The Body Shop opens its first upgraded, refill store in Sweden

Written by Yasmine Mubarak by Fashion Tales

Finally, the refill option from The Body Shop has been newly launched in Sweden. This time, upgraded and ready to revolutionize the Swedish and Nordic market - not to mention the world.

There is a famous quote from the founder of The Body Shop, Dame Anita Roddick in the late ‘80s, stating:
“Why waste a container when you can refill it? And why buy more of something than you can use? We behaved as my mother did in the Second World War, we reused everything, we refilled everything, and we recycled all we could. The foundation of The Body Shop's environmental activism was born out of ideas like this”.

With this quote, we understand that this is not the first time The Body Shop has created refill options. Founded in 1976, The Body Shop’s first store in Brighton encouraged their customers to recycle packaging. Anita Roddick refilled her customers' bottles - instead of having them buy a whole new product. Partly, because Roddick did not have enough bottles at first, when she was starting out with limited finances. A genius idea, creating a life cycle for the company and customers. However, during the ’80s and '90s, the world wasn’t ready for the refill option of beauty products, and it faded away but wasn’t forgotten by the company.

Today, the world looks very different. With a stronger mindset of the environment and sustainability. Not to mention, a world with numerous beauty brands beginning with refill options. The beauty sector today generates billions of pieces of packaging every year – most of which ends up in landfills or the ocean. If we all switch to refill bottles, we could together save 25 tonnes of plastic per year, an average of 32 plastic bottles per person, and help ensure that 2.6 kilos of carbon dioxide are not released into the air.

From the relaunch of refillable options in 2019, The Body Shop has successively opened the refill option at limited stores, mainly in the U.K. But have finally arrived in Sweden again.  This can be seen as a new way of leading The Body Shop into the future. Put simply, creating a circular economy. Which is about eliminating waste and using things for as long as possible. Ultimately, The Body Shop’s goal is for all products and packaging to be compostable, refillable, or returnable.

To learn more, we asked Matilda Wiechel, Activism and Communications Manager at The Body Shop, on how we refill in the store and their product range:
‘’In this stage, we are launching refills on our 12 best-selling shower gels, liquid hand soaps, shampoos, and conditioners. The next phase to look at will be our fragrance range.’’

How to become a refill champion:
‘’Take the new refillable aluminum bottle and choose your favorite liquid product. This time, the containers have been changed to aluminum bottles, and the container for the bulk product is also in a recyclable container. When the bottle is empty, you clean it, bring it back and refill it at the store.’’

In addition, we asked Wiechel, what’s different this time around compared to earlier:
‘’What we often experienced the last time we had a refill, in the ’90s, was that we had to throw away quite a lot of products because it wasn’t consumed fast enough - not enough people came into the stores to get refills. We also had some problems with many people not cleaning their bottles properly, which made hygiene an issue.’’

How does the refill process look in the rest of Scandinavia and the world?
‘’In Sweden, we are planning to roll out the refill concept in 8-10 stores during 2021. For the rest of the world, we are looking at a total of 400 refill stores in 2021 and another 400 in 2022.’’

The first new refill store in Sweden will open on April 14th in Westfield Mall of Scandinavia.

Read more about how you can create a more sustainable beauty regime in three easy steps. In the article, Reuse, Reduce, Refill here.