How Brittney La Gesses’s new store Refill Revolution is leading the charge to help Boulder reduce waste.
Brittney La Gesse is doing things differently. Inspired by the zero-waste movement, La Gesse has opened Refill Revolution, a Boulder store specifically created to spread the message that reducing waste is not only essential but easy and accessible.
Drawn to Boulder because of the beautiful outdoors, La Gesse moved from Wisconsin two years ago to enroll in a herbalist program. Once here, however, she quickly found herself drawn into the zero-waste movement. Instagram influencers like @bezerowastegirl inspire her, and, as La Gesse states, “once you know, there’s no going back.” Her path pivoted, and the seeds for Refill Revolution got planted.
La Gesse began with a tent at Louisville’s summer street fair before launching a full-service website. She wanted to bring awareness to the movement, and to take the temperature of the public to determine whether or not a brick-and-mortar store was feasible. She found that interest was high, and Refill Revolution’s doors officially opened in October 2017.
Within the bright, airy walls of the store, customers will find a broad range of all-natural products. From laundry detergent and essential oils to vintage goods and pet supplies—Refill Revolution offers it all. And, just as the name implies, customers can bring in their bottles from home—even an old pickle jar will do—to fill up with the product of their choice. No jars on hand? The store also sells a wide range of starter containers, which are endlessly refilled. Either way, no containers end up in the trash. In fact, La Gesse only sells products that won’t end up in landfills; even products that are not necessarily reusable must be sustainably packaged. Chapstick, for example, is wrapped in biodegradable tubes.
Though many Boulderites are keen on making eco-friendly choices and buying organic food, La Gesse points out that there is still a “disconnect.” People need to consider not just what they buy, but how it is packaged. Her goal is to get people to ask the question: where does this come from? When I’m finished where will it go? While many are intimidated by the zero-waste movement, La Gesse wants to make it clear that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. As she explains, “we are going to make trash—it’s impossible not to—the goal is simply to make less.”
In her quest to reduce waste, La Gesse began by doing a few simple things. As she notes, “Small choices make a big impact”—and Refill Revolution is the perfect place to start.