Last week, we had a customer come into the store looking for personal care refills for the shower. As she saw our dozen+ types of shampoos and conditioners, she said, "Soooo which ones don't use bad ingredients?"
By "bad ingredients", she meant phthalates, parabens, fragrance, and any of the other things that most cosmetics companies will put into the product to make them lather better, smell a certain way, or survive on your shelf through the apocalypse. These ingredients, without any regulation, are allowed in whatever products companies want to make and sell us for use on our skin. Many times, they are carcinogenic, skin or eye or lung irritants, or contribute to water toxicity as they wash down your drain and into our water treatment plant (or greywater, or groundwater, or bay). So when it comes to personal care, it's just as important (if not more) to read the ingredients than it is for your food.
This was one of the most fun things I have been able to tell a customer, though. She understood the importance of ingredients as well as the packaging, and the amount of work that should go into choosing new products to make sure that it's not carcinogenic or toxic and to make sure that any claims are not just greenwashing. So when we told her that all of the personal care in our store are free of phthalates, parabens, toxic fragrance or preservatives, we got to say, "That's OUR job. We do the research and the homework to ensure that the things you are refilling don't contain those ingredients."
Byrd's Filling Station was created because ensuring that our dollars supported sustainable brands was HARD. It was nearly impossible to find a store that could pull together products with good packaging AND good ingredients... even when you found good ingredients, that product often came packaged up in plastics that pollute at all phases of their life cycle. We didn't want it to be so hard.
When you shop with us, you can be comfortable that we have done the homework. Ask us about a product - we'll explain why it's in the store, what it does, and why it's better than what you'd find in a Big Box store to do the same thing. In a hurry and don't have time to ask? No worries - plenty of time to learn (through our website, our newsletters, our blog, vendor events, or chatting with us in-store) in the future without feeling like you're missing something bad. Finding great sustainable products isn't always simple... but it doesn't have to be so hard. We want to show that Zero Waste can be easy, when companies and individuals work together to make it so!