No plastics, please: Inside Naked Inc., Jakarta’s newest zero-waste store

Naked Inc. at COMO Park, Kemang, South Jakarta is the newest zero-waste store in town. Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media
Naked Inc. at COMO Park, Kemang, South Jakarta is the newest zero-waste store in town. Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media

Indonesia is the world’s second-largest producer of plastic marine waste — and the majority of that waste comes from the staggering 9.8 billion(!) plastic bags the country is estimated to use each year. Now let that sink in before you dismiss the idea of a zero-waste shop as just another trendy gimmick.

Jakarta’s newest store of this kind, located in the back of COMO Park building, sells quite a collection of eco-friendly goods and locally-sourced groceries, some of which are organic and handmade.

Naked Inc. works just like any other zero-waste shops that you’ve probably seen in several viral videos before: Liquid and dry goods are displayed in huge glass jars, and customers may fill their reusable containers with as much of these products as much as they need. Each product is priced differently according to volume.

As you enter the store, you’ll be greeted by large containers of castile soaps (starting at IDR 45,000/USD 3.12 per 100 grams), body and hair cleansers, loofahs, essential oils for different needs, and even batu tawas — AKA, the all-natural crystal deodorant.

Seeds, beans, nuts, and cooking oils. Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media
Seeds, beans, nuts, and cooking oils. Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media

Most products offered at Naked Inc. can be classified as health foods: there’s fresh produce, organic tempe, beans, nuts, and superfoods such as quinoa and flaxseed (ranging from IDR 15,200 to 38,500/USD 1.05 to 2.67 per 100 grams). The cabinet next to them are equally interesting, filled with dried fruits, cooking oils, sauces, and even madu kelapa (coconut nectar) and kecap manis (sweet sauce) made of the same fruit.

Various kinds of rice, oats, artisanal pastas, dried flowers, and coconut chips. Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media
Various kinds of rice, oats, artisanal pastas, dried flowers, and coconut chips. Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media

More pantry essentials ahead, and you’ll find spices and herbs, plus selections of artisanal pastas and an array of everyone’s favorite carbs (yes, even shirataki rice and noodles), as well as coffee beans, dried flowers for your tea, powdered drinks — and the list goes on.

If you’re into kombucha, then there’s also a fridge that’s stocked with a wide variety of flavors and sizes of the fermented drink to choose from.

Organic doggie treats. Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media
Organic doggie treats. Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media

There are even homemade treats for your dogs (IDR 50,000/USD 3.47 per 100 grams) — because Good Boys/Girls deserve some healthy, organic snacks, too.

Aside from edible goods, there’s also a corner for your cleaning needs, with everything from citric acid, detergents and laundry booster (for extra cleaning power!), to all-in-one laundry bombs, soap bars, and toilet cleaner tabs.

More environmentally-friendly lifestyle products such as bamboo straws, menstrual cups, net bags, cassava trash bags, and beeswax food wraps are also available.

Glass jars, paper bags, and canvas bags are available for purchase as well, for those who have left their containers at home or spontaneously pop into the store without prior preparation.

Detergents and other laundry needs, as well as soap bars. Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media
Detergents and other laundry needs, as well as soap bars. Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media

Like many consumers, I have, in the last few years, made it a point to always carry reusable bags wherever I go. Reducing the use of plastic bags is a small act on the individual level, but if we all made a concerted effort to do it, then that’s something that could effectively help in combating Indonesia’s ever-growing waste problems.

Earlier this year, in January, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan held off on signing the ban on plastic bags to give businesses more time to come up with alternatives sources of material.

Elsewhere in Indonesia, several provinces have already taken measures to encourage a reduced reliance on plastics. Starting from March of this year, minimarkets across the country began charging a nominal fee for every plastic bag.

The city of Bogor in West Java, which is located just outside of Jakarta, became the first city in Indonesia to officially ban plastic bags at all modern retail stores and shopping centers. Last year, Bali passed an island-wide ban on single-use plastics like straws, styrofoam and poly bags to curb plastics waste on the island.

Read also: Planet Plastic: The colossal challenge of cleaning up Indonesia’s Ciliwung River (Video)

Naked Inc. is a serious haven for environmentally-conscious people who are into health food and pantry essentials of the fancier variety — and yes, it is fancier than the average grocery shop. But, it’s highly likely that this is more than a trend, and we’ll see stores of its kind popping up all over the city soon enough, and maybe with cheaper alternatives too (think zero-waste warungs).

Less plastic, less food waste — it’s a win-win for people and the environment.

 

FIND IT:
Naked Inc. is at COMO Park Building, Jalan Kemang Timur Raya No. 998, South Jakarta
8am – 8pm, daily. Instagram

Nearest transit: Pejaten TransJakarta, continue your trip by taxi or using ride-hailing apps. Alternatively, ride the TransJakarta 6N bus (Ragunan – Blok M route) and drop off near the front of Jalan Kemang Timur Raya.

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