Beauty Kitchen refill station

Beauty refill stations are coming to the UK to help you top up on your favourite products

10th February 2020 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber

Whether it’s vegan, cruelty-free or going all in for clean beauty, many of us are keen to be more sustainable and ethical in our beauty product choices.

From makeup minis to half-used moisturisers and conditioner bottles with that annoying bit left in the bottom that you can’t get out, the beauty industry produces a huge amount of plastic with many of it ending up in landfill due to confusion over what can and cannot be recycled. In fact, figures suggest only 9% of plastic gets recycled.

One brand wants to change this through the use of beauty refill stations across the UK.

Beauty Kitchen has announced plans to install 1,000 beauty refill stations – which resemble vending machines and which have touchscreens where customers can choose their products – over the next two years to let customers refill their bottles, rather than throwing them away. 

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Once a customer has selected which Beauty Kitchen shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand wash or facial cleanser they want, the contents will be automatically dispensed into a reusable, aluminium bottle that Beauty Kitchen will supply. It will also print labels for the product being dispensed – a legal requirement when selling cosmetics in the UK. 

And, to avoid allergens and bacteria, Beauty Kitchen assures users the machines will be cleaned and washed regularly. 

The first machines are due to be installed in April and while Beauty Kitchen hasn’t revealed the exact locations yet, it has said they’ll be found in “major high streets, independent zero-waste grocery and retail stores, university campuses, garden centres, train stations, hair and beauty salons and office complexes.”

A lot of brands are jumping on the sustainable bandwagon in recent years but this initiative is far from a stunt.

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Beauty Kitchen already offers a Return • Refill • Repeat scheme which encourages customers to return their empty packaging so Beauty Kitchen and wash and reuse.   

“As a company, our mission is to create the most effective, natural and sustainable beauty products in the world’, Beauty Kitchen founder Jo Chidley said. “To accomplish this, we have always sought to be at the vanguard of our industry in terms of innovation, design and sustainability.

“The issue of packaging has troubled us for some time and the opportunity to dispense with disposable packaging is one we have embraced enthusiastically in our ‘Return, Refill, Repeat’ initiative, the world’s first closed-loop solution for beauty packaging.

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“We’re proud to be leading the market in this respect and we’re sure our customers, who pride themselves on their awareness of the issues around sustainability and ethical production, will welcome the E1 Refill Station and acknowledge it as an exciting innovation.”

Beauty Kitchen was the first beauty brand to achieve so-called B Corp status, a title given to businesses that “meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.” B Corps use their profits to help others, whether it’s their employees or the environment.

The sustainable skincare brand estimates its beauty refill stations will save 100 million single-use plastic bottles.

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