12 years SESI Refill social enterprise in a nutshell
SESI stands for School Ethical Supplies Initiative. We are a social enterprise that started in the shed of our local primary school with the support of the headteacher and the PTA, operating more like a buyers group. Soon the scheme was on demand in other schools and we also accepted to join various community lead (voluntary run) farmers markets. Since 2006, SESI has campaigned in Oxford to help reduce food waste at on end of the spectrum and food poverty at the other, whilst actively making it easy to refill and cut on plastic pollution. Our outreach is now spreading across England and we are receiving enquiries from as far as Scotland. Running a whole foods and household refill service ourselves, we understand our traders journey very well, as we also continue to run a vibrant and successful SESI Refill Pop Up Shop at East Oxford Farmers Market. As part of our experience, we run workshops and accept invitations to give talks within the University of Oxford and other local organisations and institutions too.
Over the years we became dissatisfied with unaffordable brands which made it difficult for most people to refill their plastic bottles. Our formulas of sustainable detergents are low impact to Earth and don’t cost people’s pockets. We work to keep up with important issues such as farming, human rights, animal rights, food justice, forestry protection, personal health and our way of life on the environment. We don’t claim to be perfect, but based on the information we gather, we do our best to make carefully balanced and holistic choices on our ingredients.
- Our products are vegan, cruelty free and biodegradable
- SESI formulas whilst gentle, actually clean! *Feedback of SESI Non-Bio from a customer at The Market Gardens
- For fragrances, we don’t use ‘exotic’ plants, we’re determined to cut on carbon footprint where possible
- Our prices leave a decent margin to stockists
- Customers keen to refill can afford SESI products, making the refill revolution a higher and wider environmental impact
- We collect the containers to clean and put back in circulation, making our operation truly zero waste from manufacturing to delivery
- At SESI we practice transparency. We are not complaisant and dig deep for uncomfortable truths about any products, specially our own
SESI has grown organically within a thriving community in Oxford, and we’re now reaching further across England, creating green jobs and collaborating with charities and small NGO’s such as Bicester Green and Restore Charity in Oxford, and Roots And Cycles in London. Our positive impact makes it relevant for us to continue being long term members of CAGS and Good Food Oxford. We are fervent supporters of a circular and local economy.