Reduce, Reuse, Refill
An eco-friendly home is easier to achieve with a new Cargo District shop
While it can be hard to break routine and start something new, positive changes are a way to reap better outcomes. For those interested in reducing or eliminating single-use plastics, it can be especially hard to kick old habits. A well-maintained home requires daily use of numerous products that tend to come clad in plastic packaging, and finding sustainable solutions can be difficult. A new local refill shop aims to make the transition easier.
The Refillery Co., located in the Cargo District of downtown Wilmington, specializes in refillable, sustainable home and personal care products. Owner JASMYN BLANCHARD recently moved to Wilmington and decided to open a brick-and-mortar location where customers could see for themselves how easy it can be to live simpler.
“I want to help people live a more sustainable and clean life,” Blanchard says. “I also want the shop to be a safe and accessible place for everyone in the area.”
Before moving to Wilmington, Blanchard called Iowa home. “I started gardening, got some chickens and made my own cleaners,” says Blanchard. “While doing this, I started following some new people on Instagram and came across a refill shop opening near us in Iowa. I became super interested in learning more about living a low waste and sustainable lifestyle. After almost a year of learning and visiting the refill shops, I decided I would love to open my own. It started as pop-ups here and there, and now, I have my first shop!”
While buying in bulk at big-box stores can save time and money, the pay-off is often more plastic waste. Part of the challenge of kicking this habit is finding new products and routines to replace the old ones. “I feel like there is an alternative for almost every single use plastic,” says Blanchard. “The hardest parts of making the switch are accessibility, cost and habits. Since refill shops are a newer thing and not all over the place, it’s usually easier to go to Target and just get everything you need in one trip.”
To get started, Blanchard says replacing single-use plastic products as you finish each item can make the transition less overwhelming. “If people are wanting to switch, I recommend finishing the products they have and making a mental note that, when they need more shampoo or lotion, they can come visit the shop,” she says. “They can even use the same container as long as it’s all cleaned up.”
The store has been designed to make the process easy, even for beginners. “Bring your own container; if you forget one, there are community jars that you can use at the shop, or you can purchase one,” Blanchard says. “Weigh your empty container and fill with whatever product you need. You can fill as much or as little as you like. You then weigh your jar one final time and pay. This way, you only pay for product you need.”
A perk of shopping at The Refillery Co. is understanding all the ingredients in the products with which you are cleaning and taking care of your home. “Customers are more than welcome to research the products; knowledge is wealth,” says Blanchard. “All of the products in the shop are eco-friendly, compostable or biodegradable. Our refill products are plant based and cruelty free. We also operate on a closed loop system. So, all the containers that come to the shop will get sent back to the supplier and are cleaned and reused again.”
Bestsellers include laundry detergent, hand soap and lint removers. “I have almost everything you need for everyday essentials,” says Blanchard. “But soon, I will be introducing more cleaning products like bathroom and glass cleaner, as well as more beauty products like face wash and body oils.”
And just like that, the change is made. “Refilling helps reduce plastic waste and, in turn, you get much cleaner products for you and your family,” Blanchard adds.
To view more of photographer Daria Amato’s work, go to dariaphoto.com
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