Andi’s Refills is now open at Aladdin’s Cave on 9 Church Walk, Hinckley.

Aladdin's Cave is a treasure trove of amazing stock so make sure you have time to browse. You will find everything from bright coloured hair dye - pinks, reds, blues purples etc, body jewellery, stretchers, nose studs, silver and fashion jewellery, incense, essential and fragrance oils, crystals, tarot and angel cards, dream catchers, angels, fairies, dragons, buddhas, unicorns, relaxation CDs to name but a few!

Aladdins Cave 2

Andi's Refills is exactly that, a ‘refill station’. The aim is to help us all to help our environment by reducing plastic waste at home. By choosing to refill rather than re-buy, less plastic packaging is used. There is a great range of products available, including domestic and personal cleaning product refills, laundry liquid, fabric conditioner, washing-up liquid, multipurpose cleaner, toilet cleaner, handwash, bodywash, shampoo, conditioner, boxed and 'naked' soaps, bamboo toothbrushes and many more plastic free products.

We had a lovely chat with owner Andrea McClennon who tells us all about her and her partner's new business venture:

1) What are your names, and how long have you been running for?

My name is Andrea (Andi) McClennon. My partner, Andy, helps me on a Saturday when he's not working his 9-5 job.

2) What’s your typical day like?
A typical day consists of me arriving at the shop and checking stock and product levels and remedying drips and leaks. I'm always on hand to assist customers who need help dispensing their chosen product. We have some people who have refilled before and are confident to refill themselves, and we have customers who have never refilled before, or lack confidence, so we'll then dispense for them. Some people like to try a product and will take just a small amount initially, others know what they want and fill big bottles. Some visitors to the shop aren't yet refilling and come to see what we have to offer. We can talk through the different products and different brands, and when they're ready, they return with their containers to refill. The end of the day will see me cleaning drip trays and ensuring taps are closed, ready for next time.

3) What do you most love about what you do?
I love chatting to people. The customers that visit my shop are just as passionate as me, if not more so, about helping our environment! We all share ideas and tips, so speaking to people and helping the environment - they're the best parts of what I do.

4) What’s your biggest seller?
The biggest seller on refills is washing up liquid, followed closely by hand-wash and laundry liquid.

5) What made you decide to start your own business?
When I thought about what I could do, refills was something I wanted to do and I felt was needed in the area. We live in a village a few miles out from Hinckley and our public transport links are terrible. I thought that there must be many other people in the villages surrounding Hinckley who had the same issue, so accessibility to do what you feel is right is difficult. There are other refill stations, but they're in the cities, which are hard to get to for many. Hinckley is accessible to the villages and, of course, the growing population of Hinckley, so it is a great choice. It also means that people are reducing not only their plastic usage, but their carbon footprint as well. I find these thoughts rewarding - and to be my own boss, after working for business chains, is a bonus!

6) What’s your biggest achievement so far?
Other than my children - stepping outside of my comfort zone and starting my own business. For me, this was a big thing, but my partner and family have all been really encouraging and supportive. I truly couldn't have done it without them.

7) What are your top tips for people when it comes to recycling?
Think before you buy. No recycling is best, but if you can't avoid packaging, check that you're getting the least amount possible and that it can be recycled. Before you recycle, try to reuse as much as possible, as many times as possible. Ensure that whatever you do recycle is clean and goes in the correct bin.

8) What’s your favourite thing about Hinckley?
Hinckley is really accessible to local people and the surrounding villages. Having been a leader with the local scout group in the past, and working in a local supermarket, I've got to know a lot of people - and a lot of people know each other. Unlike many bigger towns and cities, Hinckley still has very much a sense of community.

9) Tell us something we wouldn’t know about you…
Hmmm... probably that I go salsa dancing with my partner regularly - great fun and exercise too!

10) Where can people find you? (shop, social media, website, etc)
My shop is in Aladdin's Cave, 9, Church Walk, Hinckley.
We can also be found on Facebook: Andi's Refills and on Instagram @andisrefills.

Andis Refills at Aladdins Cave
Andis Refills 3