Last year, The Body Shop committed to an ambitious goal: in five years, the majority of its stores, globally, would be fitted with refill stations. Part of the company’s initiative to implement sustainable business practices and reduce plastic use, the refill program has now expanded to stores across the U.S., and The Body Shop expects 49% of all U.S. locations to be fully equipped by the end of the year.
Since April, the company has rolled out refill stations across 400 stores globally, saving over 3.7 tons of plastic — equivalent to 170,000 plastic bottles, according to the company.
The Body Shop Refill Bottle; Source: The Body Shop
Another 400 refill stations are planned for 2022, with the aim of saving 25 tons of plastic and helping to prevent up to 5lbs of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. The following U.S. stores should have refill stations by end of year: Austin, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, and more.
How does the program work? With refill stations, The Body Shop consumers can visit their nearby locations to refill their body, hair, and hand care products, including shower gels, shampoos, conditioners, and hand washes. The stores will have between six to twelve refill options available depending on their footprints.
"The foundation of The Body Shop's environmental activism was born out of ideas like these, when our founder, Dame Anita Roddick, refilled her first bottle out of necessity in 1976," said Hilary Lloyd, vice president of marketing and values, North America. "Our customers have been eagerly awaiting for refills to return to The Body Shop. We're thrilled to be embracing a circular economy approach and provide this sustainable alternative."
Celebrating Earth Month
In recognition of Earth Month in April, and to celebrate its refill program, the company has partnered with Tony's Chocolonely to advocate for climate action in New York City. The two B Corp certified brands will raise awareness and collect signatures for the "FOREST" Act in an effort to stop illegal deforestation and slow climate change.
As part of the effort, Tony's Chocolonely "Choco" cart and truck will be parked outside The Body Shop's NoHo store on Fri., April 8, 2022, and The Body Shop's Rockefeller Center location on Fri., April 15, 2022. The brands will distribute refillable aluminum bottles and a limited-edition Tony's Chocolonely chocolate bar to attendees — limited quantities are available.
The company’s latest initiative adds on to its long-term goals for creating zero waste packaging. In 2019, the brand launched its partnership with Plastics for Change to help tackle the plastics crisis by sourcing community fair trade recycled plastic from Bengaluru, India. The company stated the program helps “empower the marginalized waste pickers who work tirelessly to clean up their city's streets” and also prevents waste from ending up in landfills.
Several brands are making long-term commitments to reduce plastic waste and focus on sustainable packaging and business practices. This month, for example, Merrell and Pacsun launched resale programs, and Target is working on increasing visibility for product partners that are launching their own initiatives.