“There’s nothing better than waking up and half your grocery shopping for the week has already been done for you,” Rhys Kilian tells Broadsheet. “And it’s just the cherry on top that it doesn’t come with environmental guilt.”
That’s how Kilian and business partner Laura Brennan want you to feel in the morning when you receive a delivery from My Milkman, their sustainable grocery delivery service.
Of course, there’s milk – either cow’s milk from Barambah Organics in Queensland or almond milk from Melbourne-based Milkman for Millennials.
Other products are sourced from independent producers and (mostly) local businesses – your delivery might include sourdough loaves and croissants from Dench Bakers, salted cultured butter from St David Dairy, half a dozen eggs from Josh’s Rainbow Eggs, or Greek yoghurt from Marrook Farm in northern NSW.
Some items can be added as one-offs, such as organic coffee beans in refillable tins from Padre, Cockatoo Grove olive oil and jars of Jam Lady Jam’s raspberry jam or Hill Top Hives honey.
Deliveries are completely plastic-free. Goods arrive in cardboard boxes packed with Planet Protector Packaging, which uses Australian or New Zealand sheep’s wool as insulation to keep the products cold and fresh. And when you receive your next delivery, simply swap out the previous week’s glass bottles and coffee tins, which the My Milkman team will then disinfect and re-use.
“We're not currently reusing the jars or egg cartons – our focus has been on ensuring everything is plastic-free,” Brennan says. “We're hopeful that down the track we can work towards everything being refillable.”
My Milkman works on a subscription basis, with deliveries arriving at least once (and up to three times) a week. Fortnightly deliveries aren't available yet, but you can pause and unpause your subscription at any time.
“We launched before the Covid crisis, but as that unfolded we realised how critical grocery delivery is going to be to a lot of Australians,” Brennan says. “Being able to offer a plastic-free alternative is important to help people reduce their impact when they don’t really have any other choices.”
Brennan and Kilian met while working at a management-consulting firm, and lamented the small difficulties of going zero-waste – researching the best options, swapping out products, or even just remembering to bring jars to the bulk store.
“We were doing pretty long hours, so getting takeaway meals was just easier because you’re drained of all energy. And we realised that if sustainability was going to be mainstream, it had to be the most convenient option,” Brennan says.
They liked the idea of resurrecting old-school milk deliveries, but with more options to cover common grocery products and pantry staples.
“If we can all take measures, even if it’s just as simple as removing plastic bottles from your fridge, as a whole we can make a big difference together,” Kilian says.
My Milkman currently delivers to 19 suburbs in Melbourne’s north and inner east, including Reservoir, Brunswick, Northcote, Fairfield and Carlton. Delivery is $4.99.