The Lake Macquarie bulk refill store offering 100% natural beauty, personal care and cleaning products.
We’re all feeling a bit more conscious of how we’re spending our money, and when we do, where that money is going too. Not only that, residents of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie definitely seem to be making more environmentally conscious decisions when it comes to the clothes they wear, the food they eat, and now even the cleaning and self-care products they use.
It’s been incredible to see so many local businesses pop-up across town supporting an eco-conscious life, with one more to add to the list, we think that Community Refill, the Warners Bay based bulk refill store is here to change the game and will be here for quite some time!
Owned and operated by local couple Will and Gabby Magin, and their son, Marlon, Community Refill is the culmination of the young family’s past four years manufacturing and exporting organic goods with their business, Love Beauty Foods.
“The backstory was that we had started manufacturing for a lot of products just at home, making these simple and natural beauty products which became Love Beauty Foods. It started more for ourselves, but when we decided to leave our previous jobs we just made it happen with markets.
“We ended up getting so busy that we decided we needed to rent a place. We got a little warehouse in Wickham. It was pretty small but it gave us that separation from home and work,” Will explained.
Building up the beauty and self-care products part of the business, and with their passion and energy surrounding the eco-movement and cutting down plastic waste and unnecessary packaging, Will decided to start looking at manufacturing products in bulk.
“I came up with the idea of manufacturing products in bulk which we then supplied to other businesses. They would either repackage it themselves with sustainable packaging or people would come along and order the amount they need. We’ve been doing that for about two years now.”
Watching how quickly that took off, with people really wanting that choice of being able to have the least amount of unnecessary packaging, the ideas didn’t stop there.
“I was constantly coming up with ideas on how we can have a bigger impact and offering what we have in either a saleable refillable system through consoles in other people’s stores. But then the opportunity came with this, to trial doing our own thing.”
Doing their own thing is exactly what the young family have decided to do. With exports having a slight pause during the COVID-19 pandemic, it gave them the chance to focus some energy on their new project; Community Refill.
So, what exactly is Community Refill?
“To offer a community minded hub which offers locally made, healthy, non-toxic products and all be refillable from our shop and online (shipped locally) to create a more circular system which doesn’t rely on excessive packaging that is thrown away when the product runs out.”
Just last year, they completed the rigorous audit process of becoming a certified organic manufacturing facility with Australian Organic and are also in the process of becoming a B Corp Certified company. This means the team will work alongside B Corp Australia to meet their social and environmental responsibility requirements.
When you drop by the Warner’s Bay retail space, not only are you able to pick and choose the size and amounts of each of their products, you’re also buying it knowing it was made only a few short steps away from where you’re picking it up. That’s right, their entire production line is out the back of the retail space; sneak a glance behind the counter and you might even catch a glimpse of them working their magic.
“Our store has been designed for you to refill your used bottles, jars & containers or shop using our reusable and recyclable glass jars and paper bags. By selling direct we have cut out a lot of the middle man costs which often and sadly drives up the price of good quality natural products making them unaffordable for some of the community and also reduces the ‘product miles’ (how far a product has travelled from manufacturing to get to the consumer) to zero making it a far more sustainable way to shop.”
Shoppers can currently explore their range which includes castile soap, bath salts, face masks, laundry, and dishwashing powder, loose leaf teas, body wash, essential oils, cleaning vinegar, hand sanitiser, toothpaste, face scrubs,
They also stock a range of organic products for you to create your own at-home products including rose petals, lavender flowers, wheatgrass extract, rose petal extract, turmeric, lemon myrtle extract, activated coconut charcoal, cacao extract, soy wax, cacao butter, shea butter, candelilla wax, mango butter, arrowroot, tapioca starch, citric acid, sunflower oil, extra virgin olive oil, clay, and so much more.
Whilst it’s all well and good to have these, you’re all probably thinking, but how do I make my own products? Well, the team are one step ahead with their infographic DIY 'recipe' cards.
“We want to be the go-to hub in Newcastle for people that want to make their own products. A lot of people will want to come in and buy one of our ready-made products, but there is something nice about deconstructing what’s going into your everyday products.
“It’s empowering to know exactly what is in the products, the purity of the ingredients and to make something yourself. The movement to slow down and make products is growing and it’s really educational to deconstruct what goes into products; selecting only the ingredients that are beneficial.
Already making waves in the local area; Will, Gabby and the rest of the Community Refill team have developed a circular refill system; to be used in hospitality, hotels, spas, and salons as well as Airbnbs. If you're a local business interested in learning more, click here.
For those that love an online shop, you'll be glad to hear the entire range is available online and will be either delivered by their carbon offset delivery van or you can choose to swing by to pick-up yourself.
Take a step closer in becoming more environmentally conscious and swing by the local eco-friendly retail space; Community Refill.