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.

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!

Meet the Staff!


Kerry was one of Emma‘s first customers at the original pop-ups, and began working at BYOC in August 2022 at the original Liberty St location. Kerry says "I have used just about every product in our Inventory; my hands-down favorite product is the Bubble Babes hair conditioner bar, though the Oneka face cream is a close second!"


Alison began working at BYOC Co. in May of 2023. I've loved every minute of it! I'm a born and raised Michigander and love the outdoors. Long walks are my jam, along with audiobooks, movies, music, and chocolate. I was asked to name two of my favorite products at BYOC Co., and boy was it hard to pick just two! I really love Tiani solid shampoo bars. I use them regularly because they last a long time, suds up amazingly, and smell so good. Scented with essential oils! I also love brushing my teeth with our Huppy peppermint toothpaste tablets. They're mess-free, minty-fresh, and also suds nicely. Great for traveling!


Jess started at BYOC Co. in January of 2024. I'm a long-time lover of the Rustic Strength hand soap and more recently have indulged in Bubble Babes bar soap — specifically Pura Vida Clay. The Strawesome glass smoothie straw is always in my Nalgene (when it's not in a smoothie). My favorite way to practice sustainability is purchasing package free foods & making plant-based meals.