After SLOWOOD's opening, we are delighted to see more and more people paying attention to environmental issues and adopting a more sustainable lifestyle through bulk buying. Based on the sales at our "REFILL First" electric refill station, the station could save 1.56 million plastic bottles a year.
About 6.2 million plastic bottles in Hong Kong are sent to landfills daily. In 2020, the amount of plastic disposed to landfills was around 2,312 tonnes per day - it's enough to fill nearly 90 standard cargo containers. However, this number is insignificant compared to the daily amount of plastic waste.
By making refilling widely available, accessible, and affordable, we hope to reach more people and promote the idea of REFILL to tackle plastic pollution.
Let's "turn off the tap" on plastic pollution by refilling the same container multiple times to save our planet and communities worldwide.
We believe in a futurewhere living sustainably is convenient and affordable. Not only are our products well-priced and high quality, but REFILLing your bottle is a breeze.
solve the problem?
Early 2019: The Inspiration
Since the first store opened in Kennedy Town, the growth in sales for bulk personal care has been lagging far behind compared to the food items. This shows how little we have achieved in promoting refilling personal care products to the communities. During our brainstorming session, one of our teammates suggested a "vending machine for refill". The idea inspired the team, sowing seeds for the later journey to REFILL.
Mid-2019: Research & Development
We soon realized the complexity of the concept once we started to source the solutions. There are a lot of technical limitations from the manufacturing process to the machine operations. Thus, many machine manufacturers refused to develop the idea. After all the refusals, we decided to study from foreign examples and started the research and development in-house.
Late 2020: First Prototype
Despite all the difficulties, the prototype was finally developed. The first would never be perfect, and a list of problems have been found, such as leakage, insufficient taps for a good variety, malfunctioning screens, and so on. Although the imperfections were expected in the first attempt, the challenges were complex and required cross-expertise solutions. However, the more issues were tackled, the better the result became. We believe the result is worth our effort.
2021: Testing & Revision
Development always takes time. The team has been working on the mechanical modifications since the first prototype. To gather more feedback, we have set up REFILL First at two of our stores (Central and Shatin). While testing the mechanical parts at these two locations, we recorded quadruple sales growth on bulk personal care items. This gave us strong encouragement to carry on.
Apart from the mechanical part, we also found problems in programming. While developing a user-friendly interface, we soon realized this feature was way more complicated and costly than we thought.
Mid-2022: Welcome to our REFILL Point!
After tremendous effort from the team, we have developed a user-friendly machine which allows you to refill your container with mindfully made product easily. The vending machine, REFILL Point, opens the door to our refilling behaviour. We have granted patent and hope to establish REFILL Points at more locations across communities, making it more accessible - to refill anytime, anywhere.
Lastly, we want to express our gratitude to DBS Bank. REFILL was one of the DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Grant Programme Awardees in 2021. Through the Programme, we were able to develop REFILL Point and continue to help sustainable living take root in the community.
Not rocket science but a super easy and user-friendly machine to refill your favourite!
Just bring your container, follow the instructions and take it home!
Before you start, prepare your bottle or purchase a new one, new bottle can be collected below
Select the product and volume
Wait for the button to light up, insert the tap into the top of your bottle,press the button, hold steady!
* 100% Vegan
* Naturally derived
* Hong Kong made
* Suitable for all skin type
* No SLS or SLES
* Refillable bottles
SLOWOOD has offered a wide range of refill services since our launch in 2019 and our growing community has collectively made small lifestyle changes to adopt this new habit. Our 4 locations across Hong Kong have made this easier for many but we’ve learnt that convenience and cost are large barriers for those who are yet to make the change.
Of course, we’d love to make zero waste options even more accessible, and, lucky for you, we’ve found the best way to do just that.
Say hello to ‘REFILL’. Placing our REFILL Point in multiple locations throughout the city can make the sustainable habit more convenient to adopt for more people.
Where do you want to
see our REFILL Point?
At this moment, REFILL Point could only be found in Central Market. But in the future, you could find REFILL Point in places, like housing estates, university dormitories, fitness centres and shared spaces in the future.
Follow our Instagram to stay tuned with the REFILL Point new locations.