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We are waking up to the effects of plastic on our planet but this environmental nightmare has become ubiquitous in our households and especially in our bathrooms. Picture the inside of your bathroom cupboard. If you’re an eco-warrior, you’ll be smiling smugly to yourself as you envisage recyclable bamboo products, aluminium bottles and maybe even bars of natural soap or shampoo. However, if you’re in the early stages of your sustainability journey, you may be guiltily picturing quite a few disposable plastic bottles because what are the other realistic alternatives available to you? Fiils is here to guide you so that you can make your bathroom more conscious.

 

 

 

 

Why are our bathrooms a good place to start to become more eco-friendly?

 

Now this may be obvious, but eliminating plastic from your personal care routine is integral to living more sustainably. Zero Waste Week, an annual awareness campaign, states that more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced every year by the global cosmetics industry, most of which are not recyclable. And, where this plastic ends up is not pretty. A Garnier research project also found that 56% of Brits do not recycle their bathroom product waste, meaning 2.7 billion plastic bottles hit landfill every year. We believe that by choosing more eco-friendly personal care products you are casting a vote that demands a greener planet.

 

Thankfully there is some optimism to be found among the doom and gloom! According to the terends intelligence company Stylus Innovation and Advisory, “2021 will be the year when change-making consumers fight for a brighter future for all.” Stylus has also found that these consumers are “buying fewer, more multi-functional products. For example, 28% of UK women reduced the number of items in their skincare routine in 2019.” Simplifying your personal care products down to what you really need will help you become more sustainable; the time to start making your bathroom more conscious and encourage others to do so, is now.

 

 

 

 

Ditch the plastic and opt for aluminium

 

According to environmental scientist Zak Aja, plastic as well as is production process are unsustainable for the environment as plastic pollution contaminates air, land and water resources. This is why Fiils’ model of refill and reuse is designed to dramatically decrease the carbon footprint of your products and prevent the consumer being responsible for recycling their products.

 

Aja’s research has found that a typical customer buying shampoo, conditioner and body wash contributes 7 times less to their annual carbon footprint with Fiils’ sustainable model, than if they bought these products in single-use plastic packaging. Aja predicts that Fiils’ packaging alternative of refilling and reusing aluminium bottles will change the habits of 48,000 people in 3 years time and save customers at least £1.2 million. We believe that companies should consider the whole lifecycle of their beauty products and take responsibility for recycling them, as we do.

 

We’ve chosen to package our vegan products in aluminium because it is safer, more durable and eventually contributes less of a carbon footprint than plastic. You may have heard of the term ‘bioplastics’ and be wondering why the world has not converted to using these plastics only, as they biodegrade at the end of their life. Unfortunately bioplastics are not entirely green when considering the whole lifecycle of a product according to Aja, who told Fiils that a mix of non-renewable materials and processes are used to make bioplastics. The process used to grow the crops that create bioplastics is resource-intensive and depends on synthetic fertilisers. We’ll be sticking to our trusted friend, aluminium.

 

 

 

 

5 top tips for creating a conscious bathroom:

 

  1. Buy refillable and reusable products. Avoid products that will inevitably go to landfill.

  2. Ensure that the ingredients going into your personal care products are sustainably sourced.

  3. Always choose aluminium over plastic and glass packaging (glass isn’t very durable as it can break easily).

  4. Avoid face wipes as they contain plastic! Opt for reusable face pads and a cleansing solution.

  5. Invest in a reusable razor – it’ll save you money in the long run and won’t end up in landfill after a couple of uses.

 

 

Words by: Lucy Wagstaffe

29.03.21 | POSTED BY Fiils

Running an established business isn’t easy, but running a start-up is even harder. Throw a global pandemic into the mix and for many small businesses, it’s chaos. For Fiils, whilst supply chains were stretched, it provided an ideal opportunity for us to reinforce our message. We all saw the impact that decreased human activity had on the planet, and how we could all live with much less when we were forced to stop.

 

Whilst it’s been a difficult time for so many reasons, the needle seems to be shifting towards more sustainable lifestyles, coupled with a rise of consciousness from both customers and brands alike. There’s still a very long way to go, but the seed has been planted and many more people are looking for ways to give more and consume less.

 

The beauty industry is one of the biggest contributors to single-use waste and overconsumption. Beauty has had many ugly sides over the years – the latest being packaging waste, which creates 140 billion tonnes per year, to be exact. Not only this, but many beauty products are filled with chemicals that aren’t just damaging to humans, but to the environment. Sulphates for instance are one of the worst offenders, having an eco-toxicity of over 80%. Despite this, they are still widely used in shampoos, body washes and toothpastes to make the product foam.

 

 

A white, opaque plastic conditioner bottle next to a silver aluminium Fiils bottle.

 

It’s impossible to hit every base when building a sustainable business model. At Fiils, we knew we wanted our sustainable service to be as convenient as possible for the consumer, by offering familiar personal care essentials without the compromise on lifestyle.

 

Other, more sustainable brands may disagree, that in order to make the biggest change, we have to venture outside of what we know and are used to. For example, switching to soap or shampoo bars or using refill stores to top up glass bottles. Whilst we do agree with this to an extent, we believe that its small steps and changes that make a bigger difference overall. This is why offering letterbox packaging, using less materials in our refills and by closing the loop on our waste, reusing and recycling our refill packs with a dedicated service was phase one in our development.

 

The ease of use of this service, and ability to order only during the pandemic with letterbox refills and returns, made our service a huge success with an 80% return rate that can be easily scaled to offer our service to even more customers. This doesn’t mean we will stop innovating and tweaking our model to make it as carbon efficient and waste-free as possible – we’re already working on this as we speak. But it means collectively we need to start somewhere. We never created Fiils to be a beauty brand that was ‘overly eco’ from the start. But one that would inspire the everyday consumer to begin to put their best foot forward towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

 

We also knew that the beauty consumer still wants formulas that perform well. Whilst sustainable packaging is one of our pillars – we’re always formula first.  To go the extra mile with our formulas, we knew that using clean ingredients, minus sulphates or parabens was paramount, as was making our formulas highly concentrated. We opted for formulas with over 75% extracts for a reason – to conserve water. Most of the aqua in our products comes from the plant extracts themselves, and when you wash with Fiils, you’ll immediately notice our textures are different to many personal care products on the market; they’re thicker, and far more luxurious.

 

The refill/reuse model is an exciting category and it’s interesting to see the brands and companies emerging in this space, and their different takes on it. One thing that it absolutely paramount, is that we all keep moving in the same direction.

 

 

 

Our refill model at Fiils is a closed loop, meaning we are completely closing the loop on our packaging waste, and know the journey of it from start to finish. The biggest issue with single-use plastic is our disposal of it. We’ve come to view it as a single-use commodity when in reality, it is meant to be reused for as long as possible. This means keeping it in circulation for longer, and out of our ecosystems and landfill, or opting for no plastic at all. This is what we are aiming to do will all our materials at Fiils – make them reusable or recyclable and of course, where reusable alternatives exist, such as aluminium, use them instead.

 

We use aluminium for our refillable bottles; it’s a great material that can be infinitely recycled. But for certain elements of our packaging like the pumps or the barrier layer in our pouches, it is almost impossible with current materials to avoid plastic. However, we always use recycled materials so no new plastic is created. We ensure we have a tracked recycling service where we can identify the packaging coming back through our supply chain. We’ve also started looking at reusable and compostable materials, connecting with key innovators in this space to ensure we are at the forefront of any new developments.

 

Another way we are reducing our impact is by carbon offsetting. We are committed to planting a tree with every sale made. Through this, we have offset more emissions than we have created with our model, making us a carbon neutral brand – and this is only the beginning. There is still an opportunity for us to reduce carbon by developing our packaging and formulations even further, and contributing to larger carbon offsetting models around the globe.

 

The need for sustainable business models is greater than ever; the brands that rise to this challenge are the ones that will succeed. To ignore sustainable practices, not only within your supply chain, but also within your team ethics as a business owner in 2021 simply won’t work. It is our responsibility to lead the conversation, encourage positive consumer behaviours with our services, lead with purpose, offer viable solutions that reduce emissions and impact, and champion sustainability within the workplace. Collaboration is the key amongst brands, innovators and consumers. We all need to play our part, and be open with our challenges and what we are doing to solve it. This is our planet, after all.

 

 

 

 

11.03.21 | POSTED BY Fiils

On one half of the image there is a brand new pink Fiils refillable pouch half submerged in water. On the other side of the image there is a red Conscious Beauty Co Hand Wash Refill in the old style. Both images are on a cream background.

At Fiils, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to get everything ready for our launch. We wanted to answer some questions that we have been getting about our fresh new look. As a brand that cares deeply about always doing our best by you and the planet, we want to be honest and transparent with you – especially whilst we grow.

 

 

 

Why the name “Fiils”? 

 

We wanted a name that represents exactly what we do. We also wanted to keep things short and sweet – no fuss – just like us. We are a brand that always takes a “glass half-full” approach, especially when it comes to sustainability. At Fiils, we believe it’s the small changes that can truly make a huge difference. 

 

We want to help our customers make small sustainable swaps to their everyday beauty and personal care routines; without compromising on quality or style. Our contactless refill return service is easy to use so that everyone can enjoy the products, they know and love, whilst also doing their bit for the planet.

 

 

 

 

What’s changed from when you were the Conscious Beauty Co? 

 

Along with our new design, we’ve improved our packaging as well as our product formulas. We may have removed “conscious” from our name but we definitely haven’t from our ethos. Fiils was founded in order to solve a common problem: the overload of single-use waste created as a direct result of our beauty and self-care routines. We’ve used your feedback from The Conscious Beauty Co to create and improve upon our products so they are even better than they were before. 

 

For example, we’ve been working hard on all of our formulas so that they contain over 75% of pure plant extracts, and all of our ingredients are still natural, organic and cruelty-free. We’ve also worked hard at sourcing our formulas close to the UK, and we now make them in Europe. 

 

Our refill packaging is now 80% plastic-free. We’ve now made the caps fully reusable which means that when you send them back to us, in your mailing bag, they can be reused for other refill pouches.  

 

This time round, we’re also giving you the chance to customise your bathroom with more choice when it comes to the aluminium bottles. Offering Rose Gold, Copper and Silver bottles with reversible logos, dial up or dial down, so you can make your bathroom look beautiful. 

 

We’re also very excited to reveal that we have a new partner: Ecologi! That means we’ll now be planting a tree with every sale we make on our website. Think of it as our very own Fiils forest where we can all make a positive impact.

 

 

 

 

What’s stayed the same?

 

We want to make a promise to you: our values will always stay the same. Our mission has always been, and will continue to be: to close the loop on single-use waste. We want to bring you eco-friendly beauty products that actually work. 

 

We’ve had an amazing first year with The Conscious Beauty Co, with your help we saved enough emissions with our refill and reuse service to drive around the world 5.8 times! 

 

If anything, our journey to becoming Fiils has made us look at how we can make our brand even more impactful. We’re super excited for this next phase of our Fiils journey and can’t wait for you all to be a part of it.

 

 

 

 

What does the future hold for Fiils?

 

We started with the bathroom basics, and with the help of your incredibly valuable feedback, we have plans to further expand our product range. Expect to see new scents and brand-new Fiils products arriving later this year! 

 

We always want to make sure that we’re offering the best possible products and services so that we can deliver on our promise: a truly sustainable and purpose-driven beauty brand. 

 

If you have any feedback, questions or specific issues with previous subscriptions to the The Conscious Beauty Co, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at: hello@fiils.co. To make sure you’re up to date with all the latest Fiils news, follow us @fiils on Instagram and sign up to our email newsletter!

03.02.21 | POSTED BY Fiils

A birds-eye view of a green forest.

We’re saying goodbye to throwaway culture in 2021 (and beyond). 

 

At Fiils, our products go beyond just recycling: they are refillable too. That’s because we believe that recycling isn’t enough to combat the problem that the waste we produce creates. And, it’s only getting worse. In fact, our addiction to creating waste is having a devastating impact on our planet including our oceans, our wildlife and our health. We want to show you why it’s time to do something about it. 

 

Much of our everyday waste, especially when it comes to beauty products, is made from single-use plastic and, while it was a great invention, we’re overusing it on an incomprehensible scale.

 

 

 

 

Can single-use be a good thing?

 

Plastic was invented in the 19th century but it wasn’t until the 1970s that we really started to use it everywhere and in everything. Manufacturers started by replacing paper or glass packaging with lighter and much longer-lasting plastic alternatives. Since the 1950s, 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics have been produced and half of that is in the last 15 years alone. Did you know that, before plastic, beauty products were sold in glass, gold, silver, and ceramic bottles that were refillable? So, we’re actually going back to the future. 

 

More recently, plastic has played a vital role in the global fight against COVID-19. There is no denying that single-use plastic has saved many lives during the pandemic as it has helped to protect our frontline workers. It has also allowed people to enjoy food from their favourite restaurants, that have been forced to close, or order themselves a brand new pair of pyjamas, from a shop that has moved online.

 

 

 

 

But, it’s also created an exceptional amount of waste. For example, Cardiff council estimates about 400 tonnes of extra recycling have been left out for collection this Christmas compared to last year. It is believed that the early lockdown, and a big shift towards online shopping, has largely contributed to the large amounts of extra recycling and excess packaging we’re seeing now. Ultimately, if we’re not careful, short-term thinking during this pandemic could lead to an even bigger problem not that far away in the future.

 

Recent research has also revealed that consumers are often driven to use more single-use plastic because they don’t see the waste left behind in their local environment. For example, their waste will either be collected, incinerated or exported to other countries, where it is  “out of sight and out of mind” to those that are responsible for creating it. Upon reflection, and simply by looking around, it is easy to see how this is a problem that really does affect us all. 

 

We live in a world that prioritizes convenience over thinking about how something is made or where it will end up when we are done with it. It’s called “throwaway culture” and it’s time for things to change.

 

 

 

 

How can we change our single-use habits?

 

The good news is that we can all do something to change our small habits and, eventually, change this notion of throwaway culture. Essentially, the answer lies in the creation of a circular economy (in opposition to a linear one). 

 

We need to move beyond the current philosophy of single use and buying more. We can all do our bit by thinking more about what we buy and who we are buying from. Ultimately, the products that we buy should be designed and sold with the intention that their raw materials can be reused. Unlike a linear economy, a circular one can deliver long-term benefits by keeping our waste out of the natural environment.

 

 

 

 

At Fiils, we are sustainability optimists. We recognise that it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the bad news when it comes to the discussion of saving the planet. We understand that living an eco-friendly life isn’t always easy or necessarily cheap. That is why we are here to help. We want to get you thinking about the products you buy and, ultimately, get you started on your own refill journey. We’re here to make things easy. Hey, you’ve already made a positive step in the right direction! You’re already here and considering how you can do better.  

 

As a brand, we admit that we still have a few steps to take in order to fully reduce our waste and emissions impact. However, as one of the original refill beauty brands, we have achieved a lot already. This is only just the beginning for us and we’re so grateful for all of the support. Our promise to you is to continue moving in the right direction and commit all of our time and energy to reducing any kind of waste across all our channels. We hope that you will decide to join us! 

 

For more information about how our refill program works, please click here.

03.02.21 | POSTED BY Fiils

Five transparent platic shampoo bottles and one rose gold refillable Fiils aluminium bottle.

Welcome to the world of Fiils where we make it easy to look good, feel good and do good by our planet. 

 

 

How does it work?

 

You may have come across Fiils on Instagram or maybe you shopped with us when we were called The Conscious Beauty Co. Either way, you might still have a few questions about how the Fiils process works and what happens to your recycled waste now that it won’t be sent to landfill (a huge win!) Though we may have changed our name, our goal remains firmly to find the perfect balance between self-care and planet-care.

 

Ultimately, the Fiils process makes things easy for you. In fact, all you need to do is choose your favourite Starter Kit (though, that might be a difficult decision!) When your bottles run out, shop our refill shop for your new pouches. Rinse out your empty aluminium bottles, preferably with warm water, and simply refill them with the contents of your fresh-new pouch.

 

 

 

 

The only commitment we ask of you is this: send your empty pouches back to us! We believe that recycling is most efficient when it is handled in the right way. By implementing a dedicated recycling programme, in which we send all of your waste directly to our recycling partner (TerraCycle), we have control over what happens next to the waste that we produce.

 

So, once you have collected your empty pouches, stick on your (free) return label and pop it in the mailing bag provided. We ask that you try and return 8 pouches back to us, at one time, so we can reduce shipping emissions too. Don’t forget to send the aluminium caps back to us as we can reuse these as well. Your cardboard boxes can be recycled at home with the rest of your recycling as usual. 

 

We work closely with our recycling partner, TerraCycle, to ensure that your waste lives a longer and happier life. TerraCycle offers free recycling programmes to help consumers and brands, like us, collect and recycle “hard-to-recycle” waste. Instead of incinerating or landfilling waste, TerraCycle reuses and upcycles recycled waste that is otherwise hard to deal with. Ultimately, this means that our waste moves from a linear system to a circular one, allowing it to keep cycling back through the economy.

 

 

 

 

What is TerraCycle?

 

Through years of research, TerraCycle has demonstrated that basically everything on Earth can be recycled and repurposed. Once they receive the waste from us, TerraCycle categorises items by material type so that the appropriate technology and processes can be used to properly recycle the material.

 

For instance, some plastics can be processed in order to be sold to other manufacturers. Other types will be shredded or melted down and turned into a usable raw material, for example, in the form of pellets or powder. As well as plastics, TerraCycle also processes metals, glass, organics, fibres and fabrics, electronics, latex paints as well as cigarettes for recycling. In the past, TerraCycle has used the converted plastic materials to make new products like watering cans, park benches, tabletops and signage.  

 

We are currently facing a global waste crisis and our ecosystem is suffering terribly as a result. According to TerraCycle’s website, over the past 100 years, the amount of waste that humanity produces has increased by almost 10,000 percent. It is estimated that 25 percent, of this enormous amount, will end up polluting our oceans.

 

 

 

 

Only a small percentage will actually be recycled, and even then, it will either be buried in landfill or burned in incinerators.

 

You may be asking “why does this happen?”  Well, it’s down to, what TerraCycle calls, the “economics of waste”. Often, our waste costs less than the price that it would cost to collect and recycle it properly. However, thanks to the TerraCycle initiative, we now know, can and will do better than this.

 

 

What are you waiting for?

 

We believe that you are only as pretty as your planet. Which is why we won’t sacrifice its beauty for ours. At Fiils, beauty and sustainability work in synchronicity. We produce refillable ethical beauty products whilst respecting the needs of our planet. There’s no need for you to sacrifice your style, or your beauty expectations in order to do your bit. Join us on our refill journey today and help us do better by you and our planet.

03.02.21 | POSTED BY Fiils

Three Fiils refillable pouches in pink, pale yellow and green on a cream background.

Refill beauty is the name of the game here at Fiils. But, what does it actually mean? Why is it so important when it comes to the products that we use, all the time, in our everyday self-care and beauty routines?

 

 

A trend or here to stay? 

 

All over Instagram and beyond, new sustainable beauty brands are popping up daily. You may have already seen Estrid, a subscription-based service for razors. DAME makes reusable tampon applicators and then there’s Fiils which provides you with beautiful aluminum bottles that can be reused and refilled with delicious shampoo, conditioner, body/hand wash pouches again and again. Of course, we’re not biased!

 

 

 

 

It’s not just new beauty brands jumping on the refillable packaging bandwagon, but better known ones too. For example, fragrance brand Le Labo offers product refill stations in various stores.

 

In terms of developing a refillable system for skincare products, compared to bath and body refills, it is more difficult. Skincare brands have to be more careful to avoid issues with sanitation when dealing with active natural ingredients that need to be kept fresh and free from nasty bacteria. However, an online platform called Loop, has made things a lot easier for brands and consumers alike. They help to support a circular beauty model by creating reusable, zero-waste packaging.

 

Most beauty products are packaged in plastic. One report by Zero Waste Week (an annual event taking place every September since 2008) suggested that the global cosmetics industry produces more than 120 billion units of plastic packaging every year. 

 

As consumers become increasingly more aware of the catastrophic effects of single-use plastic on our planet, they’re looking to make the switch to sustainable products. Beauty products are no exception to this trend, and brands are getting on board by designing for refills. We hope that, for the sake of our planet, this will be more than just a trend. We hope that refill beauty is the way forward.

 

 

 

 

What’s the difference between refillable and recyclable products?

 

Well, many of the beauty products we use will still end up in landfill even if we believe they are recyclable. What’s worse, much of the packaging is non-biodegradable and will take hundreds – if not, thousands – of years to decompose. In fact, only 9% of all plastic waste ever produced has been recycled, and about 12% incinerated. The other 79% (!) has ended up in landfills, dumps or polluting the natural environment. 

 

When it comes to beauty packaging, 95% is thrown out after just one use, and only 14% of plastic actually makes it to a recycling center. This is why it is so important, and now more than ever, that we make the change. There’s still time for us to turn things around.

 

Another reason for refills over recycling? It’s easy. There’s often a lot of confusion when it comes to what we can and what we can’t recycle. There’s also a lot of doubt attached to where the things we do send to recycling end up. We know that the demand for cutting down on personal waste is definitely there; it’s just up to brands to provide the solutions.

 

 

 

 

How do refillable products make a difference?

 

Though there are many different ways to make your beauty products more sustainable, refillable products are an excellent and simple solution. Not only can they reduce the amount of single-use waste; they can dramatically reduce the amount of carbon emissions that it takes to produce them as well. In fact, embracing a circular model system, instead of buying a new product, uses 45% less water, 65% less energy and reduces CO2 emissions by 70%, according to The LCA Center. 

 

For example, last year alone, Fiils was able to save 109 kg of plastic waste and 11,076 kg of carbon emissions when compared to a standard single-use plastic bottle beauty business. 

Having also recently unveiled Loop to the world, TerraCycle offers free recycling programmes funded by brands, manufacturers and retailers around the world to help consumers collect and recycle waste that otherwise would end up in landfill. Once your waste has been returned to TerraCycle, they are able to repurpose the recycled materials to make new things like park benches, childrens’ playgrounds and garden beds.

 

 

 

 

Though, you might be more accustomed to seeing product refill stations in your local Boots, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused more people to think again when it comes to hygiene. That’s why the Fiils circular model – with the help of TerraCycle – is great because it means you can do your bit, from the comfort of your own home, using our convenient contactless return service. We even include the recyclable mailer bag with every new order so all you have to do is drop your empty pouches into your closest postbox!  

 

 

Is refill beauty the future?

 

The tide for refillable products is slowly turning and the beauty industry is finally catching up. Reusable, refillable and cruelty-free products are kinder to the environment, and often your bank account, so there’s really no reason not to change things now that you know better.  

 

So, what are you waiting for?! Take the next step in your refiilable journey and join us in making the planet a better place!

03.02.21 | POSTED BY Fiils