VIBES Award: Good Practice Case Study


  • Developed a Return, Refill, Repeat (RRR) system that can be applied to a range of FMCG products.
  • Worked with ZWS and Ricardo Consultants to fully understand the impacts of RRR.
  • 96% of RRR users would purchase again from a refill station.
  • BCorp certified, 5th highest scoring in the UK.
  • Cradle to Cradle certified.
Download the winners' story

Based in Wishaw, Beauty Kitchen are suppliers of natural and sustainable beauty products to well-known high street stores across the UK. In a bid to minimise packaging and to pioneer change towards a circular economy, Beauty Kitchen have developed a Return, Refill, Repeat (RRR) system where consumers can send back their packaging, which is in turn washed and reused.

The RRR system includes Smart Bottles, innovative design, advanced technology, detailed processes, integrated business models & supply chains.

Beauty Kitchen have developed RRR to actively contribute to the delivery of Net Zero and all four UK Plastic Pact’s targets:

  1. Eliminate unnecessary, single-use, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) packaging through reuse, refill, QR tracking and safe washing;
  2. Develop reusable, refillable and washable packaging (including new washable plastic bottles) and systems;
  3. Engage consumers, brands and retailers to make it easier to change behaviour therefore contributing to increased recycling of packaging by retaining ownership and ensuring most effective disposal after reuse;
  4. Contribute to increased recycled content across its packaging;

To fully understand the environmental impacts of RRR, Beauty Kitchen have worked with Zero Waste Scotland and Ricardo Consultants to investigate the feasibility of industrial washing and to develop a carbon footprint model for reuse. The report found that the RRR service was preferable to aluminum/glass single use and to plastic single use.

A separate report into the impacts of RRR, carried out by Greenpeace, estimated that 1 RRR refill station with 2000 customers per year could save 78,000 pieces of single use plastic. Increasing the number of refill stations to 2000, saves around 156 million pieces of single use plastic.

To encourage retailers and consumers to change behaviour Beauty Kitchen offer the core business models, Refill Station and Prefills for free. This ensure consumers are engaged & retained whilst the need for range with limited space is met. It enables brands to improve their practices and to help retailers implement the change demanded by consumers.

Beauty Kitchen have successfully piloted their ‘Advanced Refill Stations’ with Unilever and ASDA. Consumer feedback identified that 95% rated their refill station experience as “Good” or “Very Good” and 96% stated that they would repurchase from the refill station.

The company now has agreements in place with major global brands and retailers, with beauty brand Elemis the latest partner to be announced. Beauty Kitchen are Certified BCorp, the 5th highest scoring in the UK & in the top 5% in the world. BCorp certification means that the company meets the highest standards of verified social & environmental performance, public transparency, legal accountability to balance profit & purpose.

This includes employing local people (40% from within 3 miles) and paying the real Living wage, working towards an inclusive economy which creates opportunities for people of all backgrounds & experience.

Beauty Kitchen give 2% of their overall sales to charities and each employee is given 4 days per year to volunteer for charity work.