It has been two years since we wrote about RefilMe, Brazil’s first water refill app. Since then, its founders Flávia and Isabela worked really hard to improve Brazil’s refill infrastructure and refill culture. With their water machines, they already saved 783,558 bottles! What are they up to now? Read this blog and profit from some free advice!
5 QUESTIONS TO FLÁVIA, CO-FOUNDER REFILME BRASIL
Can you explain again why you started this project?
Our mission is to make refilling a popular habit, and to make refilling spots available in different places and situations. So, people will be able to hydrate out of home without the necessity to buy a plastic bottle.
Exactly, we want to avoid the single-use plastics. Soon you’ll have saved 1 million bottles. RefilMe started in two cities, but now you operate in many more areas. You cannot split yourself in ten pieces. How are you managing to expand your business?
The maintenance is very simple and we do a remote control of machines. Thus, when necessary, we ask for one of our local partners to check and repair the machines.
To expand the number of refill stations we are making partnerships with sponsors. So they pay to use the machine as a publicity totem and we have budget to install and operate the machine. Users can refill for free.
That is a smart business model, win-win! What have you learned so far? Please share your top 3 lessons.
- Don’t wait a until has a perfect machine to start your operation;
- We have to listen to our clients to be aware of what they really need and expect.
- Don’t be afraid of changes and keep an open mind to all the opportunities that appear. Sometimes we find a better business model than the one that we created.
WORKING IN A SMALL TEAM
Thank you for sharing. How is it for you personally to work on this big project?
It’s very challenging. As our team is very small, everyone needs to work in all areas of the company, and sometimes we have to deal with some problems that we don’t have the skills to do. But at the same time, it is very rewarding, especially when we receive good feedback from people who really understand our mission.
Last question. Do you also work with volunteers? Why or why not?
Yes we do. It’s very nice when we can work with people passionate for our mission, because we have similar desires to protect the world.
We understand! Hopefully you can keep up this flexible attitude and gradually welcome more people to the team with different backgrounds and knowledge. We wish you all the best!
FOLLOW REFILME BRASIL
We are happy to hear RefilMe is doing well. Isabela and Flávia seem to have transformed their activism into a working business model.
- Do you want to benefit from free, clean, filtered tap water in Brazil? The RefilMe Brasil app is available for iOS and Android.
- If you have tips for RefilMe or want to collaborate, don’t hesitate and get in touch with them.
- Follow RefilMe on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Source of all images: RefilMe