The Zeropercento ethical workshop

The Zeropercento ethical workshop
The Zeropercento ethical workshop
Zeropercento it’s a bottega ethics born in 2016, following the concession by the Municipality of Milan of a space on loan for use in a very difficult corner of the neighborhood Niguarda, characterized by a sidewalk with commercial activities with a lowered shutter and numerous arrests that took place in 2011 for racketeering of illegal occupations. To further complicate the situation, the presence of only houses around the point of sale, therefore located in a place not really passing through, in a one-way street.

It is a small space of 40 square meters, but it is surprising for how it is also expanding around it. In front of the entrance there is a bicycle rack, several benches with a relevant variety of books used for bookcrossing (and there are different kinds and sometimes in very good condition) and some planters. The shutter is colorful and lively. Inside the shop, a real corner of peace, away from the frenzy of large retailers: the products are all bulk, from fruit and vegetables to grains, but also bread, pasta, juices, beer and wine. All products are 100% zero kilometer (hence the name of the business) and come from Lombard farms and social agricultural cooperatives. From the Zeropercento site it is also possible to order meat, fresh pasta, buffalo dairy products and collect them directly on site and monitor weekly arrivals by consulting the product delivery calendar.

The Namasté cooperative

It is a female enterprise, managed by the social cooperative Namasté and since its inception it has been characterized by an ambitious choice, aimed at the reintegration of people into work unemployed or unoccupied for at least 6 months. Subsequently, the use was also aimed at people with disability cognitive, thus creating new jobs and promoting relocation.

In a popular neighborhood like that of Niguarda, the real initial difficulty turned out to be the distrust of the inhabitants around the point of sale, not interested in shopping “bio”. In fact, very often the real customers of this place came from a completely different area.

The new point of sale

Today, with patience and dedication, Zeropercento is much more: a point of reference that offers a series of essential services community: some people interface with the owners to fulfill some needs, from photocopies to school enrollments for children with difficulties. Sometimes a real listening point for the neighborhood.

The awareness of doing the right thing has led the cooperative, in contrast to the difficult times for Covid, to open a second store, in via Signorelli 13, in the heart of the district Chinatown from Milan.
The new store (open from last November 26 with continuous hours from 9 to 19.30) is even larger than the first and includes, in addition to food, an assortment of natural and eco-sustainable cosmetics and household care items.

Collaboration between entities

The opening of the shop in via Signorelli saw the collaboration of numerous entities that have decided to support and promote the initiative: from the Cattolica Assicurazioni Foundation to the Milan Community Foundation, which through the Bando57 financially supported the project, the Italian Accenture Foundation, Snam Foundation, Bracco Foundation, Peppino Vismara Foundation, Con il Sud Foundation and UBI Banca, which not long ago awarded commercial activity the first prize in the Welfare what a business!

Expanding into an area very popular with Milanese citizens, Zeropercento now faces a new challenge, far from the initial redevelopment in a run-down neighborhood, but closer to the beating heart of the city. Judging by the professionalism to which Zeropercento has accustomed its customers, the results will be guaranteed.

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