As we look toward a new year and the exciting new decade ahead, we would be remiss if we didn’t take the opportunity to express our gratitude to our amazing local and national community of refillers and subscribers that have sustained us these past five years. While we may still be a small bootstrapped business, we work really hard to be the kind of forward-thinking company our planet needs now more than ever—and we cannot thank you enough for your support.
That’s why we want you to be the first to know that our 100 percent female-owned zero-waste soap factory has developed an exciting new product that will make leading a low-impact lifestyle even easier than ever in 2020—and beyond.
Our newest product, Refillable Condensed Soap, is the next phase evolution of our original all-natural Soap & Suds—an innovative new formula that can produce up to an entire gallon of soap from just a 12 oz. bottle.
We’re launching an all-or-nothing Kickstarter on January 23, 2020, and if we reach our crowdfunding goal of raising $25,000 to make this dream project a reality, we’ve estimated we could divert over 500,000 bottles from the landfill. As the holidays wind down and the calendar turns, the countdown to our Kickstarter launch begins! We hope you’ll stay tuned for more news on this exciting new project and help us spread the word.
In the meantime, here are a few things we’ve accomplished this year here at Fillaree that we’re really proud of—and we’re wishing you all plenty of health, happiness, and sustainability in 2020!
Fillaree’s Year-End Review: 7 Things We’re Most Proud of In 2019
1. We diverted over 75,000 plastic bottles from the landfill.
In 2019 we hit a monumental milestone when we calculated that we’ve diverted over 75,000 bottles from the landfill since we first began refilling in 2014. This is why getting our Refillable Condensed Soap Kickstarter funded is so crucial because we have the power to increase our positive environmental impact by 566 percent!
2. We conducted our first-ever trash audit.
Earlier this year, we partnered with Gather Green right here in Durham, a green consulting company that helps businesses divert waste that’s harder to recycle and/or reuse. We believe in transparency, so that’s why we decided to do our first-ever trash audit. And would you believe that the entire Fillaree factory produced only eight pounds of waste for all of 2019?! We’ll be sharing more details about our experience with Gather Green and creative reuse in the new year, so stay tuned.
3. We increased the number of our nationwide refill stations.
Fillaree doubled its number of refill stations in 2019, expanding to 30 across the country with at least half of those stations created in the past year. From North Carolina to New York to California, Iowa, and Minnesota, our community of Refillers has never been stronger—and we’re growing every day.
4. We secured a big contract with a big business.
Our new partnership with The Durham Hotel is really exciting, because a big contract with a big business means that we’re helping reduce an even bigger amount of waste! From our plant-based, palm-free bar soaps to all-natural body wash, and shampoo and conditioner, we’re humbled that The Durham chose Fillaree to provide their soaps—and are so proud that our low-impact mission now has a larger reach as a result.
5. We expanded our plastic-free offerings.
On that note, our addition of natural care for your hair to the Fillaree product line this year was major. We now offer all-natural shampoo and conditioner, which are primarily water-based formulas your hair will love! Our moisturizing shampoo and conditioner comes in an invigorating lemon-lavender scent, and we offer a delightful orange-vanilla option for our conditioner as well.
6. We expanded our storefront hours.
To accommodate an increase in product demand and our in-store offerings, we expanded our Durham storefront hours to four days a week! Our refillable arsenal went from just three products to nine, and includes bulk skin care, deodorant, laundry detergent, and more. We’re now open every Wednesday through Friday from 12–6 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
7. We grew our all-star team by 500 percent!
Fillaree went from just one woman making soap in her crockpot to a team of two over the years, but in 2019, our all-female crew grew to over 10! This dream team consists of artists, scientists, writers, makers, doers, and creators, who have all come together from different backgrounds and expertise in support of a single unified mission: to help make the world a more sustainable place.