For brands, taking steps towards a more sustainable approach involves a large number of considerations from ingredient production to delivery. One of the steps towards minimising packaging waste is to offer the ability to refill packaging from an intermediary vessel. These often use less plastic and omit decorative casing, or in the case of liquids, hold a much larger volume than the initial product purchased.
Similar to the way we refill a hand soap dispenser or laundry detergent at home, refilling beauty products will soon be the norm, with steps being taken overseas by the likes of The Body Shop and L’Occitane to install refill ‘fountains’ in their stores for some popular products.
Though some options have been around for years, they never quite caught on with the masses, but that is set to change as indie start-ups push the idea forward and larger multinationals slowly embrace the approach by making refillable part of a product’s development plan from the outset.
Refillable beauty the way forward
Emma Lewisham, the Kiwi taking her eco-conscious namesake skincare brand to the world, has created refillable options for each of her products and continues to work towards better and more efficient refill options.
Lewisham stresses the dire need for the industry to prioritise refills over recycling, given that almost no current curbside recycling systems are able to effectively recycle beauty packaging.
“The industry seems to have become so focused on recycling. However, a solution that has a significantly lighter environmental impact – is to reuse – in our case, refill. There must be investment industry-wide into refillable models and reuse of material – recycling should be the final port of call.”
Lewisham’s circularity initiative invites consumers to send its empty pouches or refill pottles back to the brand when empty (a free return shipping label is available when purchasing) and it will be cleaned, sterilised and refilled for further use.
Fashion brand Dries Van Noten also went the refillable route when launching its new line of perfumes.
It only made sense to make [our bottles] be refillable,” Ana Trias Arraut, the chief brand officer at Puig, Dries Van Noten’s parent company told BOF. “Why put time and money into developing bottles only to have them thrown away?”
Here are some of our refillable favourites well on their way to helping us establish these more environmentally considerate habits.
Yves Saint Laurent Pure Shots Perfect Plumper Face Cream and refill
Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Refillable Lipstick
Chantecaille Pebble Compact and Chantecaille Shine Eye Shade Refill
Tata Harper Water-Lock Moisturizer
RMS Beauty “Re” Evolve Radiance Locking Primer
Ouai Thick Hair Shampoo and refill