Initial trial with Unilever and ASDA for our innovative iRefill/iReturn Stations has been a success.
We are excited to announce that the iRefill and iReturn stations — initially deployed at the ASDA Leeds sustainable concept store, as part of an extensive consumer trial last year — have seen great commercial success, and are highly popular with local customers. Developed in partnership with Unilever and our friends at Beauty Kitchen, and representing the central component of their “Refill, Return, Repeat” programme, these machines will completely revolutionise cosmetic and cleaning product retail, reducing plastic and therefore helping protect the environment. Given the success of these machines — and the “Refill, Return, Repeat” programme itself — we will be installing even more machines in ASDA, Co-op and John Lewis stores across the UK in the coming months.
The programme has attracted a lot of attention, and we are in talks with a number of major names in the retail industry, which we hope we will be at liberty to disclose very soon. Our joint efforts have succeeded in earning the trust of consumers and corporations alike, with even large consortiums agreeing to give up what is perhaps the most precious corporate asset — the physical, bottled product on the shelf — and switch to refillables.
This makes us more and more confident that with this first small victory we are, at last, witnessing the true inception of the Circular Economy. Although there is a lot more work to be done, we are excited to be at the forefront of this ambitious endeavour, and we aim to not only bring sustainable alternatives to the consumer market, but also to establish distinctly new standards and practices within the manufacturing industry itself: Our processes adhere to the strictest waste and emissions regulations, and our remanufacturing facility — one of the largest of its kind in Europe — saves thousands of machines from ending up in landfills each year.
As the COP26 conference in Glasgow — where our machines are on display through 2022 — nears its end on a rather gloomy note, we pledge to continue innovating and improving our products, facility and processes every day, in the hope of spurring tangible change in a not so distant future and making the Circular Economy a reality rather than a utopia for future generations.