Successful launch of Kelowna refillery leads to first ever Kamloops location - InfoNews

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Successful launch of Kelowna refillery leads to first ever Kamloops location

The store in Kelowna features products for cleaning, body and hair care, food, baby items and more.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Jennifer Norman
June 28, 2020 - 7:00 AM

Kamloops is soon to see their very first eco-friendly refillery, following on the heels of a recently launched sister store in Kelowna.

Jennifer Norman has spent months curating the online store with low-waste and eco-friendly items and is now moving from clicks to bricks. She opened Our Footprints Co. in Kelowna on May 1, and although there is a loyal customer base from the previous store, she says there have been difficulties launching in the midst of a pandemic.

“I’ve built up a pretty loyal customer base and people really seem to love this store. In that aspect it’s good but I think to launch at any other time it would’ve been more ideal than during (the COVID pandemic),” Norman says.

“I usually only let two or three people in the store at a time and then there are line ups outside and people just leave. In a normal environment you would never have to turn customers away from coming in, so that’s kind of disheartening but it's just par for the course right now.”

Despite the difficulties of opening a store during a pandemic, she says people are jumping on the eco-conscious movement.

“I think the low-waste movement was really steaming ahead and people have been saddened by the effects of the pandemic, the disposable gloves and disposable masks and back to plastic bags. It’s been really disheartening for people and I feel like people have been trying more than ever to come in and refill and do what they can where they can,” Norman says.

The website for Our Footprints Co. features more than 800 low-waste and eco-conscious products like kitchenwares, hair and body products, containers, baby items and various cleaning supplies. Norman says she tries to source from Kamloops and regional producers as often as possible, but she also has started to add products sourced from around the world.

Norman notes that very few of the online sales have been from the local region, but she has been shipping orders to Ontario, Vancouver, the Northwest Territories, the United States and Spain. Despite that, she signed the lease for a brick and mortar store in downtown Kamloops and looks forward to opening by August.

She says her store differs from traditional zero-waste stores as she includes a far wider range of products aimed at those who may be new to the movement.

“People who would shop at a zero-waste store are already zero wasters. They already know about the products, they know what they’re looking for… I’m not a zero-waste store and I don’t use that term because I like to reach more of a wider demographic and I want to be relatable and approachable to people who are curious about it or just want to get started."

You can visit the store in Kelowna at 438 Lawrence Ave. If you can’t get to Kelowna to shop, visit the website here to order products.

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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