A ‘pioneering’ refill initiative by natural skincare brand Pure Lakes has been highly commended in the Circular Economy category at the National Recycling Awards.
The Lake District-based brand says customers can return their original, sugar-based biopolymer bottles to be refilled, rather than being sent refills in additional pouches and, unlike other brands, refills are available across its entire skincare range, with 30% off the cost price to help cover the return postage.
On receipt, the empties are washed and refilled from small batches the team hand-makes themselves in Staveley, adding a new date and batch number before returning them to the customer as good as new.
“Having researched the options, we realized that despite using less plastic than new bottles, pouches are not easily or widely recyclable,” says Gareth McKeever who co-founded the company with his wife Claire. “We have made reduce, reuse, recycle a big part of our business but have gone two steps further and given the entire refill process a rethink.”
we don’t want our loyal customers
to be out of pocket for doing the right thing, they should be rewarded for refilling and reusing
He adds: “From a manufacturing business perspective it is not the most efficient process as all batches are handmade, perhaps one of the reasons other brands don’t offer it. However, we don’t want our loyal customers to be out of pocket for doing the right thing, they should be rewarded for refilling and reusing, and the more people that do it the easier it becomes for us to carry it out.”
The brand uses 100% traceable, natural and biodegradable raw ingredients to make its products and all formulas are free from synthetics, parabens and SLS.
Pure Lakes is in the process of raising finance to build a new workshop which it plans to power by air source heat pumps and solar panels and where it will grow its own ingredients.