If you’ve visited our little shop recently, you will no doubt have noticed our ever expanding range of refills!

Our current selection includes toiletries such as face and body washes, hair care and moisturisers, and many items for household cleaning and laundry. We source our nature-kind products from brands including Faith in Nature, Green Goddess, Suma and Bio D, and you can read more about these companies and their values below. We get lots of interest in the different items and questions about how the system works, so we have put together this handy guide to summarise the main points and provide answers to common queries.

What’s it all about? Why Refill?

In the UK alone, nearly 40 million plastic bottles are used every day, with only about half being recycled (1). Awareness of environmental harm has been increasing, and with shocking statistics such as this in mind, the idea behind the refill station is simple – to reduce the amount of new plastic being used to create yet more bottles, when an already made container can work just as well.

What do I need to do?

Simply bring in a suitable, clean vessel of your choosing – think toiletries bottles, squeezy sauce bottles, cleaning containers… it can all work well! We have some items which have been donated by others, but availability can vary (if you have spare at home to bring in for the basket, then please do!). We also sell 100ml aluminium tins, which are ideal for items such as the rich and nourishing moringa moisturising cream (and are soon to launch 100ml and 250ml aluminium bottles too). We can talk you through the different product options available and we’re happy to help with using the pumps.

We ask that any containers you use are clean and are clearly marked with their volume

If the size isn’t clear, we may ask you to measure it, label it and pop back again another time. One slight difference is with tooth tablets which we sell by weight alongside the pre-prepared packs, so either bring in your own container or you can purchase a 10ml or 100ml aluminium tin, which are handy for storage and travelling.

How much does it cost?

A key aim of Coconut and Cotton is for a sustainable lifestyle to be as affordable and accessible as possible. Refills can prove more cost effective than buying a new item, therefore helping you to save pennies (or even pounds!) as well as saving bottles and doing good for the planet. For example, the delicate but effective Ecoleaf hand soap is just 50p per 100ml, which works out at £1.25 for a standard 250ml hand wash container, and the refreshing Green Goddess lemon and ginger moisturising lotion is £1.80 for 100ml – these costs are less than many chemical-laden high street brands. The prices for each item are clearly marked and the charge is pro-rata, so you only pay for what you receive. It’s also ideal if you want to try a small amount of a product and see if you like it, before committing to purchasing a larger quantity.

Anything else I should know?

We strongly advise like-for-like refills, for example don’t use a what was a floor cleaner bottle for facewash! Whilst all of our products are carefully chosen for their eco-credentials and being naturally derived, we can’t know how some ingredients may react with others or with different people’s skin. We also recommend taking one of the handy labels with the product name and ingredients list (plus warning symbols, directions and safety measures). This is for the safety of you and anyone else in the household, and also if you like what you’ve bought, then it reminds you what to get again next time!

If you’re intrigued by the concept, then why not give it a go!

We welcome browsers to have a look at what is on offer, or click here for the most up to date list of items. New lines are regularly added, so do keep an eye on what is changing by following us on facebook or by coming in to say hello. We hope to see you – and your ready-to-fill bottles – soon!

P.S. We are aware that the containers for the refill products are themselves made from plastic, but less than would be needed for the equivalent of many, smaller sized containers. Additionally, once empty, they are either returned to the manufacturer or recycled by ourselves. Coconut and Cotton is striving to be as plastic free as possible, and you can read more about our approach and our full disclosure here.

Safety with refills: Whilst our products do not contain any bleach, dangerous reactions can occur when mixing descalers and ammonium with bleach. Please do not mix any of our products with your existing household cleaners to avoid this risk.

References:

(1) Surfers Against Sewage ‘Plastic Pollution Facts and Figures’ https://www.sas.org.uk/our-work/plastic-pollution/plastic-pollution-facts-figures/

Brands we stock and refill in store

Bio D is a well-established producer of vegan and cruelty-free cleaning products which are made using ethically sourced, plant-based ingredients, and have been accredited by Allergy UK for their skin-friendly formulations.

Ecoleaf manufactures is another vegan, cruelty-free, plant-based brand which offers a wide range of products for household cleaning and laundry.

Faith in Nature is a well-established brand which has produced vegan, cruelty free and nature based personal care products for long before such ethics and tags became main stream. They remain an innovative and pioneering company, and their authentic scents range from the gently fragrant to the more exotic. We have chosen their coconut range – of course! – which is made with organic coconut oil.

Funky Soap is a small company which carefully creates toiletries using fresh and natural ingredients, with a stated aim of empowerment and wellbeing. All products are vegetarian and some are vegan – please check the ingredients list for full details i.e. milk or honey.

Green Goddess is another small but emerging producer which is committed to the ‘clean-living’ movement. They harness the power of 100% essential oils to create their scented, luxurious range of cruelty free personal care items.

Suma is a giant of the ethical products sector and has been operating as a cooperative for more than forty years. Their extensive collection of own brand products offer an effective, good value and high quality option. We’ve had rave reviews about their hair care!