Welcome to The Refillution

Ace of Air

With sustainability a growing concern and focus for all businesses, we’re helping brands to strategise by highlighting the most inspiring and actionable examples from across the product design industries. Our monthly report, the WGSN Sustainability Bulletin, brings data-led, cross-industry insight into global sustainability progress and consumer priorities to help clients make better decisions, for your brand and the planet. This month, The Refillution is in the spotlight.

Circular Brands are on the Rise

Refillable systems are impacting the packaging industry at an impressive rate. Applicable to the beauty, food and drink and home industries, refillable packaging solutions tap into a growing consumer desire to reduce and limit daily waste. According to WGSN social media data, conversations around refill solutions continue to grow on social media across multiple industries, showing the fastest growth within beauty (+1.8ppts YoY to 4.5% penetration in January 2021).

“The tumultuous start to the decade has really kickstarted the Refillution, galvanising both businesses and consumers to take positive action. It’s very much about taking the 3Rs beyond in-store refill-recycle, and adopting alternative systems, services and product formats that make sustainability simple and easy for the consumer, even if it means taking it to their front door. “

– Clare Varga, Head of WGSN Beauty 

February has seen numerous refillable innovations emerge.  Ace of Air is a circular beauty brand where consumers ‘buy the product and borrow the packaging.’ Customers receive their products in a Boomerang Box that they send back to the brand filled with the empty packs. 

Refillable Systems Gain Traction

Christian Dior

Dior has launched an aluminium refill system for its men’s fragrance Sauvage, while Biotherm now offers an in-store refill system for its Life Plankton Elixir Blue Fountain skincare. The three-step process uses filtered air and sterilised UV light to clean packs. Each bottle is embossed with a wave motif to indicate the number of refills.

Nostalgic Formats are Redesigned

At the digital Stockholm Light & Furniture Fair 2021, designers Agnes Svensson & Sofia Lykke Saxbøl showed a concept called TRÅD. The design is a metal wire crate, designed to support a circular system for glass bottles. Empty bottles would be placed in the crate and taken to be refilled, emulating a traditional milkman delivery system.


Want to know more about the sustainable initiatives and actions that led this month? Download the WGSN Sustainability Bulletin: March 2021 right here. If you’re not a subscriber, request a site demo here

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