SDG
UNLEASH

Solution catalogue

FILLosophy

There is a paradox between the durability of plastic and the way we use it in disposable packaging. When a consumer uses up their shampoo, there are 2 options: recycle it, or throw it. A sustainable choice is not convenient or obvious. FILLosophy offers urbanites access to exclusive personal care brands at better value while enabling them to minimize plastic footprints. We create a circular loop of refillable bottles. Our purpose is to transform a wasteful industry damaging our world.

Problem

There is a startling paradox between the exceptional durability of plastic as a material, and the way in which we use it – in disposable, single-use packaging. This is problematic given the effects of plastic waste on our oceans, water sources, food systems, and our health.

Since the 1950s, 9 billion tons of plastic have been produced, of which only 9% has been recycled. This makes plastic one of the least recycled materials in the world. And plastic production/consumption shows no sign of slowing down: the use of plastics is expected to double again in the next 20 years.

The global market for personal care products is enormous (US$465 billion), and growing steadily. Plastic dominates the personal care packaging market, making up 61% of all packaging. This number is expected to grow 12% by 2019.

There is no obvious or accessible way for people to extend the life of personal care product packaging. Empty shampoo bottles are either downcycled or disposed of, often ending up in landfill.

Solution

FILLosophy targets the disposable plastic problem at its core. Today, when a consumer uses up her shampoo, she has two options: 1. recycle it or 2. throw it. We are giving this consumer a third option: to refill her container in-store.

When our consumer looks to buy a personal care product, she looks for quality, convenience and affordability. Ideally, she would make a sustainable choice as well.

FILLosophy offers her a complete solution: access to exclusive, artisanal personal care brands in proximity to where she lives and works, and at an affordable price. The bonus: she can reduce her plastic footprint.

We aim to disrupt the disposable personal care industry by giving people access to high-quality affordable personal care products that are convenient and rewarding to refill.

We imagine a world where plastic is for good, a precious, durable material that is used over and over again.

Innovation

Today, refillable businesses exist in tiny pockets in a few American and European cities. They face significant barriers to adoption due to lack of product choice and inconvenience.

There are a few successful home care companies who sell refillables at major retailers, like Common Good and Ecover, but we do not see this concept penetrating the personal care goods industry.

Existing refillable businesses are small in scope and hyper-niche, like the recent pop-up Package Free Shop in Brooklyn. This limits traction in their target markets as consumers look for consistency and accessibility.

FILLosophy will partner with exclusive, holistic brands and set up refill stations at major retail stores in our target cities to provide convenience and variety.

The concept is highly scalable with a glocal strategy that can be adapted to developed and developing markets, while also connecting people to relevant, purpose-aligned brands from local markets.

Impact

We are striving for a paradigm shift in how plastic packaging is used – while we intend to start with exclusive, smaller brands, we expect this trend to drive change in product delivery models across the personal care industry, and beyond – into home care, food packaging, etc.

Refillable home care products brought to the mass market will lead to less plastic waste and more plastic reuse, and help offset the effect of increased plastic consumption. This is directly linked to SDG goal 12.5 to by 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.

The following SDG indicators can be used to measure the impact: 12.5.1 National recycling rate, tons of material recycled, 14.1.1 Index of coastal eutrophication and floating plastic debris density.

We also emphasize that reduced plastic waste will have effects on other SDG goals such as 3: Good Health 6: Clean water & Sanitation, 11. Sustainable Cities & Communities 12.8 Awareness for Sustainable Development & Lifestyles.