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Ethos Team Member Sara Coates - 12 / Aug / 2021

How we source our refillables for our bulk refillery

How we source our refillables for our bulk refillery

Refilling is a core ethos for us and an essential part of reducing one's waste. We’re thrilled you’re interested in learning more about how we curate our bulk offerings at Ethos. We are very particular about which bulk items we bring into our refillery. We do the long hard research so you don’t have to. Although we haven’t achieved perfection, we do strive to find the best that is out there. We hope to inspire and make refilling more accessible for you to reduce your single-use plastic packaging with all of our carefully-curated,  high-quality personal care and household refills.
This blog goes into what we look for, more specifically in our refillery. To learn more about our holistic approach for procurement of all our products and refills, read up on our Commitment to High Quality Sustainable Products.  
We strive to implement a circular refillery- peep the photo above. This means we try our hardest to ensure we are returning, reusing, and recycling, rather than sending any materials to the landfill (or even to the recycling bin for that matter!). We prioritize returning and reusing by creating unique take-back programs with our vendors. Our last resort is ensuring any containers that cannot be reused are recycled. So how do we make all this happen? Let’s walk through it!
Reusable & Returnable Plastic Containers
(Pictured above is our Hand and Body Wash, one of our refill offerings that ships to us in these plastic pouches.)
We try to partner with vendors who send us refills in plastic pouches or other plastic containers that we use to refill our glass containers at the shop. We collect and send back the empties for the vendors to sanitize and reuse for our future orders! We are proud to say that we have had new vendors add bulk options in refillable pouches after having a conversation with us. We are not only helping our community reduce their waste, but other like-minded businesses as well - heck ya!

Support Local Makers

(Pictured above is Melissa, the local maker of our face masks, that she drops off to the shop. It’s always so nice to catch up with the people who make our refills!)
The less travel time to us, the less CO2 emitted, the more sustainable the process is. We love to support our local businesses as often as we can with our refill offerings. Our local makers put so much effort into ensuring that their businesses partake in sustainable practices and we couldn't be prouder to partner with them. Most often, our local makers drop off their refills in reusable glass containers that they pick up and reuse for our future orders! 

Reuse or Recycle Bulk Containers 

(Pictured above is our 5 gallon buckets being reused in the wild. One is being used to store finished compost for team members garden)
For the times we cannot send back the containers to their makers, we will upcycle or recycle them. We have 30-55 gallons drums or 5 gallon buckets that are up for grabs once they are empty. Want to take them home to use as a rain barrel, planter, compost bin, trash cleanup bucket, etc? Email us at [email protected]

Purchasing in Large Quantities

(Pictured above is our dish soaps housed in 55 gallon drums, in the founder of Ethos garage!)
Most often, in a grocery store bulk section, you’ll see a bunch of one gallon containers out on the floor for refill. We prefer to buy in larger quantities to save on the amount of plastic being used for how much is being refilled. We aim to purchase our best sellers in large drums, 30-55 gallons at one time. In the future we hope to expand into a larger space that will allow us to house even more drums. We are happy to offer our refill items in an actual bulk quantity that has the biggest sustainable impact for our community and planet. When the drums are empty, we give them to our community to reuse. 

Concentrated Refills 

(Pictured above is our Laundry Powder & Cleaning Tablets and our All Purpose Concentrate.)
You will find that many of our refills are concentrated. Concentrated refill prices do increase from conventional products but you are getting 3x the product with our concentrated refills like the laundry powder! This takes out the need to ship heavy liquids (mainly water) all over the country. By buying concentrated refills we are able to reduce our c02 emissions and packaging materials. 

Clean Ingredients

Not only do our refills need to check off all of our sustainability criteria, they also need to be safe and beneficial for our bodies. We look for full transparency in an ingredient list, nothing is hidden from the customer. The brands we’ve partnered with are strongly committed to protecting the planet and our bodies by using cruelty free and clean ingredients
 Any product recommendations or requests for the refillery? Please DM us on Instagram @ethossantacruz or email us at [email protected] Thank you for refilling with us!
  • Heidi Hanich Heidi Hanich 12 / Aug / 2021 @ 15:49

    Toothpaste!!! My husband hates all the different types of toothpaste I’ve brought home to try. So he continues to use Colgate. I bring in my empty containers for your terra cycle but I wish we could refill Colgate similar toothpaste.

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