Hi! Thanks for coming to find out a little more about my baby, Refill Mill!
My name is Vicki and I came up with the idea for Refill Mill while on maternity leave with my second (actual) baby. After his birth, I became very conscious of the amount of ‘stuff’ young children need and the amount of waste they generate. I started considering the environmental impact of all the products I bought, from production to transport, usage and end-of-life. Did you know it takes 7500 litres of water to make one pair of jeans? This is enough drinking water to sustain one adult for 9 years, yet 771 million people worldwide still don’t have access to clean water – this blows my mind! Plus I really started noticing that every single packet of pasta, rice, cereal, fruit and veg, hand soaps, shampoos, conditioners, toothbrushes, toothpaste - absolutely EVERYTHING is housed in single-use plastic packaging, much of which isn't even recyclable.
As a PhD qualified research scientist, I thew myself into scientific articles to investigate just how harmful plastic and some of these products can be – well, that was a rabbit hole I’ve never quite emerged from! I couldn’t believe the enormous impact these things have on our planet and our bodies, that the science is there to prove it yet so few people are aware of the extent of the harm being done. Once I discovered this I couldn’t sit back and do nothing. I tried to shop more consciously, hunting high and low for plastic free packaging and natural, sustainably produced goods. I found some amazing companies, but they’re not easily accessible and there were no shops local to me. I also realised that I could only find these products by going out of my way and searching specifically for them, but who has time for that?
Out of my frustration, Refill Mill was started as a side hobby. I built a website, bought some incredible natural products from small, UK-based ethical businesses and started selling online. I use my scientific background to properly research and authenticate every single item I sell so you know it is 100% good for planet and people. There is a lot of greenwashing out there from companies trying to make money from the latest ‘trend’ in sustainable goods. For me, this is no trend but a way of life, the only way of life compatible with life for our future generations. At Refill Mill, there is no token ‘sustainable’ range, it is the heart and soul of the company – if it’s not sustainable, it’s not getting in!
I have done the research so you don't have to. I know you want gorgeous products like those you're already used to buying. I have tried and tested lots of Earth-friendly alternatives that are even more amazing, all-natural, that haven't harmed the planet during their manufacture and won't harm the planet with what they leave behind. If we all adopt to this slightly different way of shopping I truly believe not only are we receiving even better goods that make us feel fabulous but it's doing good for the planet too. And who doesn't want that?
I gave up researching cancers and other biological diseases to pursue this because if we don’t make the changes needed there won’t be a population to save from these ailments. We all have different battles to fight and this is mine, but it should be one we are all united in. I hope you’ll join me.