Hazel and Grey: Beautiful, Useful Sustainable Home Goods

Jenn Rich, proprietor of Hazel and Grey on the Fairfield square

If you’re looking for sustainable shopping options outside of the internet, Fairfield’s Hazel and Grey is an excellent resource. Founded by Jenn Rich in 2018, the home goods shop is focused on providing reusable products and alternatives to plastic. The beautifully curated space has everything from sturdy wooden cleaning brushes and cloth napkins to reusable grocery bags, plastic-free body-care products, non-toxic arts and crafts supplies, and wooden children’s toys.

“We have a little bit of everything for your home,” Rich says. She sells cleaning and laundry products, kitchen goods, adorable children’s items, personal care products, and seasonal decorations, in addition to offering a refill bar.

“We have over 40 different products available for refill, such as hand soap, dish soap, cleaners, hair care, and toothpaste tablets,” Rich explains. Customers can bring in clean containers to refill with their favorite products, which cuts down on landfill waste, is often more cost effective, and reduces one’s carbon footprint. Rich has a message board where she posts how many single-use containers they’ve saved from the landfill. In 2022, it was 229, and in 2023, it was 432!

According to Rich, the store initially sold home decor and furniture. While pregnant with her second child in 2019, Rich “really started learning about the zero waste movement and the effects on our health from what we are putting on and in our bodies and what we surround ourselves with.” In her own efforts to transform her personal household to a low-waste, plastic-free, and nontoxic environment, Rich noticed there were not a lot of local options. As she learned more “about the plastic and waste crisis that we are in,” she felt increasingly uncomfortable “owning a business that sold essentially very wasteful products and promoted overconsumption,” and “started to slowly transition the types of products the store was selling to be plastic free, low waste, and nontoxic.”

Rich wants Hazel and Grey “to be a resource to help our community learn about low-waste living and offer the types of products to help people live more sustainably.” She strives to bring the highest quality sustainable home goods to customers. Hazel and Grey provides a selection of products designed to last. Thoughtfully sourced and manufactured, these items are both beautiful and useful, while reducing environmental impacts.

“People always ask me what my favorites are, and honestly, it’s everything!” Rich says. “I use or have tried almost everything in the store.” Some of the top sellers are wool dryer balls, Swedish dishcloths, solid dish soap blocks, toothpaste tablets, and solid shampoo and conditioner bars.

Rich does extensive research on products and companies before bringing anything into the store. “Criteria for selection falls into four categories: simple, useful, beautiful, and sustainable.” She explains that there are a number of variables to consider in determining how sustainable a product is. “What is the product made of? Will it last for a long time? What happens to it at the end of its life? Where, how, and who makes it? Are the makers being paid a fair wage? What is the packaging made from? Preferably no packaging at all. Not every product I have meets every qualification perfectly, but I strive for most.”

While her products can come from all over the world, Rich also carries locally crafted products. “Supporting local is something I highly value,” she says. Besides creating less waste, shopping sustainably also means supporting small and local businesses and makers. “Shopping sustainably means a smaller impact on the planet and bigger impact on families and communities.”

Rich is the first to admit that shopping sustainably can seem expensive or overwhelming. “I think that’s one reason why some people are so hesitant to start,” she says. She advises starting with one thing at a time. “Once you have one thing figured out, then you can move on to the next. The easiest way to do that is when you run out of a product you are currently using, look for a better option next time.” Buy a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one, refill your hand soap bottle instead of buying a new one, or swap paper towels for reusable cloths.

“The other thing to remember is that you don’t need to be perfectly zero waste. I am definitely not perfect! We can make a much bigger impact with many people making small changes rather than a handful of people being perfect.”

Hazel and Grey is located at 54 S. Main St. in Fairfield. For more info, visit HazelandGreyHome.com.