Location: It’s a pop-up. Check here.


3. EE Mercantile & Co

11 Zero Waste Stores in Chicago For All Your Bulk & Package Free Shopping Needs #ZeroWasteStoresinChicago #ZeroWasteStoresChicago #ChicagoZeroWasteStores #bulkstoreschicago #sustainablejungle Image by EE Mercantile
Image by EE Mercantile

About EE Mercantile & Co 

A conscious community general store, EE Mercantile & Co vows that everything it sells is from small batch brands that are earth friendly, animal friendly, and human friendly. 

The quasi Chicago bulk / zero waste shop exists online (along with the many other zero waste online stores), through local markets, and in a mini-shop inside Tarnish in West Town. 

What You Can Find

Not so much a zero waste store as an ethical general store, they carry everything from bespoke cocktail mixers and tonics to eco-cards and stationary, salves, nuts, syrups, and soaps. 

Location: West Town


4. The Refilleri

11 Zero Waste Stores in Chicago For All Your Bulk & Package Free Shopping Needs #ZeroWasteStoresinChicago #ZeroWasteStoresChicago #ChicagoZeroWasteStores #bulkstoreschicago #sustainablejungle Image by The Refilleri
Image by The Refilleri

About The Refilleri

One of the best known refill stores in Chicago, The Refilleri offers a variety of personal care and home goods all in refillable, reusable or compostable packaging. 

They’re currently open for online order for pickup or local delivery. We’re super excited about their new permanent location, coming this fall. 

What You Can Find

Shampoos, laundry detergents, face wash and conditioner through pumps available to fill. You can bring your own jars, or use one provided by the store.

The Refilleri also sells soaps, candles, pet products, and other personal and household products, largely sourced from locally-owned companies and makers. 

Future offerings will include dry goods, makeup and even zero waste wine!

Location: Soon to be Announced!


5. The Unwaste Shop

11 Zero Waste Stores in Chicago For All Your Bulk & Package Free Shopping Needs #ZeroWasteStoresinChicago #ZeroWasteStoresChicago #ChicagoZeroWasteStores #bulkstoreschicago #sustainablejungle Image by The Unwaste Shop
Image by The Unwaste Shop

About the Unwaste Shop 

A recently opened zero waste store in Chicago that’s committed to eco-friendly products that are good for you and good for the planet, The Unwaste Shop is available online and will soon reopen permanently at their previous West Loop pop-up location. 

What You Can Find

Zero waste kits, food storage kits, household products, personal and hygiene items, and a refill station of home and bath products. 

Location: Online and soon to re-open in West Loop!


6. Merz Apothecary

11 Zero Waste Stores in Chicago For All Your Bulk & Package Free Shopping Needs #ZeroWasteStoresinChicago #ZeroWasteStoresChicago #ChicagoZeroWasteStores #bulkstoreschicago #sustainablejungle Image by Merz Apothecary
Image by Merz Apothecary

About Merz Apothecary

This isn’t a totally zero-waste store, but we’ve included it because Merz Apothecary is a Chicago landmark with tour buses from around the Midwest that make regular stops. 

“Stepping in here is the closest thing to time travel,” says Gwenyth Paltrow’s Goop

Featuring homeopathic medicines, supplements, and natural self-care products, Merz is a mecca for people who want unique and natural products. It has been in operation since 1875!

What You Can Find

“A sensory delight and unique shopping experience,” says a five-star review on Tripadvisor

Merz carries hundreds of brands and over 14,000 offerings for health, beauty, and wellness. There are more tinctures, vitamins, and supplements available than we’d know what to do with. 

Most products are all-natural. Wholesale is available and gets our thumbs up as the most sustainable way to shop here. 

Location: Western L Station


7. The Plant

11 Zero Waste Stores in Chicago For All Your Bulk & Package Free Shopping Needs #ZeroWasteStoresinChicago #ZeroWasteStoresChicago #ChicagoZeroWasteStores #bulkstoreschicago #sustainablejungle Image by The Plant
Image by The Plant

About The Plant

The Plant is a shared eco-space of multiple local small businesses, pop-ups (like by Tinyshop Grocery), and sustainable farming initiatives, some of which provide package free shopping in Chicago. 

The Whiner beer company there uses spent grains to generate energy for the whole building!

What You Can Find

The Plant is a 100,000 sq. ft. collaborative community of small food businesses committed to material reuse and closed-loop systems. 

These Chicago-based zero waste grocery and bulk food stores includes more than twenty small businesses, including indoor and outdoor farms, kombucha and beer breweries, a bakery, a cheese distributor, a coffee roaster and other sustainable food producers and distributors. 

Location: Back of the Yards


8. The Dill Pickle Food Co-op

11 Zero Waste Stores in Chicago For All Your Bulk & Package Free Shopping Needs #ZeroWasteStoresinChicago #ZeroWasteStoresChicago #ChicagoZeroWasteStores #bulkstoreschicago #sustainablejungle Image by Dill Pickle Food Co-op
Image by Dill Pickle Food Co-op

About the Dill Pickle Food Co-op

Highly publicized in the media, the ever-vibrant Dill Pickle Food Co-op is a Chicago zero waste food store and deli co-operative mainstay. The store is collectively owned by over 4,000 Chicago neighbors. 

The co-op sustains a thriving community through equitable economic relationships, positive environmental impacts, and inclusive practices grounded in cooperative values. 

Offering sustainable, healthy, and organic food choices, the co-op was originally founded in 2009 in response to the lack of healthy food options in Logan Square.

What You Can Find

Just about everything. As one of the best zero waste grocery stores in Chicago, this co-op would have: fresh produce, meat, dairy, cheese, organic food, local food. 

Location: Logan Square


9. Sugar Beet Co-op

11 Zero Waste Stores in Chicago For All Your Bulk & Package Free Shopping Needs #ZeroWasteStoresinChicago #ZeroWasteStoresChicago #ChicagoZeroWasteStores #bulkstoreschicago #sustainablejungle Image by Sugar Beet Food Co-op
Image by Sugar Beet Food Co-op

About the Sugar Beet Co-op 

Sugar Beet Food Co-op provides high quality natural foods, with a focus on locally sourced products produced in ecologically sound ways. 

The co-op is not only a favorited Chicago zero waste store with amazing bulk options, but offers the full-service of a co-op by providing a neighborhood hub for local, sustainable, healthy foods and a way of connecting farmers and producers to their customers.

What You Can Find

Customers agree it’s excellent for high quality and organic meat, cheese, beer, wine, eggs and vegetarian options. Paleo and vegan options are also widely sold. They also feature a free food pantry in the parking lot. 

If you’re not a local, not a worry there are other bulk stores online which you can peruse from the comfort of your couch. 

Location: Oak Park


10. Local Foods Market

11 Zero Waste Stores in Chicago For All Your Bulk & Package Free Shopping Needs #ZeroWasteStoresinChicago #ZeroWasteStoresChicago #ChicagoZeroWasteStores #bulkstoreschicago #sustainablejungle Image by Local Foods Market
Image by Local Foods Market

About Local Foods Market 

Everything you’ll find at Local Foods Market is either locally sourced, locally processed, or sourced from ethical producers. 

This bulk food store in Chicago works closely with small farmers and ranchers to provide them with a venue to sell their meats, produce, and other items to city folks. 

They feature zero waste produce and zero waste pre-prepared meals. Local Foods is farm-to-table purchasing at its very best. 

What You Can Find

The market is akin to a local supermarket, but with a focus on local. There is also a butcher shop and a café. 

Seasonal items are important here. Spring, for example, sees wild, foraged items like ramps and mushrooms. 

Asparagus is available in mid-May, followed by strawberries, radishes and lettuce greens. 

Sweet corn starts in August and fall vegetable crops arrive in November. After that, Local Foods relies on local storage crops like potatoes, onions, carrots and rutabaga to get through the off-season.

Location: Noble Square, West Town


11. Bridgeport Coffee

11 Zero Waste Stores in Chicago For All Your Bulk & Package Free Shopping Needs #ZeroWasteStoresinChicago #ZeroWasteStoresChicago #ChicagoZeroWasteStores #bulkstoreschicago #sustainablejungle Image by Bridgeport Coffee Company
Image by Bridgeport Coffee Company

About Bridgeport Coffee

Bridgeport Coffee Company may just offer the best zero-waste coffee in Chicago. 

Not only does this south end coffee shop offer only organic and fair-trade products, but they have a direct relationship with their growers which allows them to reduce the transportation footprint of their coffee at the source. 

When you visit the shop, bring your own jar for beans or cup for coffee so you can spare any extra packaging. 

What You Can Find

Coffee, coffee, and more coffee. 

Bridgeport uses a special roasting method called fluid-bed roasting. 

With a fluid bed roaster, the air is heated first and then blown through the roaster bed, eliminating the need for a heated drum. This process prevents burning beans and gives their coffee a unique taste.

Location: Bridgeport


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Final Thoughts On Chicago’s Package Free & Bulk Stores

Are you as blown away as we are by these Chicago-based zero waste stores?

Conscious consumerism sure is taking off in the Windy City.

And it’s never been easier to reduce your carbon footprint and support unique and eco-minded local businesses.

If we keep supporting these Chicago-based bulk and zero-waste stores, we can reduce plastic and our negative impact even further. 

Did you find any favorite stores you’d love to try? 

Spread the word about zero waste bulk stores in Chicago by sharing this with friends and family and we can keep building the zero waste momentum.

Pin these:
11 Zero Waste Stores in Chicago For All Your Bulk & Package Free Shopping Needs #ZeroWasteStoresinChicago #ZeroWasteStoresChicago #ChicagoZeroWasteStores #bulkstoreschicago #sustainablejungle Image by Eco & The Flamingo
11 Zero Waste Stores in Chicago For All Your Bulk & Package Free Shopping Needs #ZeroWasteStoresinChicago #ZeroWasteStoresChicago #ChicagoZeroWasteStores #bulkstoreschicago #sustainablejungle Image by The Unwaste Shop

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