"We are proud to report that our little community has come together to save over 200 containers (and counting!) from ending up in the landfills since we opened, simply by returning to our shop to refill their containers."
Our pride and joy, our refill center
Watching the same product go out over and over to the same person, each time in a different container was a frustration that needed to be addressed. With the help of a grant, a permanent shop space, and some creative sourcing we were able to create our refill center in July of 2020. When restaurants were switching from reusable to disposable dinnerware in the name of sanitation, we saw an even greater need to control our own landfill footprint. So much of the beauty industry waste sadly never gets recycled. And, although maybe in the broad scheme of things it seems small, we are proud to report that our little community has come together to save over 200 containers (and counting!) from ending up in the landfills since we opened, simply by returning to our shop to refill their containers. We think that's pretty awesome.
Stepping up to the bar
As our refill center was becoming a dream come true, we discovered a few other ways to keep waste low. We purchased a shrink wrap system to wrap all of our bar products using a 100% biodegradable shrink film that can be composted rather than trashed. When plastic goes into a landfill it stays there for up to 500 years. The shrink film will biodegrade on average in 15 months in a compost pile. That's a big difference! Not only are we huge advocates of natural bar soap, we have also added shampoo and conditioner bars to our line up of amazing products using ingredients that are safe for disposal into the environment. Since we hear on a regular basis that our shampoo bars are the best people have ever tried, getting our customers to switch from bottle to bar has been no problem. at. all.
Bring us your packing material
We ship supplies in and product out, and we see no need to toss all of that wonderful packing material! Recycling the packing materials that come in our own shipments is one way we give second life to otherwise single use plastic and foam. During busy times of year, we don't always have enough material to keep up and it would be heartbreaking to have to spend money on things like bubble wrap and packing peanuts. Luckily, because our retail partners, customers and community members are the best on this beautiful planet, they save up their materials, too, and bring them our way! What a beautiful circle of reuse and savings for everyone...the way community should be.
Goodbye paper invoices, hello vintage bank thank you notes
After cleaning out the safe at the new shop and finding pads and pads of the coolest vintage deposit slips, I decided to say goodbye to printing paper invoices to put into shipments and hello to sweet, handwritten thank you notes. Since everyone receives a copy of their invoice electronically, it didn't seem necessary to continue to include them in the packages. I have received more than one remark from customers who love receiving a handwritten note instead, with the vintage aspect being an important bonus. Beyond just repurposing these notes, we have found numerous other items in the shop to use in our displays that bring a uniqueness and help us avoid mass-produced items that will eventually end up in a landfill.
Chalkboards rule, stickers drool
What may not seem like a big concept has saved us tons of waste in price tags and paper signage. We use chalkboards all over the shop so we don't have to constantly be printing new price signs or use wasteful stickers to price our products. I wish I would have thought of this when I was doing festival shows, the number of tags we went through was insane! Not to mention that placing a sticker on the product can take away from the presentation and is a big time suck. Our little chalkboards travel easily from shelf to shelf, we can update them with the swipe of a towel, and, let's face it, there is a certain charm in the contrasting of white, handwritten print on a black background. Though our kids may never appreciate it, it certainly takes us back to our nostalgic schooldays.
There are so many ways we can show appreciation and concern for the future of our planet. From limiting container waste, to recycling packaging material, we are always monitoring our use, trying our best to find new purpose for old things, keeping our shopping as close to home as possible, growing as much of our own food as we can, and creatively using everything that comes our way. We love Mother Earth and will never take her for granted. Happy Earth Day!