Our “The Spotlight” series features founders and brands that inspire us. Whether it’s empowering kids, inspiring parents, or making sustainable solutions part of everyday life, we’ve spoken to people who embody the values at the heart of GRASP. Our hope is that these founder’s stories, the products they’re making, and their ambitions to make a difference in the world also inspire you.
Recently we spoke to Anna Priadka, founder and CEO of Fiils the refillable beauty company making hair, body and had washes from 100% cruelty-free, vegan, and organic ingredients. With a full circle solution to reducing plastic bathroom waste, they've had almost 8000 of their pouches refillable pouches returned to them for recycling, saving approx 300kg of plastic waste that's usually dumped from standard plastic skincare bottles.
Where did the idea for starting Fiils originate and what was the first thing you did to put the idea into action?
I’d been in the beauty industry for over 15 years and my first foray into entrepreneurship was launching a vegan lipstick brand. I’d always had a hybrid love of business and creativity, and this was the perfect way to hone my passion.
I soon realised however, that if I was to run a business, it would need to contribute to a greater mission. One that pushed back against consumption in the beauty industry and inspired change. Refillable models I knew were on the rise and I was so sick of removing endless plastic bottles from my bathroom, so I decided to launch Fiils. I launched with an MVP (minimum viable product) at first to discover if a refillable model would be something customers could get on board with. I knew to change habits, it would need to be convenient whilst offering incredible, clean formulas that worked. We launched in 2019 and it grew from there!
How hard has it been to encourage people to change the way they shop for beauty products?
We gained traction soon after launch with our concept as we hit the market just at the right time - just before the pandemic. The effect of less human activity on the planet during the pandemic inspired people to think about the choices they were making on a daily basis and look for alternatives to help them live a more sustainable life. This coupled with the fact they were shopping from home a lot more gave us the perfect platform to prove the MVP worked. From here, we refined it even more and rebranded to fiils.
To gain visibility as an online brand has been one of the hardest challenges- overall. Fiils is a concept people can get behind as it’s not too far away from what they use currently. It has been more of a challenge to educate people on the recycling service and why our refill model is better than a traditional shampoo supply chain. We shout about this on as many touch points as we can, and ensure we have the data to back it up. I think refills are becoming more mainstream now, and we’re in a great position to take advantage of this growing segment.
What's most surprised you about people's response to using Fiils refillable products for the first time?
It’s clear to us that it’s not just the sustainability angle that influences customers to purchase from us. What goes into our bottles is even more important in the long run. We underestimated this at first and probably didn’t spend as much time on the formulas as we should have, which has ended up in a few tweaks later down the line. The sustainable angle isn’t enough, it’s the story we’re telling with the formulas and their quality ultimately that will keep coming back.
At GRASP we're big on inspiring the next generation. You're optimistic about sustainability and the future of the planet, so what would you say to kids to encourage them that they can have a big impact on sustainability?
Start with the small things kids! It’s a simple as turning the tap off when you brush your teeth and turning lights off when you leave the room, as well as giving toys you don’t play with anymore away - not throwing them out! The little things always make a big difference!
In our view, Fiils is doing the right thing by promising the best skincare products without compromise on plastic waste. What's your #1 tip for properly looking after the health of your skin?
Good skincare products are important, but at the end of the day, it’s from the inside out! Pay attention to what you put into your body, as your skin will thank you in the long run!