Contact: Refillables Hoi A
Location: Hoi An, Vietnam
Sector: Sales and services
Date of analysis: April 2019
Sustainable hygiene products and refillables shop.
We met Alison in a calm quarter of Hoi An. This Canadian has adopted the Vietnamese habit, and opened a shop in her own house : Refillables Hoi An.
Here, every furniture was made from material found on the streets – yes, even an awesome sophisticated bamboo chandelier – and every product is sold without packaging
: the customers come with their own bottles and containers in order to refill them with what they need. From laundry detergents to kitchen powders, one can find 47 types of environmentally friendly products (solid soap, bamboo toothbrush…). Alison comes from Vancouver, where some of her good friends own a Zero Waste shop. The idea of creating hers came after realising that she was already using environmentally friendly products, but that they were really difficult to find.
“You really have to think outside the box to find the products locally, with a reasonable price.” Almost all of her items come from Vietnam, except the ones that can still not be found here, such as menstrual cups or baking soda – which are paradoxically highly demanded! It was also an opportunity for her to inspire the people from the city she now lives in, Hoi An.
“I want to make sure that every financial demographic can afford”, she explains.”People who can’t afford much don’t look at products from their environmental point of view.” Being the only middle man between the producers and the buyers, she makes her margins as low as possible; prices become even cheaper than conventional products : “I make people come because my products are cheaper, once they’re in we can talk about the environmental benefits too.”
Existing for only 4 months, the sales of the shop are exponentially increasing as she also provides local businesses. Since the creation, Refillables Hoi An prevented more than 800 plastic containers to be recycled, and not landfilled.
Copyright CirculAgronomie 2020