Arts & Life, Features

Ethikli: The first package-free grocery store in Long Beach

Ethikli, the first package-free grocery store in Long Beach, officially opened on Feb. 8.

Katy Impellizzeri, 31, is the founder of Ethikli: a grocery store designed for sustainability and ethical standards. Ethikli was born out of Impellizzeri’s frustration at the lack of eco-friendly options and low ethical standards for everyday products that many consumers are not aware of.

Customers viewing Ethikli's selection of beans and legumes.
Customers viewing Ethikli's selection of beans and legumes. Photo credit: Emily Rogers

Ethikli sells a variety of essentials including bath and body products, cleaning and laundry products, clothing, pet supplies, gifts, as well as reusable grocery and produce bags.

Ethikli provides all their goods in bulk, and all the groceries are sourced locally.

The store currently sells beans and legumes, dried fruit, granola, spices, nuts and seeds, coffee, tea, pasta, oils, and baking flour.

Impellizzeri’s goal is to incorporate as many grocery essentials as she can. She hopes to get produce in her store as soon as possible.

“I want people to be able to do 98% of their shopping here,” Impellizzeri said. “Eventually, I’d love to expand and make this a one-stop-shop.”

In addition to having ethically sourced and sustainable essentials, everything is organic and vegan. Ethikli offers a variety of gluten-free options as well.

Upon entering the store, customers are greeted with a chalkboard step-by-step presentation on how to gather their grocery items in a package-free environment.

The process involves weighing out self-brought or store-borrowed containers on the provided scale, attaching a tag with the tare weight, and filling your container. Impellizzeri provides baskets to gather groceries, and jars or paper bags next to a scale to weigh out dried goods if customers have not brought their own.

Ethikli's nut grinder machines feature cashew butter, peanut butter, and almond butter.
Ethikli's nut grinder machines feature cashew butter, peanut butter, and almond butter. Photo credit: Emily Rogers

“Each and every choice we make has consequences,” Impellizzeri said. “Whether we notice them or not.”

Impellizzeri uses her website to educate consumers on the impact of their purchases.

Her blog category shares links to articles and books that reveal the unethical environmental and labor methods behind fast fashion and beauty corporations, the exploitation of children and adults in labor environments, and the causes and negative effects of consumerism on the planet.

Impellizzeri promises that each purchase at Ethikli reroutes money away from fast fashion, sweatshops, and child labor. She and her team do extensive research to offer ethically sourced and sustainable essentials.

The store has a no packaging rule unless it is absolutely necessary. When Ethikli needs to package an item, they use recycled newspapers. Their shipping labels and tape are 100% biodegradable.

Furthering their eco-friendly approach, Ethikli orders their boxes through EcoEnclose, a company that specializes in sustainable packaging and uses algae ink to make boxes 100% recyclable. The company’s shipments are done via Sendle, a company that ensures carbon-neutral domestic shipping.

“By changing our habits one purchase and choice at a time, we can incite change together,” Impellizzeri said.

Katy Impellizzeri in front of her store on opening day.
Katy Impellizzeri in front of her store on opening day. Photo credit: Emily Rogers

The store hours for the first two weeks are from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily. After the first two weeks, the store’s weekday hours will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. then 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

“No one is perfect,” Impellizzeri said. “Just be mindful with every purchase and use what you already have before you go out and buy more.”

Ethikli is located on 352 E 4th St., Long Beach, Ca, 90802

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