in.gredients, a micro-grocer based in Austin, TX rewrites the fundamentals of living in a move towards a waste free world. Their motto “reduce, reuse, then recycle,” rethinks the basic principles of sustainable living and is also known as “precycling”. The operative word here is “then,” which appears after reuse and before recycle–quite didactic. This “package-free” and “zero waste” movement has begun and will continue at their upcoming store in East Austin on 2610 Manor Road. They particulary chose this area because it is underserved–lacks access to fresh and healthy food. On Tuesday, 3/13, Brian Nunnery spoke during SXSW’s Festival for an unofficial lecture series sponsored and hosted by GoLab’s co-working office space on E. 6th Street and Red River.
Nunnery presented the journey of food from factories, to distributors, to supermarkets, to the shoppers. The food stacked on grocery shelves may have been in transit between three to six weeks which translates to have been stored at an average of three to six distributors. This reality impacts the food Americans eat by elongating its shelf life with chemicals and packaging. in.gredients’ innovation lies in decreasing the demand for processed food, increasing its quality, reducing fuel cost and storage facility cost to one week, and phasing out packaging. The team sources fresh, organic and natural food from local farmers and purveyors; encourages its customers to bring their own containers to fill–offer compostable containers in-store if customer does not have their own receptacles; and develops the community it serves by being a hub for good food, cultural and sustainable events, and volunteer opportunities; to accomplish their goals.
In addition to talking about how in.gredients is changing the status quo, Nunnery provided insight on their experience as a startup. They raised over $15,000 on IndieGoGo in addition to their investor money and loans through word of mouth and social media. The concept is too good and too simple that it quickly attracted over 5,250 Facebook page likes since its first post on June 25, 2011 and over 37 media outlets that includes, Good Magazine, Treehugger, Huffington Post, The New York Times, Edible Austin and CNBC to name a few. This barrage of public interest has positively posed challenges for the team. During the hype, Nunnery stressed the importance of being organized, learning to pass the ball and maintaining integrity. For instance, anticipating the wave of people who want to “just help” and partnering with local organizations to spread the interest; being mindful of their online community’s activity and allowing them to self-moderate, when healthy; and considering people’s submitted comments and feedback, yet staying true to the ethos of the company.
Although the store is yet to open, the in.gredients team was not deterred on organizing an event. They invited bands to play acoustically at their “working” space and created a video series of their performances called in.sessions in tandem with SXSW ‘12. Check out their YouTube channel to watch a collection of videos that features, The French Wives (Glasgow, Scotland), Run on Sentence (Portland, OR), Justin Lewis (Louisville, KY), The Sour Notes (Austin, TX), Young Readers Band (Norman, OK), We Were Pirates (Washington, DC), Vio/Miré (Providence, RI), Alpine (Melbourne, Australia), Elsa Rae (Kansas City, KS), Bird Call (Brooklyn, NY), Little Brave (Austin, TX), Break it Up Band (Philadelphia, PA), Lilies on Mars (London, UK), The Lonely Wild (Los Angeles, CA), Ceschi (New York, NY), The Channel (Austin, TX), Suburban Living (Norfolk, VA), Gangstagrass (Brooklyn, NY), Fosskit , No. 5 (Austin, TX), Deerpeople (Stillwater, OK), Atlas Maior (Austin, TX).
in.session – Alpine (Melbourne, Australia)
In addition to in.sessions, they sponsored an unofficial showcase, “I am the Programmer (IATP)” in collaboration with Cherrywood and Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Production that took place at the Vortex.
9:20-10.00 Kidstreet (Ontario, Canada)
8:05-8:40 Lilies On Mars (London, UK)
7:05-7:40pm Just A Band (Kenya, East Africa)
6:10-6:40pm Cashier No 9 (Belfast, Ireland)
5:10-5:40pm Rich Aucoin (Halifax, Canada)
4:00-4:30pm Silver Swans (San Francisco, CA)
3:30-3:50pm Drowner (Houston, TX)
Meet-n-Greet & Listening Party for “Expanded EP”
3:00-3:30pm Alpine (Sydney, Australia)
2:30-3:00pm The Wedding Present (Leeds, UK)
Meet-n-Greet & Listening Party for “Valentina”
2:00-2:30pm Dead Leaf Echo (Brooklyn, NY)
1:00-1:30pm The Mittenfields (Washington DC)