The Refill Stop is a brand new low-waste refill shop. Within less than a year of being open they have refilled over 10,000 bottles and curbed the use of hundreds of items that would end up in landfill after just one use. We're proud to partner with The Refill Stop as a seed stockist in New Westminster. Read on to learn more about this business in our interview with Jessica Brown.
Can you tell us more about The Refill Stop and what you offer?
First and foremost, we refill items. Normally you have to purchase the packaging and reuse containers to replenish people's dish & laundry soap, cleaners, shampoos, body washes and various other items. That way, we hopefully reduce the need for new packaging with every purchase. Also, our store offers many items that help curb our single-use habits, like reusable paper towels, beeswax wraps instead of cling wrap, etc. And, many of the businesses we purchase from and work with are local, thereby reducing the footprint and energy it takes to get these items into our shop. Also, by working with other local makers and artisans, we participate in the circular economy. We are very proud of that.
How did The Refill Stop get started and what was the driving force behind it?
We started as a bottle deposit and recycling system where you can drop off containers, but before they are used to refill, the containers go through a cleaning/sanitization process we are able to refill for our customers. Anything we can do to keep our staff & customers safe. That is first and foremost number one. It does mean we spend a lot more time cleaning. Not something we expected, but it's kept us in business. We've had little to no sickness of any kind with our staff so far. We are doing everything we can to keep our staff safe, but stay true to what we do. Though we do not accept containers from home directly, everything we use to get the customers' product home is reused/reusable, but also safe, and sanitized.
What does community mean to The Refill Stop?
We wouldn't even be here without our community. We are so grateful to be a part of the New Westminster & surrounding area. We opened just a few months before COVID and because we were fairly new, did not qualify for most grants or applications to small businesses dealing with COVID. It's really the community coming back, and returning customers that kept us in business, kept us going, and kept us motivated. We really can not thank our customers, neighbours and community enough.
What are you most excited about for 2021?
Eventually, we really want to get back to refilling people's containers from home. Every container we use now is reused or will be reused, but it's the extra step we are looking forward not to have to do every time. Otherwise, we just hope that COVID will eventually be a thing of the past, and wanting the best health for everyone, we are also looking forward to that. Everyone is affected by this.
If you’re in New Westminster you can find the storefront at 865 Carnarvon Street. To learn more about the shop and check out their refill menu, visit their website and find them online on Instagram @therefillstop and Facebook at @therefillstop.
To find a BC Eco Seed Co-op Stockist in your area visit our Stockist list and map here.