A group of developers in San Andrés Cholula, Mexico has taken the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) to a new level. The innovative designers have created a “city” with buildings made strictly with recycled shipping containers and topped them off with a plethora of reused materials.

“Los containers,” as it’s called by the locals, prides itself on principles of sustainability and style, maintaining a vibrantly cohesive design throughout its connected art galleries, restaurants, bars, boutiques, bakeries, dry cleaner and bus depot—all inside of shipping containers.

This 50,000-square-foot strip mall has all the makings of a hip hangout spot for anyone looking to spend a leisurely yet unconventional afternoon or evening.

Can’t make it down to Mexico? Take a few cues from Container City’s groundbreaking ideas in container renovation to learn how salvaged shipping containers are more of a solution than a compromise. Their out-of-the-box thinking reverberates and keeps customers coming—the idea is a hit. No matter the scale of your retail needs, containers make perfect structures for the aspiring restaurateur or pop-up shopper.

Container City street view

Here’s why:

1. Distinction. A container on the street dressed up as a café stands out from other buildings, and for a positive reason. In today’s age of amplified green-consciousness, people appreciate efforts at sustainability. Reusing containers reduces the waste of them. Not only will most people acknowledge this, they’re likely to be curious as to what’s inside the repurposed container.

 2. Portability. For someone trying to open up shop with little money, a permanent location is usually hard to find. If your retail space is in a container, however, it can move around just as easily as you can. The weather-resistant nature of containers also makes them functional anywhere from Florida to Alaska.

 3. Customizability. Unless you would prefer to receive it as-is, we can modify your container to suit you or your brand’s individual needs. A container can be equipped with heat/AC fixtures, roll-up doors, windows, skylights, shelves—and if we haven’t done it before, we’ll work with you to make the container the perfect space for whatever you’re selling.

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