The Rise of Refill Beauty
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!