Nordstrom and Package Free Team Up to Make the World Less Trashy

Zero waste lifestyle products will be available in 9 pop-up shops.

Package Free containers and brushes
Stainless steel food containers and compostable scrub brushes sold at Package Free x Nordstrom pop-up locations.


It's easier than ever to go zero waste, thanks to a new partnership between Nordstrom and Package Free, the zero waste one-stop-shop founded by Lauren Singer in 2017. This partnership takes the form of pop-up stores in nine Nordstrom locations across the United States and Canada, launching on March 26, 2021. 

Shoppers will be able to see and purchase many of the products normally sold at Package Free and talk to staff who have been trained by Singer and her team to discuss zero waste swaps and strategies. The goal is to make the zero waste lifestyle as easy and accessible as possible for everyone who's interested in doing it.

Olivia Kim, Nordstrom's vice-president of Creative Projects, said in a press release that April (also known as "Earth Month") is an ideal time to encourage customers to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle. "We know our customers want to support brands with strong values that help create positive change and we hope this shop will inspire them to learn about new ways to live a more trash-free life," she said.

Singer, who participated in a live Zoom preview of the pop-up at Nordstrom's flagship New York location, explained that the average American generates 4.5 pounds of waste per day. (For the sake of perspective, Singer is famous for fitting nine years' worth of personal waste in a single 16-ounce mason jar – and she's still going.) She believes that any simple steps to reduce one's waste output can make a difference for the planet. From a press release: 

"Since day one, Package Free's mission has been to make the world less trashy. When you swap products used daily for a Package Free alternative, it’s easier than ever to cut down on plastic and individual waste and create a more livable future for all. We’re extremely excited to partner with a brand that shares our goal of a sustainable product landscape and mission of making the world a better place not just through the products on the shelves, but also in the actions taken." 
Package Free pop-up view


Pop-In@Nordstrom x Package Free, as it's officially called, will adhere to the same high standards that Package Free does in its own business operations, running a warehouse that is zero waste and plastic-free "from end to end," in Singer's words, even down to the packing tape that it manufactures itself from paper. The displays are all made out of cardboard and contain educational information about why reducing waste is important.

There's a wide range of products available, including starter kits for lunches, laundry, and menstrual health. Singer showed off some of her favorite products, including all-natural, refillable laundry detergent that comes in a glass jar (made by The Simply Co., her first business), refillable plastic-free dental floss, bar soaps, compostable scrub brushes, bamboo toothbrushes, package-free lipstick, and much more.

In honor of this partnership, Nordstrom is making a one-time donation to GrowNYC to support zero waste programs. This is an organization that strives to improve New York City’s quality of life by running farmers' markets, facilitating food and textile recycling across all five boroughs, building community gardens, and organizing programs to get children interacting with nature.

Package Free refillable laundry detergent
The pop-ups offers bulk refills of laundry detergent, deodorant, and body wash.


You don't have to go shopping to embrace zero waste – a big part of the philosophy is reusing what you have and/or DIY – but it is true that some basic swaps make it easier. It's great to see these items becoming more accessible and easier to find, because then they're more likely to show up in people's homes – and that's exactly what we want more of. To quote Anne-Marie Bonneau of the Zero Waste Chef, "We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly." 

If Pop-In@Nordstrom x Package Free can give you to the tools to start on that journey, it might be worth a visit over the next few weeks (until May 9). Locations are in Bellevue, WA; Vancouver, BC; Toronto, BC; Austin, TX; Seattle, WA; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Costa Mesa, CA; and New York City. More info and online shopping options available here.