Have you noticed how many of your soaps and detergents have “water” listed as their first ingredient? Founder of Replenish, Jason Foster, did. While ironing his shirts, Foster noticed that the can of ironing spray had water as the main ingredient (~90%) while the remaining amount was the actual chemicals and components that made up the ironing spray. His motive was to make a more sustainable way to continue using these products, but not having to pay or ship these products in large containers simply because of the water they hold. His brainstorming lead to Replenish.
The idea of Replenish is to reduce made by non-reusable plastic bottles that hold our detergents and are thrown away once empty. According to statistics listed on Replenish’s website, “only 13% of the 60 million pounds of plastic discarded annually is recycled”. Replenish has created a formula of “Smart Packaging” that has the same spray bottle design but has a detachable bottom (seen below).
The packs of detergent contain the active ingredients that hold concentrated amounts of the 10% active ingredients seen in commercial detergent bottles. The bottle is reusable, and the packs are uncapped, screw into the bottom. The bottle is then turned over and the detergent is squeezed into a “measuring cup”, then water is added!
Most pods can refill the bottle about 3 times, which saves a vast amount of money and waste that would have accumulated if the same product was bought at a commercial level and the containers were thrown away after just one use. The Replenish CleanPath Products contain All Purpose Cleaner, Bathroom Cleaner, Glass Cleaner, Hand Soaps and Sanitizers, and Replacement Bottles.
A product like this could be attributed to Weisberg’s understanding that creative thinking is a form of problem solving. Jason Foster went beyond analogical thought transfer: seeing a situation, relating it back to a past experience, and transferring it to the new problem. His thought process for Replenish took an old idea of using a concentrated form of powders, juices in the food industry and applying it to household supplies. In an interview, Foster explains that part of his creativity was sparked by the use of concentrated powders by Crystal Light that could be mixed with water from home to make their drinks. Instead of applying what he saw from the food industry to another food product, he looked at concentrating detergents that were over 90% water. His motivation is also intrinsic: he has hope and a desire to make a difference in the world. Foster encourages other companies to adopt the idea of concentrated detergents that can be filled with water at home to reduce the detrimental effects of using plastic and increase the satisfaction of customers when they are receiving the same products (essentially) for less.
I checked out how much the items cost, the replacement bottles are FREE! And the refills are all around $13 with shipping around $3. The refills come with 4 pods, multiplied that each pod gives 3 “bottles” for a total of 12 “bottles”, making the cost of each “bottle” around $1 without looking at shipping. Cheap and sustainable! Sadly the refills are out of stock, but there is a mailing list for when they come back in stock. I definitely recommend trying this product out since the mission of this product is sustainability and many have access to water that can be used to form the detergents we need.