Staunton Women Open Store to Offer Plastic-Free Alternatives
STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) - Two moms in Staunton are filling a community need with a new store that officially opens on Saturday, June 1.
It's all because Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County announced plastic recycling is suspended due to a lack of markets.
“I was like, ‘well, what am I supposed to do with everything?’” Cassy Whitacre, co-owner of RefillRenew, said.
“I was really disappointed,” Mandy Drumheller, co-founder of RefillRenew, added.
When plastic recycling ended April 1 in Staunton, Cassy Whitacre and Mandy Drumheller realized just how many products they bought were wrapped in plastic.
They searched for alternatives, but they didn’t have much luck.
“Maybe I can buy that in glass, maybe I can buy that in paper, and we just didn't find very many,” Whitacre said.
By April 10, the two friends were in business together.
“Got an LLC and then a business license and then we started pricing products,” Drumheller said.
Their company is called RefillRenew, and their mission is to make a low-waste lifestyle accessible to more people.
“This was our solution to the challenge that we were all facing when we couldn't recycle plastic anymore,” Whitacre said.
Their business’s new permanent home near downtown Staunton offers a variety of plastic-free alternatives.
“We've really worked hard to kind of scour the internet and find all kinds of cool vendors and cool products,” Whitacre said.
They offer a variety of items like local, homemade soaps, shampoo bars, aluminum straws, bamboo toothbrushes, deodorant, and more.
They also offer a variety of refillables, including some name-brands items.
“Bring your own shampoo bottles, your own dish detergent bottles, and we'll weigh it first,” Drumheller said. “Then you fill with whatever product you would like to put in there and we'll weigh again so you only pay for the product that you're buying.”
Whitacre and Drumheller recognize it's a big lifestyle change, but they say RefillRenew is here to help.
“Anybody can come in here and find a few simple things that they could do to swap out plastic use for something that's reusable or refillable,” Whitacre said.
“When we think about our daughters growing up in a world where tons of single-use plastic, it hurts your soul,” Drumheller said. “So we're doing this to make a difference - to start in our own community.
Whitacre and Drumheller are continuing to add more products to their store, and they welcome feedback from people so they know what kinds of products are in demand.
RefillRenew officially opens its doors on Saturday at 9 a.m. and will close for the day at 4 p.m.
It'll be back open on Wednesday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.