Fillaree is a small batch liquid soap factory in Durham, NC. We are woman owned and operated, and on a mission to make it easy to refill essential goods and significantly reduce waste, from consumers all the way up the supply chain! We believe reusable anything (even plastic!) is far better than single-use everything. Period. Join us and make the move to #NORMALIZEREUSE
We’re a Closed Loop Circular Economy
Your cleaning routine doesn’t have to generate waste. With a vision of a world where everything is reused, refilled, shared or repaired, we created a system where our amazing all-natural cleaning products are refilled in existing containers, keeping everything we produce in our closed loop system!
Refilling > Recycling & Composting
https://environmentalpaper.org/solving-packaging/avoid-false-solutions/hear these questions a lot: “If your containers are recyclable, what’s the problem? Or why not just use bio-plastic that’s compostable?” Those are great questions! Simply put, recycling and composting just aren’t the answer. SolvingPackaging.org gets into the nitty gritty details, but long story short: the energy use, infrastructure concerns, and lack of world-wide availability make recycling a really unsustainable solution to our exponentially growing trash problem. And many biodegradable plastics actually result in materials that are very damaging to our environment as they break down. Recyclables and bio-plastics are just tiny bandages on the gaping wound of single-use packaging pollution.
Our Solution: Returnable, Refillable Smart BottleTM
After much research and development, and so many container trials, we have officially fallen in love with the Smart BottleTM for our refill system. It’s pretty dreamy that they’re made right here in NC, so we’re supporting our local economy with each one! And they’re actually more like bags, or bag-bottle hybrids, which make them super lightweight and means they’re much more sustainable for shipping to and from the Fillaree Factory than anything we tried before (including non-plastic metal alternatives, but especially glass!). They fit right into the cardboard box that they are shipped in, and then you use that box to stabilize the bag until it’s empty. You save up 4 or 5 of these bags before you ship them back to us, in one of the boxes they came in or any reused box you have lying around at the time. The extra cardboard boxes are easy to compost in commercial or backyard composting, can be used to make super fun cat toys or even bird feeders! (We love to see your creative reuse ideas for those boxes – please tag us in your pics on Instagram @fillaree!) These bags are incredibly sturdy, standing up to being washed, sanitized and refilled 50 – 100 times before they eventually do need to be recycled at the end of their life. At that rate, we’re keeping HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of containers out of the waste stream every year!
Fillaree Back Story:
I’m Alyssa, the founder of Fillaree. 10 years ago, faced with both my 3-month old baby and my mother receiving cancer diagnoses within a 6 month time frame, everything in my life changed. Fortunately they are both just fine today, thanks to modern medicine, but it was one of those moment where I knew I’d never be the same. I knew in my heart that there were thing I could be doing differently in my life to reduce the likelihood of having to go through that again. In my research, I learned that many harmful, hidden toxins have proven links to illnesses like my family had just faced. And one of the main culprits hiding those toxins: commercial soaps and household cleaners. So, I started seeking out all-natural, organic cleaning products. Simultaneously, I was also deepening my lifelong commitment to environmental and social justice by following leaders in the movement like Bea Johnson. As I learned more about the harmful effects that the trash we throw “away” has on our planet, I knew this had to be part of my mission too. It not only reaffirmed my personal commitment to all-natural soaps and cleaners, but also altered my family’s lifestyle to consume in a far less wasteful way. I realized that all of my soaps and cleaners were packaged in plastic— even the all-natural and organic ones—and thought, why not reuse these plastic bottles and refill them rather than throw them away and buy new ones? But there weren’t any companies offering this option. So, I had to create my own. After falling down a few DIY rabbit holes to make my own soap, I realized that as a busy mom with two children, DIY was impossible. I just wanted an easy way to refill my soaps and cleaners. I was also sure that there were others like me who wanted all-natural products without plastic waste. So, armed with a stick blender and a crockpot, I went from DIY to enterprise. In 2014, I joined a farmer’s market with the very first Fillaree Refillable Soaps and have been making refill happen ever since. Fillaree has grown steadily and organically ever since. In just six years, my single farmer’s market stand grew to 60 refill stations nationwide and hundreds of soap subscribers across the country, from New York to California and Florida to Minnesota. We’re introducing new products, building new partnerships, and normalizing reuse every step of the way.