The Den Refillery
Ucluelet, Vancouver Island/Coast
In Business Since 2019
The Den Refillery
Ucluelet, Vancouver Island/Coast
The Den Refillery, owned by 2 young women entrepreneurs, began it's journey to educate and implement sustainable practices in the Pacific Rim region in 2019. Fast Forwards a few year, and their impact has grown from their small brick-and-motor store, to servicing not only the local community, but have succeeded to on-board 18 hotels/resorts, over 40 bnb's, 2 mini-den's, and created S.C.A.P ! The Den brick-and-motor store is a sustainable goods haven, offering their local community & the hospitality industry circular systems to become zero waste via toxic-free, all natural bath & cleaning products. Since opening the first refillery in the Pacific Rim Region, the team at The Den Refillery has been able to divert over 1 M single use plastics from their local landfill & remove over 30 000 litres of toxic products from entering the ocean thus far. And the journey continues! With the success of SCAP in the pacific rim region, The Den has been offering consulting to other refilleries looking to expand S.C.A.P into their hospitality markets and help further the collective mission of accessible sustainability. What is S.C.A.P? We created "The Den's Sustainable and Circular Accommodation Program" [S.C.A.P.] in 2022. This program is a stamp of pride and transparency for the hospitality industry. It is a road map designed for hotels, motels and vacation rentals to continue improving their sustainability score. It is The Den's intention that this program becomes recognized in the eyes of tourists who seek to travel mindfully. The Den Refillery is located in the traditional territory of the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ (Ucluelet) First Nation, BC.
Business Impact Award
Tell Us Your Story. What motivated you to start your business? Why are you passionate about what you do?
Friends and business partners, Kristen & Diane, began The Den's journey before it was what is known as today. The Den started as a sustainable store & Diane's art studio, offering goods, art and creative office space for rent. When Kristen was splitting her time in Panama & Canada, she would surf a point break, and after catching a wave, she would walk back to the peak, picking up trash along the way...every single time. it was always the same items being collected ; bottle caps, plastic containers, toothbrushes, flip flops, etc. When returning to Canada, she had a strong feeling that she needed to do something larger than her attempts at beach cleans. Diane had previously owned a fashion retail store and felt out of alinement with the waste behind the industry. As an artists, she works with sustainable fibers to create with and express her values. With the new direction and pivot for both entrepreneurs, The Den Refillery was born. They both wanted to do better, offer alternatives to plastics and educate. They wanted to create a safe space for the community to engage with zero waste living and feel empowered to make little or big changes to their every day lifestyles. Kristen, who owns a vacation rental in the community and was seeing the waste that just one single bnb was creating, and she felt passionate to create the change she wanted to see in the hospitality industry. Both co-founders were ready to take on the challenge and soon after expanding The Den Refillery's local services, to the hospitality industry, thus creating S.C.A.P.
Describe and demonstrate, including metrics, your community support. How do you support and uplift your community, and how do they show that support in return? Minimum 25 words, maximum 2500 characters.
After 4 years of operating as a Refillery, The Den has organized many community events to educate their purpose, values and passions. They have partnered with Surf Riders, The Ucluelet Aquarium, Hello Nature Kayaking, Mint Cleaning, Black Rock Resort, Long Beach Lodge and others to either speak to youth about the importance of sustainability, host beach cleans, host trainings on refill, and partake in plastic free markets. The Den has supported other business's in the Pacific Rim to start, develop and grow in the toxic-free cleaning industry, which in return has helped lower the barrier to enter a circular system within the hospitality industry, This has resulted in removing over 30 000 litres of toxins from contaminating the ocean, as unfortunately, Tofino currently does not have water treatment. Only about 9 percent of recycled plastics gets repurposed, while most ends up in landfills . In the Pacific Rim, 84% of the landfill waste is coming from commercial industry, which means that by 2062, the landfill would be full ( Thank you Surf Rider for these important local statistics) The local business community thrives to protect the environment and we all support each other, and uplift each other!
Why do you deserve to win the Business Impact award?
The Den's enthusiasm and dedication to providing options for community members and businesses that allow them to operate responsibly and sustainably is commendable. The ongoing passion, drive and local support The Den shows up with everyday is making waves of change much further than their local region. The impact is growing everyday, with every visitor being exposed to these news ways of shopping and the new ways. The Den's BNB's & Hotel partners are showing what sustainable tourism and hospitality can look like. By slowly starting to implement consulting services outside of the Pacific Rim and other regions of Vancouver Island and BC, The Den is empowering other refilleries to make just as much of an impact and showing how a low waste lifestyle can be accessible to all.
Tell Us About Your Culture. How are you creating a sustainable and healthy workplace where everyone feels welcome? Provide examples of leadership you show in interactions with clients, vendors, contractors, staff and others.
Creating an inclusive work space and store environment is a priority at The Den. The founders value their employees opinions, work ethics, lifestyles, values and life choices. The environment is conducive to all team mates learning from one another. The Den believes each employee can create an opportunity for oneself to grow into a role that is inspiring to them and create a career that is driven by passion, collective teamwork and minimal stress. The Den believes a sustainable job is a job that can evolve with each person as they grow personally or want to explore other departments. Essentially, The Den's culture is to help support each employees into blossoming to their full potential, at work and in their personal life. Through the S.C.A.P program, They are driven to protect the environment that locals & visitors can't get enough of. The Den choses to educate and inspire sustainability and hopes that no matter where their customer is on their sustainable journey, The Den can offer support and influence actions to fit their lifestyle and needs. Beyond the leadership The Den has with their staff and local customers, The Den works alongside their vendors, co-creating new ways of status quo for methods of shipping, creating and training. It takes a village to create sustainable change, and offering insight and learning alongside one another is a value that runs deep in The Den's culture. "Partnering with The Den has given us a whole new perspective of what a partnership means. Diane & Kristen are so supportive and helpful for our day to day operations and as we look into new products. They think big picture and the relationship is much more than transactional." Sam McCullough Long Beach Lodge Resort
Why do you think you should win the Premier’s People’s Choice Award?
The Den is successful thanks to the loyal customers, the amazing local community and their shared values of sustainability. There are many incredible companies featured in the Small business award categories ! It is inspiring to see such a great business community !