Here at Bee Kind, we love sharing stories of those making an impact in their community and providing a platform for efforts in sustainability. That's exactly the reason our Bee Kind Youth Ambassador, Adriana, decided to visit Re:Plenish; her local zero-waste store and refillery in Edmonton, Alberta. Read below to hear about her experience visiting their beautiful store, and also a little bit about about their business and how COVID has impacted it. They also share some tips for those just beginning a zero-waste lifestyle!
As soon as I walked in, I was warmly welcomed into the store by Meghann and Karine, the owners of Re:Plenish. As they greeted my mother and I and asked about our days and how we’ve been, I felt all the love, time, and effort that has been poured into Re:Plenish. I looked around, the store is beautifully decorated with minimalist chic decor; wooden tables, floors cabinets, and greenery that compliments the space. Meghann and Karine showed us around the store and explained how they do bulk refill using containers that have been brought by customers. Although I took up far too much of their time asking questions, Meghann and Karine were happy to answer any questions and truly connect with us, making us feel welcome. I was only there for a short period of time, but I could truly tell the passion and love that Meghann and Karine have for their store and customers. It is for that exact reason that I believe in supporting local and small businesses as much as possible. There is such a sense of heart and soul in this business and they care so much about giving a quality experience and building a genuine connection with their customers. We checked out with our new sustainable goodies, and already started thinking of when we could return next!
Interview With Meghann and Karine
BK: What advice would you give a beginner just starting a sustainable / zero waste lifestyle?
M+ K: I would tell them to start small, once you finish one product you can make the switch to a sustainable product for that one thing so if you finish your bottle of your shampoo refill it or switch to a shampoo bar or something like that but don't over ball everything you own just start with small steps so it doesn't get overwhelming.
BK: What has your experience been like running a refillery during the pandemic?
M+ K: Doing refilling during a pandemic is definitely challenging, it's somewhat of a new technology to begin with and with the pandemic coming in there's definitely been lots of pivots we've had to do and changes, we've gone online and offline, we've done pickups and deliveries and at this point we are doing curbside contactless refills.
BK: Why is it important to you to sell local YEG (Edmonton) products?
M+ K: In general, local makers are more sustainable in the way that they make their products, how they can get their products to us, nothing has to be shipped nothing has to be packaged we can talk to them directly and make sure that everything is up to the standard that we want it to be for a zero waste store, there is also perks for the local economy in that way we can keep it cyclical and in the local economy it helps everybody.
BK: How and where do you currently ship your products?
M+ K: We deliver products locally in Edmonton and we ship products all over Alberta and The Territories and we do that because we feel that by kind of zeroing in where we do ship it kind of puts people in a position where they might be looking into more local options rather than sourcing from other provinces.