Who we are…
Founders of The Den, Kristen and Diane met in the mountains of Squamish, BC and bonded over many hikes, dinner parties, and a shared love of nature, adventure, and dogs. Diane already had a professional snowboarding career under her belt and was running a successful retail business in town while Kristen was a sales rep in the action sports industry and spending plenty of time on the road for work. Both women started to feel conflicted in their roles of an industry of selling fast fashion and promoting consumerism. Diane parted ways with her retail partner and focused all of her creative energy on natural fibre art and quickly became a successful working artist. Kristen left her fast-paced, high-mileage gig to refocus her energy toward other avenues that might be more meaningful. And so, The Den was born.
After Diane and Kristen made the move to the small coastal community of Ucluelet, the goal was to build The Den as a community space for creatives to gather – but the purpose wasn’t fully realized yet. Diane was living off-grid in a tiny home she and her partner built entirely from reclaimed materials. Kristen was splitting her time between Vancouver Island and Panama, and found herself picking up bottles, sandals, plastic wrappers, caps, razors, straws and more on the beaches down south. Upon returning home to Ucluelet both Diane and Kristen reflected on their shared love for nature and the state of the planet. More specifically the surge of tourism in their small beach town and the impact of vacation rental and hotel rooms being cleaned during the high season – the amount of single use plastics being wasted, the amount of toxins making their way into the local water. It felt like there was nothing else to do than open the first Refillery in the Pacific Rim region.
At The Den, we are dedicated to learn zero waste living at the same time as our community. It's a place for like minded people to gather, collaborate, be creative and make an impact. As a community we are consistently learning, researching and finding ways to make zero waste living affordable and an easy transition became our focus.
Why we do…
At The Den, we take pride in offering our local community, online community, tourists and visitors a curated shopping experience to help practice sustainability, plastic-free alternatives and ensure we are having a blast while doing so. We offer a wide range of zero waste products, local handmade goods & a refill station. We ensure our store is as plastic-free as possible, and commit to supporting other zero-waste oriented brands that care about the environment as much as we do. We ask that all shipping is received with minimal packaging, if any at all. We reuse that packaging to create our gift bags. Beyond serving our community, we service Pacific Rim tourism, hotels, local government, small businesses and nightly rentals with package free, refillable amenities and other zero waste products to help lower the carbon foot print of their establishments and reduce their single use plastics. We offer various products in our refill station at the Ucluelet store ranging from bath & body to raw ingredients & oils .
As small business owners, we work hard to bring our vision of environmentally friendly habits from our home, to the store, to the beaches. When we are not at the store, we enjoy spending time in nature and we absolutely love surfing. Thus, protecting our oceans is one of the main reason we offer ocean friendly products and stand behind plant based refillable products at the refill station.
Our goal is to continue to serve our community and also welcome visitors on a sustainable travel journey and offer zero waste shopping to all. We love to educate many visitors when coming to whale watch, surf, walk the wild pacific trail and enjoy nature. We are here to help keep our community beautiful, clean and sustainable for years to come. Stop in or send us a note, we look forward to meeting you.
Lizz Miles - Lizz is our first hire and employee of the month every month but she is also so much more than that! Lizz is a painter, she recently relocated here from Britain. Her paintings are an exploration of light, colour and shape. She loves to produce playful work that feels good to make, and tells a story of vibrancy and movement. She’s inspired by colours, scenery, light and shadows, the feeling of home, and things that hold sentimental value. Lizz studied Fine Art at Leeds College or Art and Falmouth University in England before moving to Canada in 2015. You can shop her work instore or online!
Andi Wardrop - Passionate story teller and filmmaker, Andi blends a documentary and artistic approach to all her content creation projects. Telling the stories of brands like Dakine, GoPro, Chilliwack Tourism, Vans and more, Andi pushes the limits of creative and artistic possibility. Andi is the main photographer and content creator behind all the images you see here on The Den's website and social media outlets.