What is Refillable Shampoo?
A refillable shampoo generally means that when you first buy the product, you are provided with a sustainably made container for your shampoo that is fit for purpose and manufactured to withstand multiple re-uses and refills (hopefully for many years to come).
After this initial purchase, you should be able to buy regular refills that are packaged and delivered in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way. Easy right?
How does it work?
Most brands make the process of buying refillable products very straightforward and some offer flexible subscription options so you can get regular refills of your favourite shampoo delivered straight to your door without even picking up your mobile!
Now that’s my kind of shopping…used wisely, subscriptions can be a great option for customers.
Warning: Too many subscriptions can seriously damage your bank account, particularly if you forget to cancel them before taking out new ones – believe me, I speak from experience!
If no subscription service is available, the company should still provide you with the opportunity to purchase refills with the minimum amount of effort on your part – maybe by registering an account with them for example.
Why should you use refillable shampoo?
Because you want to save the planet, obviously!
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that all refillable brands are truly planet-friendly and not all products are created equal. You may want to do some research and satisfy yourself that your chosen brand fits with your personal values. Amongst the things you need to consider are:
- product ingredients
- the supply chain – e.g. where an ingredient is grown, and how
- the manufacturing process – e.g. does it use animal products
- the treatment of all its employees, at every stage of the process
- its packaging
- delivery methods
- overall carbon footprint – e.g. is it manufactured and shipped halfway around the world before it reaches your door?
- do they give back to communities or charities, or just want every last cent of profit for themselves?
Sadly, you hear the term ‘greenwashing’ a lot and you sometimes need to do a bit of digging around on the internet to see if a company really lives up to its stated green credentials.
So, if you’re looking for effective haircare products that don’t ‘cost the earth’, today is your lucky day because I’ve just done some of the hard work for you!
Introducing Indie Refill
Indie Refill is a brand whose stated mission is to bring you natural haircare products that are cruelty-free, affordable, suitable for all hair types, and that have a positive impact on bathroom waste.
As a vegan, first ensuring that a product is truly cruelty-free and contains no animal products is essential for me. And as a citizen of this fragile world, knowing that a brand lives up to its stated environmental and social values is equally important before I will use it.
Indie Refill definitely ticked all those ‘values’ boxes, so I was very happy to start using their products. You can see my thoughts about their products later in this review.
What is Indie Refill?
Indie Refill offer a range of natural shampoos and conditioners that are suitable for all hair types and conditions.
Committed to reducing the impact of beauty products on the planet, you can first purchase Indie’s Starter Duo, comprising two 500ml refillable aluminium bottles and pumps (filled with your choice of their extensive range of scented shampoos and conditioners).
Indie claim this means you use 99% less plastic than if you purchase traditional shampoo and conditioner products.
For the refills, which come in eco-friendly, plastic-free pouches, Indie offers a flexible subscription service. Alternatively, you can opt for single, one-off purchases if you prefer.
But is it really ‘natural’?
Is Indie Refill a Natural Shampoo?
Yes, it would certainly seem to be.
Indie Refill claim to use 100% natural ingredients and completely reject the use of ‘nasties’ in the form of parabens, sulfates and synthetic fragrances.
Not only that, but all their products are also vegan, cruelty-free and not a single drip of the dreaded palm oil in sight! Can’t be bad…
Do Indie Refill do Refillable Conditioners?
Indie Refill offer a range of conditioners too and fortunately, their refillable bottles have either a large ‘S’ or ‘C’ embossed on them which means they are instantly recognisable as either shampoo or conditioner in the shower!
Importantly, Indie conditioners don’t contain silicone. This means you may experience a short transition period if you have previously relied on silicone-based products (which basically coat each individual hair). The long-term effect however is a positive one because your hair will benefit from the natural oils contained in Indie’s products.
This is explained really clearly on their website and the good news is that they recommend that as well as washing your hair less frequently, you use less conditioner as well – bonus!
What scents do Indie Refill have?
Indie shampoos and conditioners come with a range of scents that also serve to treat various hair types and conditions.
From Argan to Tea Tree, or Cocoa Butter to Moroccan Clay, with 4 different shampoos and 6 different conditioners, you have lots of scents to choose from!
And because they’re made from natural ingredients, they are subtle rather than overpowering and don’t go into mortal combat with your shower gel and perfume!
Where can you buy Indie Refill haircare products?
You can buy Indie Refill Shampoos and Conditioners directly from their online store here.
They offer a flexible subscription service too which offers a discount, meaning that you can save money!
Our Indie Refill Review
What we thought of Indie Refill
Upon receiving the efficient delivery of my Indie Refill Starter Duo, I was immediately impressed with the eco-friendly packaging, and subsequently by the high quality of the refillable bottles. They look like they’re built to last and are clearly marked ‘S’ and ‘C’, so even I won’t get them mixed up in the shower through bleary, soap-filled eyes!
Excited to use the products, I washed and conditioned my hair the next day. I used ‘You’re Gunna Be My Vitamin E’ shampoo and ‘Tea Tree ’Em Mean’ conditioner. They both smelt amazing, under-stated but lovely and in addition to the subtle fragrances, the conditioner had a slight but detectable tingle on application which I loved!
Now I’ll be honest, I started using the products 3 weeks ago and (at the time of writing) am still experiencing that ‘transition period’ Indie refers to, but it is definitely improving. As a regular user of some of those nasties contained in traditional haircare products, I had guessed this was going to be a difficult time!
I am also now taking Indie’s advice about using less conditioner and washing my hair less frequently, and both of those suggestions are having a positive impact.
So, I’m confident this improvement will continue. In comparison to my previous attempts to go ‘cold turkey’ with the chemical cocktails that are regular haircare products, this has been a much better experience and I have found the suggestions that Indie make on their website very useful.
But it also led me to think some more about this whole ‘planet-saving’ thing. I could continue to use traditional products and revel in my shiny, frizz-free hair. But at what cost? And is my conceit going to save the planet? Probably not…
So, I’m sticking with the products that I think might make a difference and that includes the Indie haircare range. I will be setting up my refill subscription very soon, even if it means my hair is a little less shiny. I can live with that.