(NOT JUST FOR BOYS)
I’ve noticed that the plastic-free world feels pretty dominated by women. Nearly all the social media ‘influencers’ are female and all of the boutique plastic-free shops I know about are run by women. Clearly I’m all for female entrepreneurs. But, I hope that doesn’t mean that 50% of the population are struggling to find ways to make sustainable changes. It’s not that the products themselves are inherently female - it’s just the marketing of them definitely has a more feminine vibe. But here are a few things I’ve found that bridge that gap.
This has to be the easiest way to cut back on bathroom plastic.
Lather Box is a monthly delivery of plastic-free bars - shampoo, conditioner, shaving foam and body wash.
A subscription costs £19 a month, which seems pretty reasonable for a cleans-everything-kit. It’s definitely a no-frills solution though. Hard working, all-natural, basic ingredients & no packaging. Also, nothing is scented - which may suit some, but put others off. But, for a low-maintenance bathroom routine and even lower-maintenance shopping, this is a damn fine (plastic-free) way of doing it.
If you can fight your way past the neon-glitter bath-bombs, there is a serious line-up of serious skin, body and hair-care products, most of which come naked.
If you buy the products in the black-pots, these can be dropped back to Lush to go into their closed-loop recycling scheme. This keeps precious resources in circulation and totally out of the waste-stream - which is the only way plastic is ever okay in my book.
Men’s products to look out for include specialist facial soaps, cleansing balms, shampoo and conditioner bars, solid facial moisturiser balm, body washes and pots of shaving soap. Too many to list to be honest. There’s a good round-up of their men’s products in a blog post here.
In a moment of total ditz, I couldn’t work out why these were called ‘No Bo Bars’. Brain now in gear, I can tell you that these are solid deodorant bars, by Primal Suds, that will stop you from getting smelly. I’m a genius, I know.
Primal Suds were founded on a premise to offer a range of affordable natural alternatives to paraben and additive-pumped products. They are committed to sustainability, with products and packaging with zero-waste in-mind.
As well as the No Bo Bar, there are naked shampoos, body cleansing bars and facial products. All of these come with a dose of Primal Sud’s ‘no fux given’ (their words) attitude, which is a refreshing voice in the often over-virtuous natural skincare space.
This brand is a new discovery for me. I was trying to find some plastic-free, natural skincare products that were specifically for men and bumped into Conscious Skincare.
Whilst the brand isn’t just for men, they have a specially curated section of products that are recommended for men’s skin. All the products are made in small batches to ensure optimum freshness (therefore potency) of the carefully selected, natural ingredients. And whilst the range isn’t entirely plastic-free, much of it is, and their general approach to sustainable packaging is admirable.
So far, this little pot is the only one in our bathroom. But if this one is anything to go by, my hunch is we’ll be adding more.
I don’t know which came first - Pure Chimp skincare or the matcha tea products. Not exactly obvious bed-fellows, I know, but somehow it hangs together!
The products are made using the best, natural vegan-friendly oils and other natural ingredients. The range includes gentle face cleansers, soothing skin oils, soap bars and rub-on-deodorant balms. The products have a common scent. Can you guess? Yup, banana! Don’t let this put you off though - it’s subtle, and much nicer than you might imagine!
Pure Chimp are a member of 1% For The Planet, where businesses collectively support environmental initiatives all over the world, as well as giving 5% of profits to Save the Chimps. This is feel good skincare, in every way.
Beauty Kubes are a big cube of small cubes (sorry, kubes) - 27 individual portions of solid shampoo/bodywash, that you smush in your palm and mix with a little bit of water to form a paste. And bosh. Just the right amount for a single wash. Of all the solid shampoo products I’ve tried, these are my favourite, by far!
All products are free from plastic packaging, contain hair loving natural and organic ingredients and biodegradable, sulphate-free surfactants. Long words, that basically mean they are ingredients that are safe for humans AND marine life.
These are cruelty free and suitable for vegans too – like all my recommendations.
Switching to a metal safety razor has to be one of the easy wins.
Over time, it saves loads of money and loads of plastic waste. There are so many available I’m not even going attempt a recommendation! But here is some some good advice on how to choose one and here is as a big selection to buy.
One thing, it’s really important to dispose of the blades carefully. For them to be recyclable, due to understandable safety concerns, they must be put in a ‘blade bank’ first. If you don’t have one, the blades need to be carefully wrapped and put in general rubbish, which is, well, a bit rubbish. (Get a blade bank.)
Norse offer a range of natural, male-focussed grooming products.
They make beautiful stainless steel safety razors, which I have heard are a joy to use, and not as scary as safety razors can initially feel.
In addition, Norse make a range of natural shaving soaps, that give a perfect creamy foam, as well as vegan-friendly brushes (not pictured).
And if shaving isn’t your thing, have a look at the products for keeping beards looking beautiful - oils, balms and waxes.
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