Disposable razors. We use five billion of them worldwide, together resulting in 40 million kilos of plastic waste annually. Since these razors often consist of several types of plastic, only a tiny fraction is recycled. The rest ends up in landfills or incinerators. Here they break down into harmful microplastics or cause air pollution, making disposable razor blades a toxic waste product.
Thankfully, there are many alternatives. The traditional straight razor, the safety razor, all kinds of electric shavers, and the possibility of waxing or lasering. After all, one could speak of a saturated shaving market, but nothing is further from the truth. The market seems saturated. With still plenty of room for improvement.
The razor market is traditional and old-fashioned. If there is a new product launch, the emphasis is on the extra blade in the cartridge or a more powerful battery in the shaver. On top of that, the major players like to separate men's and women's products - even when it comes down to disposable razors. It is a clever marketing trick that ultimately results in higher prices on female products. Were you already familiar with the pink tax?
The shaving market has stagnated, focusing on performance and profit, especially since the first disposable razor blade. The time has come for change. We need a sustainable alternative.
Don't get us wrong, those who really want to can shave sustainably. With a safety razor, for instance. But beware because properly using one might be a hard nut to crack (not too surprising for a product dating from 1880). Another eco-friendly option is waxing with sugar paste, yet this one also is not for everyone. The fact that existing alternatives do not catch on with the general public creates a problem.
For many, price, quality and ease of shaving outweigh sustainability. This understanding seems to be confirmed by the annual number of disposable razor blades used: five billion (BEYOND PLASTIC, 2020). Together they account for 40 million kilos of plastic waste, a gigantic monstrosity weighing almost 1,000 Boeing 737s. Yet, this beast is still being fed daily without a satisfactory alternative. So to find a solution became our new goal.
Almost three years ago, we first noticed the absence of a sustainable and comparable alternative to disposable razors. As disposability is not anywhere close to being eco-friendly, it doesn't fit with Bamboovement's values. However, we realised someone needed to come up with something as an alternative for those millions of people who use these razors. Cracking the code promised to be quite a challenge because people do not just switch to a sustainable lifestyle.
During the first drawing board session, the logical thought was: "Let's make bamboo razors," but this proved challenging to create. Bamboo is an ideal plastic substitute, except when making small detailed components, like a cartridge. So we started looking for something else.
Until we found a combination of natural residual products such as wood oil and fibres, called biocomposite. It's solid yet flexible and can be pressed into moulds. The latter makes cartridge production a piece of cake. By using waste materials for our razors, we create an eco-friendly alternative to a polluting product and clear up unwanted waste materials – a winning solution.
Three years later, we are on the verge of launching sustainable and unisex razor blades three years later. We have tremendous confidence in our alternative, focusing on quality, affordability, and ease of use alongside sustainability. After all, it is the world's most natural razor with the look and feel of a traditional disposable razor.
We are ready to shake up the market and invite you to become part of the shaving revolution. So if you shave and still use disposable razors, then be sure to choose sustainably!
Be among the first to pre-order here, and receive your eco-friendly razors in April 2022.