We may spend most of our time talking about designer garms and fresh kicks, but we know there’s a whole lot more to looking good than what you’re packing in your closet. Groom Service is your no-BS guide in how to look, smell, and feel better. This week we're shining a light on the brands leading the line for sustainable grooming products.
It’s a bold move to start a grooming brand and announce its “natural” or “organic” ingredients, or its "sustainably sourced" and “eco-conscious” packaging. (Please imagine us making big, dramatic air quotes around each of those terms, since they’re often just marketing mumbo jumbo.)
The bar is quite low when it comes to brands whose mission is both for its customers and for the planet. There are far more that tout themselves as entirely natural, or damn near close, and that’s good news for us. But it’s harder to come across brands that derive purpose from being green, be it in the production, the packaging, recycling measures, or in profit donations to environmental organizations.
Your money doesn’t grow on trees, but it can save the trees and help plant new ones: here are five brands you can shop from that have their environmental footprint top of mind.
Haeckels was born in the harbor town of Margate, UK, and uses its ocean-farming license to grow and harvest seaweed, which plays a central role in many of its products — like its signature Seaweed Bath (see above). But its dedication to ethical and sustainable ocean interaction extends way past production.
Its Rubbish for Rubble program incentivizes beach cleanups. Customers can post an Instagram of their cleanup efforts tagging both @haeckels and #HaeckelsBeachClean for 40 percent off any full-price product. They coordinate product recycling at their Margate headquarters, and any Haeckels glass bottles can also be returned by mail for a 15 percent discount.
The Body Shop
When you’re an enormous beauty/grooming company, there’s a higher bar to clear in terms of accountability — and a more challenging one at that. The Body Shop holds itself accountable for steadily improving its production standards and reducing its footprint.
The global brand does this in a number of ways, measuring progress each year: it starts by reducing and eliminating the use of environment-damaging chemicals in a process called “green chemistry.” They prioritize biodegradable ingredients and natural-origin ingredients, as well as a low water footprint wherein its products have no impact on water toxicity. They even publish their eco scores annually based on a strict set of self-imposed guidelines, showing how much more progress they need to make in coming years — across each product category, too.
Environmental impact was one of the reasons safety-blade Rockwell Razors was founded: standard razor cartridges are hard to recycle, meaning nearly 2 billion blades end up in the trash every year. Two. Billion. On top of that, they come with excessive packaging and usually last for a couple shaves at most — that means more packaging and more harm to the environment in the shipping cycle (gas emissions, product packaging, etc).
Rockwell instead sends you as many as 100 double-sided safety blades in one light container, which each last up to eight shaves (and the pack of 100 only costs $12). It’s a no brainer, plus using a safety razor is a sign of a true shaving pro — and now an eco-friendly shaving pro, at that.
Public Goods’ schtick is simple: cut out the BS. For one, the brand focuses on simple, clean product design, and that concept is echoed in its supply-chain practices: there’s no middle-man that spikes your expenses and leaves a huge footprint on the planet.
Public Goods sources all of its eco-friendly ingredients, and they sell directly to you from their factory. There is a membership component in order to access these products, however: $59 per year comes back to you quickly once you’re in a steady rotation with their good-for-you-and-good-for-earth cycle.
By Humankind checks some big green boxes. Its ingredients roster is actually comprehendible, free of any bad chemicals, and they have eliminated customers’ dependency on single-use plastics by introducing products like mouthwash tablets, a shampoo bar, and refillable roll-up deodorant canisters. All of which spare you from purchasing (and promptly tossing) unnecessary waste.