When Jenise Lamoureux took over Revelstoke’s Forage & Fill, she was getting into a business that aligned closely to another venture she’d already created.
“I have a background in accounting,” says Lamoureux. “But I also helped create an online platform called Thuja, that rates and verifies companies that claim to be sustainable, so people can rest assured the brands they support are held accountable to those claims.”
On Feb. 1, Lamoureux took over Forage & Fill, which offers the community a conscious consumer experience, through three main components – refillery, reduced-waste lifestyle and consignment clothing.
The in-store refillery component offers bathroom, cleaning and personal products that are natural and biodegradable, with no synthetic fragrances.
What Lamoureux is most excited about is the implementation of the S.C.A.P. program (Sustainable and Circular Accommodation Program.)
“Seventy per cent of tourists today are looking for more sustainable accommodations,” Lamoureux says. “So we decided to offer a solution to that need! It’s something I would love to see when I travel, so why not create it where I live.
“We provide refill stations to our partnered locations that will last up to six months. When the location is running low, they simply get in touch, we pick up, refill, and drop. It’s an entirely closed loop system.”
Forage & Fill’s zero-waste boutique provides waste conscious shoppers products like compostable flossers, glass bottles and jars, hemp phone cases and personal hygiene products in 3D-printed containers made from recycled Canadian plastic.
“The products we carry are all designed to replace something disposable from your life, or they’ve been created from recycled materials,” Lamoureux says.
The consignment clothing part of the shop provides members of the community with the opportunity to sell their unneeded items.
“With the fashion industry wreaking havoc on the environment, buying secondhand is so important, and the most sustainable way to shop, aside from not shopping at all,” Lamoureux says. “We’re the only place in town that does this, so it’s also nice to give people the option of making a little money off unwanted clothes, rather than donating them. It’s actually our biggest seller, so we’ve recently expanded our floor space to meet the demand!”
Lamoureux says she understands people’s perception of the zero waste and refillery industry being trendy or in style, but she points to the many benefits it holds for the environment.
“Yes, zero-waste products inherently cost more to produce than conventional products, but the hidden costs of continuing on with the volume of single-use plastic we consume along with the ingredients is unsustainable,” she says. “It’s staggering to think how often we buy single use plastic bottles of soap, shampoo, detergents. But it’s also wonderful to realize how much having a refillery service in a community can reduce this.”
“Our goal is to reframe it so we see it as a valuable resource for shifting and moving in a direction that reduces our impact on the world.”