Vancouver-based cleaning and personal care refills at Greenworks

I have in the past Googled Greenworks Building Supply to see if it has anything to do with the Green Works brand I see in theĀ  London Drugs aisles all of the time, as I walk by the Greenworks building all of the time.

Recently, I noticed this sandwich board being displayed outside. And it took walking by it a couple of times for me to have the opportunity to inquire about the details and brands.

I took the following photos with terrible glare but have reproduced some of it below when I did my “research” into the companies. For starters, Greenworks has information on its Refill page.

They seem to be sourcing from mostly local companies: Nelson, BC-based Nelson Naturals (toothpaste), North Vancouver-based Carina Organics (shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, baby products), and Coquitlam-based Live For Tomorrow (LFT) (hand soap, laundry, dish soap, cleaners). The other company they source from is Canadian – Montreal-based – and is The Unscented Company.

I’ve been maintaining a spreadsheet about bulk products – foods, personal care and cleaning – with prices I’ve gleaned from Bulk Barn, Save On, the cost of refills for large companies, and The Soap Dispensary some 30 blocks away and now Greenworks two blocks away from me. Because The Soap Dispensary is 30 blocks away, I haven’t made a “refill trip” yet and looking at Greenworks’ offering and prices, it’s draw with no clear winner.

On something easy to compare – The Soap Dispenary and Greenworks both carry Carina Organics shampoo – the former is charging $2.50/100 g while the Greenworks price is $3.60/100 g. I don’t know how many grams my 500 mL refill bottle will hold but it is 44% more expensive to shop in my hood, at a smaller refill operation. It’s also about perceived value, too. If shampoo is so dense that 300 mL of it is like $8 at Greenworks and $5.55 at The Soap Dispensary and I have to sigh and let go of getting big brands on discount for $2.99, then I’ll go to The Soap Dispensary thereafter.

You can also see that in the categories where they carry local LFT and The Unscented Company version, Unscented appears to cost half the price per 100 g which doesn’t encourage me to try the local brand first.

So I’ll end up with my first refills and trying out the brands from Greenworks and then maybe keep up the habit at The Soap Dispensary. Even purchasing The Unscented Company at Greenworks, I’m patronizing a business in my neighbourhood, refilling from a Canadian company (cf Method), and reducing plastic waste. Go me.

On this day..