The Refill Mill opened its doors in Mullingar in 2020 after Eibhlin Fitzpatrick returned from her travels abroad – where she saw how people in other countries were living zero waste lives.
The Tyrellspass woman had travelled around Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and London and it was during these travels that she noticed how others were responding to the climate crisis by being thrifty, recycling and upcycling and shopping in zero-waste shops.
It was a revelation to her!
On landing home to her beloved Westmeath, Eibhlin set about opening The Refill Mill and establishing a supportive, creative, sustainable community that would seek to reduce waste and boost Ireland’s circular economy.
We may all want to move away from fast fashion and the sea of plastic in our groceries but just where do we start? It can feel overwhelming.
One small change at a time – Eibhlin says. We are not looking for perfection, if we all make small changes, it could have a massive impact.
The only thing we should throw away is our throw-away culture. Isn’t it time we learn to repair, to value and keep what can be used again?
We are all sick of plastic packaging, and we are fed up with feeling like there’s nothing we can do to change it.
There is another way
Recycling is no longer a solution as too much of our recycling is just being exported with fossil fuels being used in that process.
Buying from a refill store will help you cut down your waste – one customer says she and her family of five now only put out their bins every six weeks!
Whether buying in store or online, the award-winning Refill Mill has a great range of pantry items and dry food, cleaning and laundry refills and sustainable cosmetics and refills.
Eibhlin says the bathroom is the easiest place to make immediate, substantial changes.
When it comes to periods, plastic-free is the future and many women (especially teenagers) are adapting to reusable menstrual products.
The Refill Mill’s ethos is set around supporting Irish producers too – which Eibhlin does with bamboo toothbrushes from Milton Pass, soaps from Westmeath and Kildare and toothpaste from Clare.
So many of us feel plastic-use guilt and climate anxiety but making small changes in the direction of a sustainable lifestyle can help us feel a bit better about our consumer behaviour.
Minor changes can make a significant impact
Eibhlin says she was raised in an average Irish home and was guilty of doing the many things we all did, like buying paper plates in college to save on doing the washing up. Yikes!
The Refill Mill, which won Leinster 2021 Eco Retailer of the Year, provides quality, affordable and sustainable products to help you start your zero-waste journey.
You will appreciate your products more and connect on a deeper level with the environment, knowing that you’re doing your bit to help. Many people find that when they start to make little changes, they become more creative and consider repairing items instead of throwing things out.
We all have that aspiration to live better!
Climate change has been a scientific reality for decades, but we are feeling the effects of what is now a climate crisis. Ireland is not exempt from this.
Let’s make steps together towards living more sustainably and be part of a community of like-minded people.
It’s more than a store – it’s a sustainable community!!
I’m Eibhlin, an Eco enthusiast from Westmeath and the founder of The Refill Mill.
After finishing college I went travelling for a few years. While living abroad, I began to open my eyes to the amount of rubbish we produce every day and the impact it is having on our planet. I decided that something needed to change.
I began to make small changes in my everyday life and before I knew it I was hooked. I get a thrill every time I find a new way to reduce the amount of waste I create. Upon coming home to Mullingar, I became frustrated with how difficult it can be to implement these changes and so, The Refill Mill was born.
The idea behind The Refill Mill is to promote sustainable living for all. I want to make it easy for everyone to make little changes that can really help the environment. I’ve set up this website with nationwide shipping and opened a shop on Austin Friars St, Mullingar to give people a plastic free option in their weekly grocery shopping.
I want to empower you by giving you the opportunity to ditch plastic and make a positive impact on the earth with your everyday choices.
Follow my blog and social media for some tips or a chinwag. I hope to see you soon!