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Meet the makers of Kamloops' first zero-waste 'refillery'

From left to right: Lindsay Allan, Jennifer Norman and Kirsten Ali, the women behind the first zero-waste store to come to Kamloops.
October 23, 2019 - 5:30 PM

When three women noticed Kamloops was missing something - a store that has zero packaging — they knew they'd have to work together to make it happen.

Now Lindsay Allan, Jennifer Norman and Kirsten Ali have come together to bring a waste-free ‘refillery’ to Kamloops by early 2020.

The trio will offer sustainably sourced and package free kitchen essentials and body care products, while offering workshops and information sessions on living a waste-free life.

Ali and Allan met while studying to be occupational therapists in Vancouver, where the two took advantage of the zero-waste opportunities in the big city. Now that they work together in Kamloops, they find themselves using a trip to Vancouver as an excuse to fill up their jars and containers.

“There were a lot of opportunities to incorporate that lifestyle quite easily… I found myself taking my containers back to Vancouver every time I went there and refiling them, and I thought, ‘What the heck, Kamloops needs one of these stores,’” Allan says. “That’s when I approached Kirsten.”

Little did Allan know, but her friend already had plans in motion for such a store. Ali and her neighbour, Norman, had already tried to open a few businesses focused on sustainability and DIY workshops, but their other ideas never came to fruition. With Fillosophy, they are on track and eager to open their doors by early next year.

“A couple of other times we’ve had roadblocks but this time it’s pretty affirming that this is the right thing,” Norman says. “I think the universe plays a huge part in your journey and your decision when you listen really carefully.”

Each of the women has a personal passion for organic, natural, and sustainable products, and they say they will carry products that align with those values. They will have products such as shampoo, conditioner, body care, dish and laundry soap, oils, vinegar, vegan food items and will include more as they get feedback from the community. They will also offer information sessions and workshops at the location.

“We’re going to be hosting a lot of workshops, DIY workshops on everything from how to make your own kombucha to how to make your own soap, just to help people become more sustainable in their lives,” Ali says.

The women want to avoid unnecessary sales of reusable bags and containers, and say they will offer free sanitized jars to those who may have forgot their own.



ABOUT US: We are a team of three professional women (including a full time mother of three and two health professionals ??‍?? ) with a shared vision of bringing conscious and sustainable options to our region. Fillosophy is built on our love of community and the environment. We strive to create a space where everyone feels welcome, regardless of who you are and where you are along the zero waste journey— we’ve got your back! . . YOUR OPINIONS MATTER! As we work hard behind the scenes to fulfill our vision, leave us a comment to let us know what products you hope to see and what types of workshops you’d like to attend. If you are a local producer and believe our goals are aligned, we want to hear from you! . . #zerowaste #zerowastemarket #bethechange #sustainableliving #ecomarket #refillery #thinkgreen #kamloops #explorekamloops #barriere #salmonarm #merritt #tobiano #chasebc #thinklocal #supportlocal #bulkshopping #zerowasteshopping #zerowasteliving #locallymade #community #reducereuserecycle #womeninbusiness #tourismkamloops #kamloopsmatters #cjfc #kamloopsthisweek

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All three of the women are familiar with the zero or low-waste lifestyle and say although it could sound daunting for some, small daily switches can help one lead a life with less waste.

“It’s about the choices you make as a consumer and your mindset going into things and that’s why we chose to name the company what we named it, Fillosophy, because we really want to embody that it’s what you do and how you think… if each one of us uses our dollar as our vote, then change can happen from the bottom up,” Ali says.

Five years ago, Norman left her big house in Calgary and a job in the oil and gas industry to live a minimalist life in a Kamloops trailer park with her husband and three children. Although the family has a house again, she still aims to keep their environmental footprint low.

“There’s only a pocket of people who are going to need convincing, and I think it’s kind of our age, especially moms,” Norman says. “But the older generation dealt with a plastic-free life… it was doable then, and it’s doable now.”

The trio is in the process of signing a lease and is hesitant to share the location of the store, but they say accessibility and parking are two key factors in deciding the location.

“We just want people to know this is something we’re really passionate about and we want to make it really easy and accessible for people who want to come in,” Allan says. “That’s what it’s all about.”

The women say they have visited nearly every zero-waste store in B.C. and Alberta, and have received helpful pointers from other owners who are eager to expand the waste-free movement.

The group is working with suppliers to ensure they keep waste as minimal as possible during preparation and transport. 

The trio agrees that local Kamloops based suppliers will be sought after first, and then they will expand outwards as need be. They are open to finding suppliers as well as experts who would be willing to lead workshops or information sessions.

If you want to find out more or get involved with Fillosophy, click here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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