Store closing

Refillery outlet shuts as ethical shopping shunned

Closing: Refillery in Corstorphine (pic: Terry Murden)

Ethical shopping seems to be losing its appeal. A lack of interest in refilling containers with nuts, cereals and seasonings and avoiding plastic packaging means the Refillery in the Corstorphine area of Edinburgh, will close.

The shop in St John’s Road is the second of the three Refillery outlets in the city to shut after one in Waverley Market closed.

When the Corstorphine store shuts next month it will leave only the Newington Road shop trading, and that was put up for sale in September.

The Refillery, launched by eco-entrepreneur Kelly Wright, opened in Newington in January 2019 and expanded to Corstorphine and Waverley Market in 2021. There is also a store in Canterbury in Kent. The plan had been to roll-out the concept across the UK.

Ms Wright used half her savings to meet the startup costs with the remainder being provided via an “ethical loan” from Scotland-based DSL Finance. The Corstorphine and Canterbury stores are franchises.

The shops sell a variety of wholefoods, spices and herbs, detergents and bathroom essentials that can be refilled in shoppers’ own containers. There is no plastic packaging and the stores support, where possible, local producers.

Networking events to promote the concept were attended by business leaders and other well-known figures such as Marie Owen, founder of LS Productions, former rugby international Scott Hastings, Paul Tasner, the Californian based eco-entrepreneur and founder of PulpWorks, Alice Thompson, co-founder of Social Bite and motivational coach, and Chris van der Kuyl, chairman and co-founder of 4J Studios.

On her website, Corstorphine owner Olga Fatica from Italy said: “We are helping to take back the high street in Corstorphine and encouraging more people to shop with local independent shops rather than big supermakets. This helps to support our local economy and brings our community together.  

“We’re right on your doorstep so come and pay us a visit and discover more ways to a minimal waste lifestyle.”

However, enthusiasm for shopping ethically has not proved as popular as she hoped.

Some say that although they supported the concept, prices of some products were notably higher than in supermarkets at a time when shoppers are coping with soaring food bills.

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