It’s no secret: as a society we have a giant waste problem. Every year, humans consume far more resources than our earth can regenerate, and we’re consuming faster and faster every year. Plastic chunks have even been found near the North Pole! Fortunately, there are lots of ways to reduce your impact. And a new refill shop in Asbury Park is making it even easier- and keeping it cruelty free, to boot!
Unwrapped is a unique shop and the first of its kind at the Jersey Shore. After having a summer spot at the farmer’s market, Unwrapped found a permanent home downstairs in the Shoppes at the Arcade. Here, nothing is wrapped in plastic packaging and nothing goes to waste. All the products are cruelty free, and the vast majority are vegan.
But, what exactly is a refill shop? Well, you know the bulk dry-goods section at Whole Foods? It’s basically like that, but instead of food you’ll find home and personal products like laundry detergent and dish soaps, shampoo and conditioner, lotion and lots more. It’s sold by weight so you can purchase as much or as little as you’d like- or even buy a trial size! Pretty neat, huh?
Customers can bring their own containers or upcycle one from their collection. I brought quart mason jars and a spray bottle for all-purpose cleaner
Owner Sarah Devin said all her products are cruelty free, and many are Leaping Bunny certified. The non-vegan products are so few that I could count them on one hand, and she carries vegan-friendly alternatives to them, such as vegan ‘bees wraps’ and bamboo dental floss.
The prices are comparable to similar natural or organic products like you’d find at Whole Foods, so they’re not necessarily cheap. But they are quality products from a small-business that you can feel damn good about supporting. Plus, they have a loyalty program where you get $1 back for every $10 you spend, and sometimes they have sales or promotions on certain products.
When you stop in you’ll likely have the pleasure to meet Shady, Sarah’s seven year old rescued greyhound, who sleeps in a bed outside the door showing off her painted nail polish. An ex-racing greyhound, Shady now enjoys being spoiled and running only when she wants to. And by the way, Unwrapped carries pet care products as well!
Not sure where to start in your low-waste shopping, or just want to dip your toe in for now? Start by choosing one home or personal care item and swap it out for an alternative. I would suggest getting a multi-purpose liquid cleaner or Castile soap. Unwrapped carries some that are highly concentrated so you get a lot of bang for your buck, plus you can use it almost everywhere you clean.
Or, just stop in to chat with Sarah. She’s passionate, knowledgeable, and happy to help you on your journey to a lower-waste, vegan lifestyle!