GoGo Refill owner Laura Marston says it’s the right time to launch the South Portland business “because more and more people are becoming environmentally conscious.” Krysteana Scribner / The Forecaster

SOUTH PORTLAND — A new business in Knightville hopes to attract customers interested in living low-impact, non-toxic lifestyles.

GoGo Refill, which opened July 26, promotes a low-impact, nontoxic lifestyle. Refillable eyeshadow and facial toner are a couple of the products available. Krysteana Scribner / The Forecaster

“There are terms like zero-waste or plastic-free that some people may find intimidating. But no matter where you are on this journey, this store has options for you,” GoGo Refill owner Laura Marston said. “It’s not just for people already doing these things, it’s for anybody and everybody who even wants to make the slightest of changes.”

The business at 64 E. St. sells all-natural kitchen, cleaning, bath, body and personal-care products that aim to reduce consumer waste.

What makes it unique is that customers can bring their own containers to fill with the products. Marston also sells mason jars, and there some donated containers for people to give and take as needed.

Customers can load up their refill containers with everything from soaps and deodorant to eye shadow and facial toner, and pay bulk prices.

“It’s the right time to launch a business like this because more and more people are becoming environmentally conscious,” 17-year-old Lotus Luke, a family friend of Marston who works at the store, said. “They want an option like this and there hasn’t been one, at least not on this side of the bridge.”

The store also features products from several Maine businesses, such as LooHoo wool dryer balls, which are a reusable fabric softener, and SoulShine all-natural, handmade soap products.

“We love our Maine makers and we’re always trying to source more stuff,” Marston said. “We are open to suggestions if someone has a relationship with someone who would make a good fit here.”

She said the genesis of the concept came to her a couple of years ago, stemming from a desire to reduce plastic use in her own home and be more aware of the products she was using on a day-to-day basis.

“It started with a New Year resolution to never use a plastic water bottle again,” Marston said. “There are stores like this popping up all over the world right now, and locally there are co-op’s, but we are the only store with a strict focus on refill and reuse.”

In January, she put those plans into place by crafting a financial plan and finding a location. In May she found the space, a one-story brick building at the corner of E and Q streets, near Legion Square, and began renovating.

“Almost everything you see in here, from the paint to the flooring to the tables, were sourced secondhand,” Marston said.

Besides refillable products, GoGo Refill also sells reusable water bottles and food containers.

Products like dish detergent cost anywhere from 35 to 55 cents per ounce at GoGo Refill, while eye shadow costs $14.25 per ounce. Tooth tabs – solid toothpaste pieces that don’t require any synthetic preservatives – are $6.20 per ounce.

Employee Lotus Luke at the new GoGo Refill at 64 E St., South Portland. Krysteana Scribner / The Forecaster

In comparison, a 21.5-oz bottle of Dawn costs 12 cents per ounce on Amazon, Walmart sells 0.09-ounce eye shadow pallets for $2.77, and a 5.1-ounce tube of Crest is $4.49 at CVS.

Marston said being eco-friendly is an investment, and people can save a lot of money in the long run by putting money into containers and products that will last.

Marston said her plans include potential home delivery and online purchase options. But for now, she hopes the location becomes a hub for resources and education about the importance of reducing waste.

“I just want people to see how passionate I am about the environment and about eliminating plastic waste,” she said. “I don’t want people to worry if they haven’t already made an effort. If you just started learning or if you’re a seasoned zero-waster, come visit us. There’s always time to change.”

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