If you’re sick of seeing used packaging piling up in your garbage can, you’ll probably rejoice over the new soap refill shop in Haiku. Sutton Healy, who owns the ‘Aina Ola Soap Refill Shop, was looking to create a business that contributed to the ecological health of the island by finding a better way to deal with growing numbers of plastic containers clogging our landfills. Sutton opened the shop last December, but will host a grand opening on Feb. 4 from 3pm to sunset.
“I believe it’s not only tree huggers who are now well aware of the issues we have caused by over-consumption, over-packaging and over-use of plastic,” says Healy. “I am simply providing an alternative for the individuals who get annoyed every time they finish a product in a plastic container and realize they can only recycle it or throw it away. Now they can reuse it to fill up on soap.”
‘Aina Ola carries “Earth Friendly Products,” a brand of nontoxic and neutral pH cleaning products in laundry, dish and hand soaps. They also sell smaller, reusable containers made of PET plastic for $1 to $2. Otherwise, bring whatever container you like and fill it with their quality soaps.
In fact, they have a tree mural at the store that gets a new leaf painted on every time they refill a bottle. Healy says they have a little over 50 right now.
Most of their products come unscented or in a variety of scents. ECOS laundry soap is their most popular item, and comes in magnolia lily, lavender, lemongrass and free & clear scents. They charge by the liquid ounce and prices range from $0.12/oz to $0.27/oz, depending on the product.
They even deliver if the order is $40 or more, and will also drop off full containers and pick up empties for refilling. Healy says Upcountry Fitness was the first business to subscribe to the drop-off and pick-up service, and they’re currently looking for vacation rentals and other local businesses to participate as well.
“I am not going to say I am an environmentalist,” Healy says. “However, I am a consumer who sees a big problem in the excessive packaging of products that is causing our planet to suffer. I am also a mom of three boys and I only wish they can have what I had growing up in nature without any concern for the future.”