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Is refilling cheaper? A cost and values comparison of popular refill products

One of the most frequently asked questions among new refillers is "how does the price compare?". There's typically two varying extremes when it comes to assumptions about refilling and they often fall along the lines of "eco friendly products must be much more expensive" or "why is it so expensive if I'm not buying the bottle?". So, is refilling cheaper? Sometimes! It depends. It's hard to compare apples to apples because we aren't selling the same apples as Target (for good reason). Let's take a look at some of the most commonly refilled items, how the price compares to the most common "traditional" products our customers buy, and why refilling may (or may not ) have a higher cost associated with it.

  • Our products are carefully sourced from small to medium sized businesses (primarily women owned) from across the US & Canada. The suppliers we partner with are prioritizing environmental sustainability and overall health/wellness within their business from their ingredient selection or omission, sourcing, internal business processes, packaging, transportation, and profit investments.

  • The term "closed loop" refers to the process when the packaging our refill products are received in are reused by the manufacturer. This process requires significant investment in terms of infrastructure, personnel, equipment, and capital. Imagine if SC Johnson, the owner of Mrs. Meyers, Windex, Scrubbing Bubbles, and Method, took on the burden of the reclamation of the packing that they are creating for their products. There would be a cost associated with that passed on to the consumer.

  • We believe in the power of "voting" with your dollar. Spending your money with businesses whose values align with your own, keeping your dollars local and investing them back into your community, and taking those dollars away from large corporations who invest, fund, and support practices that are counter to our missions, is incredibly influential. If we had a dollar for everyone who said "I wish we had more stores like this around!" "Our town needs more cute shops.". Would you actually shop there? Would you show up and support those businesses if they existed? If you have the means, make sure your voice is heard with your dollar.

  • Scale. A businesses' purchasing power is reliant upon the demand for those products. Over the last year and a half, we have been able to drop the price on a handful of refill products as our purchasing power and volume grew due to increased demand. Our suppliers. do not have the distribution coverage or production volume like Tide or Dawn. Smaller batch, intentionally made, products do often cost a little bit more. The industry we are in is evolving, volatile, and limited. Both retailers in this space and our suppliers are always looking to improve. What exists currently as far as product selection, pricing, access to local suppliers, and new technology will not be the same a year from now. So, products that you don't have access to financially or logistically may become available to you down the line. Refilling and conscious consumerism isn't an all or nothing thing.

We try to keep our prices as accessible and reasonable as possible. We are happy to work within tight budgets on your refill trips, only filling your containers with what you can afford. If you ever have a question about what the estimated cost of your filled container would be, just ask :) we are happy to help, always.

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