Meet the couple who want to change the way you shop!

Jul 3, 2020

Meet the new kid on the block, The Refillery, that opened up at Morningside in March this year. For those of you who have yet to visit this amazing concept store or are new to Zero-Waste shopping, at The Refillery you can expect a casual yet stylish, friendly grocer-style feel in a simple, modern, ‘old-school cool’ environment. 

The Refillery is Jo’burgs first zero-waste, Single-Use-Plastic FREE grocery store where you can buy all your pantry staples from flours to superfoods, to cereals, nuts and seeds, beans and pulses, herbs and spices and even chocolates and treats to toiletries, Eco-Friendly cleaning products and loads more. “It’s an experience for sure”.

 Customers are encouraged to B.Y.O jar or containers, purchase glass jars available or make use of the recycled brown paper bags and refill their goods with as little or as much as they want. Weigh and Pay – Its that simple.

Sam and Dom Moleta started The Refillery in March 2019 and is a culmination of a long-held dream for husband and wife team.  Having spent six years working in the yachting industry and opening a hotel in Thailand, the Moletas saw first-hand the impact that single-use-plastic waste has on the oceans and were determined to find a way to make a difference. 

Fast forward to COVID-19 and the the world turning on its head.

It’s been a massive challenge as a small family- owned business to stay afloat, with two small kids, staff pressures and the stress all round, however we do believe The Refillery is a solution for the future. The future that will require a more sustainable option of shopping and eating going forward. Something that is feasible for all income brackets, especially at this time when cash flow is at an all-time low, one can simply buy what they need for right now. Resulting in less food waste, less plastic waste from your usual shopping trips and less waste altogether which is our main goal – ZERO-WASTE-LIVING.

We strongly believe that living a lower-impact lifestyle is exactly what the world needs and although it can be overwhelming at first Sam and Dom have been doing just that for a number of years and have some easy tips to share.

  • First and foremost: be realistic. As the inspiring Bea Johnson says: “we may never reach the zero in Zero Waste but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.”
  • Learn to be a conscious consumer. By simply being aware that what you buy adds to the world’s consumerism problem, you can have a positive effect. 
  • Ban single-use: Choose to re-use what you have, re-invent it, re-purpose it, re-fill it and finally re-cycle it when it comes to the end of its life. 
  • Buy unpackaged fruit and veg. Use only reusable shopping bags – simple but very effective. By shopping at the Refillery you can cut out a huge portion of your plastic and pointless packaging waste.
  • Shop local: Every single item we own has a carbon footprint. Reduce that by not adding shipping. Even better if it’s been used before and is now finding new life instead of going to landfill. Support small businesses that empower people and grow our economy.

Mend things and donate or sell what you no longer use: You don’t have to search far to find charities that are looking for donations. Sell stuff on Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree or at Cash Crusaders and give someone the opportunity to buy second-hand. Donate old books and textbooks to a second-hand bookstore or the library.

Watch what you eat: The commercial food industry is not environmentally friendly so go Flexitarian: Take part in Meat-Free Mondays, add one vegan day into your week, or simply cut out beef. Another eco-tip is to make enough food for leftovers, which will prevent you from having to cook a new meal from scratch every day.

“At The Refillery, we don’t judge you for your lifestyle choices – we don’t care whether you’re into a vegan, organic, flexitarian lifestyle, or are a good old ‘meat and potatoes’ South African, as long as you’re prepared to live with less single-use-plastic and less waste. And we can help you do that.” Says Sam

Their big dreams of becoming a household name are truly becoming a reality. In todays uncertain economic climate, seeing growth like this is such a positive for South Africa and something that South Africans of all ages, races and backgrounds are embracing. 

The best way to describe the Refillery’s views on living are best described by Anne-Marie Bonneau [Piononeer chef of the Zero-Waste movement] “We don’t need a handful of people doing Zero-Waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly”. 

Shop in Store this July and receive a FREE glass jar to start your very own plastic-free pantry. T&C apply.