The Art of the Refill

As a budding environmentalist, I am constantly on the lookout for products that are not only good for the environment on paper, but also beneficial to smaller community environments. So as we roll into 2017, reenergized to do better, it's apropos to tell you about a company worthy of your support and a spot on your resolution list. 

Image by Yuri Vayasgant.

Alyssa Cherry's company, Fillaree, prides itself on its commitment to sustainability and reduction of household plastic waste through the practice of refill. Durham based Fillaree is a zero waste soap company that strives to be as carbon neutral as possible.

We got the opportunity to talk to Alyssa about how her idea came to be and learned that it was the result of a few...monumental events. Shortly after her mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Alyssa began exploring the expansive world of carcinogens. What she found was that many cleaning supplies, household and beauty supplies alike, contained less than stellar chemicals and toxins. Around the same time that her mother was undergoing treatment Alyssa began seeing pictures of the copious amounts of trash that people were producing and began to be more mindful of her own consumption.

One day, after such revelations, she went to fill up her cleaning spray bottle and realized just how massive the scale of over consumption was. Alyssa realized she had successfully kept the same cleaning spray bottle for seven years. Even though she refilled her bottle each time she ran out of product, it hit her that,

This bottle has been around for seven years. That means every other bottle has been around for seven years...”

Even though Alyssa recycled all of bottles she used, she realized that recycling just wasn’t good enough anymore. And so, the concept of Fillaree was born.

Fillaree focuses on soaps and cleaning sprays, offering three refill stations in Durham and Raleigh. Though the concept of refill is not a new one in the environmental community, it is the first time that one such concept has emerged within the Triangle. Alyssa has been working to make the refill process as easy and convenient as she can with stations set up at popular stores around town to reduce the need for individual refill trips. 

All Fillaree products are handmade in small batches. All are vegan, synthetic free, made with organic and essential oils, we never use fragrance oils. We do not and will not use palm oil and our vegetable oils are fair trade certified. All products and packaging are refillable and are chosen for that purpose!
— Fillaree

Fillaree offers a variety of products including dish soap, hand soap, compostable sponges, and even body butter (available until April!) Additionally, Fillaree products are sold at many of your favorite local stores including: 



Pinestate Flowers

*Standard Foods

*Stone Brothers & Bryd

The ZEN Succulent

Ramble Supply Co.

*Refill Stations

You can also check out Fillaree at its new online shop.

So before running to Target for your household needs consider what you are really purchasing. Sure, you may save a few minutes or a few bucks, but in the long run, Fillaree is the only soap that will keep you safe from toxins, reduce household waste and your carbon footprint. You'll also be supporting one of our favorite innovative, local businesses. Finally, don't forget, that less is more. The less you use, the longer we get to enjoy our beautiful Earth. 

Waste Less and Love More,