What is BYOC?

BYOC Co. (Bring Your Own Container) allows you to bring a container from home, purchase a new one in-store, or take from our free donation shelf to fill up on eco-friendly, plastic-free household cleaning and personal care products. We aim to reduce single-use plastic consumption by refilling the same containers over and over again. In addition to refills like hand soap, laundry detergent, and shampoo, we also carry a wide variety of zero waste essentials for the home and body.

About our brands

We prioritize stocking Women-, BIPOC-, and LGBTQ-Owned brands that align with our overall mission and values. While we ultimately are looking to stock plastic-free alternatives to everyday items, that does not encompass the full scope of sustainability and ethical consumption we are looking to achieve. Our brands are small, pay their employees a livable wage, source high quality, plant based ingredients for their products, and avoid plastic usage in their packaging and how they get their products to us. Our shop is 100% cruelty-free, while also aiming to stock a variety of vegan options. To support the local economy (and because their products rock), we stock many local small businesses. Our dish soap, laundry liquid, castile soap, lotion, bar soaps, candles, coffee filters, glass straws, and apparel come from Michigan brands.

How do products get to BYOC?

As of May 1st, 2023, our refillable products are 61% closed loop, meaning we receive quantities of one gallon containers to 30 gallon drums, sell the product inside, return those containers for cleaning by the manufacturer, and receive new product in the same containers. When we opened in 2021, we were at 20% closed loop and improved to 52% closed loop in 2022. For refillable products not on a closed loop, we find every way to reuse the containers before recycling them through Terracycle. Our one gallon containers often become new holding devices for customers through our Free Shelf, 5 gallon containers get donated to a local farm for growing produce, and 30 gallon drums become rain barrels.

Our non-refillable products are shipped plastic-free with recyclable tape and kraft paper inserts. The best part about working with local vendors is eliminating the need for shipping and packaging. We typically receive deliveries from local vendors in reused cardboard boxes and zero additional packaging.

FAQ

How does it work?

When you come to BYOC Co., you’ll hand your containers (or choose your containers from the options we have available in-store) over to staff to get their tare weights. Taring is what we like to call weighing your containers on a scale before you fill. That way we can deduct the original weight of the container after you’ve filled so you’re only paying for the product inside. You will be able to fill your container as little or as much as you’d like. For liquids, powders, and creams, we charge by the ounce. We’ll weigh your filled containers and deduct the original container weight before charging you.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Many containers are labeled by volume, not weight. When a container is labeled with fluid ounces, this is a volume measurement. When measuring by weight, our liquids tend to weigh a tad bit more than the volume measurement. Keep this in mind when predicting your fill weight. We are happy to fill your container to the desired weight or price you have in mind.

What containers can I bring?

As long as your container is clean and dry, we can fill just about anything! We’ve filled glass, plastic, aluminum, silicone bags, cotton produce bags, and more.

Where is your shop?

BYOC Co. Ann Arbor is located at 25 Jackson Industrial Drive, suite 500 on the westside of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Our entrance is wheelchair accessible using the sidewalk ramps next to Domino's or Dos Hermanos Express.

There is a free parking lot in the front of the building, with over 30 spaces available.

BYOC Co. Plymouth is located on street level at 550 Forest Ave in Suite 4. We are apart of the Westchester Square shops and have a designated parking lot off Harvey St in downtown Plymouth for customers to park for free.

What can I donate?

At times, we can accept containers and paper bags for donation. We sometimes have to take pauses in donations due to the overwhelming amount of containers with very limited storage space.

What can I recycle?

**Our Terracycle recycling is taking a break during the Ann Arbor location move and ownership transition. Thanks for your patience during this time!**

During the break, consider starting an account with Terracycle and accessing shipping labels: TerraCycle

What if I forget my container?

Have no fear! We have lots of free containers on our community donation shelf in-store for you to choose from. They have been sanitized for reuse and you can take as many as you need.

Meet the Founder

Hello there! My name is Emma Hess, I started BYOC Co. when I was 22 and fresh off graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in Sociology. My low waste journey started while in college when I swapped my bottle of liquid shampoo for a solid shampoo bar. When I'm not in the shop, I'm likely prepping for a backpacking trip, playing with my cats Millie & Luna, pursuing a new zero waste project, or spending quality time with my family.

Meet the Owner

My name is Jessica Cichowlas, and I first visited BYOC Co. in 2021 and fell in love! I was ecstatic to find a place that felt like home that aligned with my values and even more excited when Emma and I began our ownership transition journey in 2024. I was presented a unique opportunity and knew I had to make this happen for my favorite store and community! In my personal life, I have a wonderful partner named Travis, two cats Marble and Finn, and a dog named Lucy. I can't wait to meet you all!