From the vegan razors to biodegradable deodorant, these are the subscription services the planet will thank you for...
This year we’ve seen digital subscription based services skyrocket in popularity, perpetually fuelled by the string of simultaneous lockdowns introduced last year. Anyone with an Instagram can almost certainly say they’ve seen a beautiful flat-lay-pastel-toned post of some sort of subscription based service.
From deodorant to tampons, the market for subscription boxes has increased, due to the convenience and safety benefits of being able to order everything straight to your door; many of these services have also embraced a more environmentally conscious attitude than their alternatives. Subscription services now account for around £323 million worth of British spending per year and according to data from Barclaycard, "82% of retailers saw the popularity of subscription services increased during lockdown as Brits took advantage of safe and convenient ways to receive everything." Spending on digital based subscription services increased by 50.2% year-on-year in April 2020, a month where most countries were in lockdown.
The growth of these environmentally friendly companies have been propelled by social media, with most using it to their advantage, specifically Instagram. Coupled with Instagram's shopping feature and a target audience that cares about the environment - they’ve been able to expand in a market that feeds people straight to their sites.
So, as we aim to stay safe, but also treat ourselves, here are six eco-friendly subscription services we know you will love:
Smol is the laundry detergent subscription service that you didn’t know you needed. All its products are Leaping Bunny approved (that means they’re 100% cruelty-free and with zero animal derived ingredients) and are letterbox friendly. Their packaging is completely sustainable and recyclable too. Smol praise themselves as being an honest company with an eco-conscious attitude that delivers an “efficient and affordable alternative” to supermarket brands. Their scents are all derived from essential oils, meaning no artificial chemicals are used in their detergents. Smol offer regular deliveries, dependant on what you need, and customers have the option of modifying, pausing or cancelling their subscription at any time. They also offer environmentally friendly and toxic-free dishwasher tablets, cleaning sprays and fabric conditioners. The company began in 2017, and secured £8 million in funding last summer in order to more readily compete with its competitors.
Swedish owned razor company Estrid, a sustainable and cruelty-free brand designed predominantly “for women and non-binary” people, is our next choice. The pastel-toned company offer a subscription service for “affordable, quality razors” that will also upgrade your bathroom aesthetic. You get to set up a plan based on how often you shave, getting fresh and sharp razors delivered to your door conveniently, with their climate compensated shipping service. Estrid allow customers to pause, skip or cancel their subscription anytime “no strings attached”, making the process more customisable. Pick from colours like “Peach”, “Cloud” and “Lemonade” for your new favourite minimalistic Scandi accessory. The brand which was only founded recently in 2019 raised 150 million Swedish krona (about £13 million) in a funding round in December 2020, and was valued at roughly $100 million.
Our next must-have eco conscious subscription service is London based OddBox. Founded in 2015, OddBox aims to fight food waste by “rescuing” delicious fruit and veg from farms that doesn’t meet the cosmetic standards to be sold in U.K. supermarkets. It’s currently “London’s highest rated veg box”, with an average score of 4.8/5 stars. The company work with farmers to ensure that seasonal surplus food doesn’t go to waste, in turn saving Co2 and water that would be used used in production. Customers get to pick a size of box that suits them (and choose wether to fill it with fruit, veg or both) and benefit from overnight deliveries available weekly or fortnightly. They now deliver to 10,000 London homes, with an annual turnover estimated at £3 million, in the process they’ve saved over 1,000 tonnes of produce from being wasted.
Wild, a natural and 100% biodegradable deodorant company is a must have in your routine. The brand offers dreamy scents such as “Orange Zest” and “Rose Blush” and launched its reusable product last March - a refillable metal deodorant case. Choose your own plastic-free case colour and even personalise it with a message or your name. Wild also offsets their environmental impact “(f)or every deodorant we sell, we will contribute a percentage of sales to our chosen climate charity”. The company secured £500k of seed capital in February 2020, eight months later it managed to secure a further £1.9 million (2.2 million Euros) having sold 300,000 of its reusable deodorants since April 2020.
Everyone’s favourite “insta” worthy cafe company, Grind, has now expanded to include their own coffee pod subscription service, so you can enjoy their speciality coffee from the comfort of your home. Their coffee capsules are plastic free and completely compostable, and a gorgeous shade of pastel pink to accent your kitchen with. Subscribe to their service and get pods, ground coffee or beans delivered to your door, in letterbox friendly packaging with free U.K. delivery. The brand have really utilised social media to grow their company, “(a)s with anything on social media, it's all about perceived worth; especially with Instagram, a lot of the metrics and goals are themed around vanity. This has definitely helped us when crowdfunding as we're able to sell our success much better with a following to back it up”.
Founded in 2018, Daye is a female health company specialising in sustainable tampons and ProViotics. The company believe in being totally transparent, sharing their whole manufacturing process with customers and revealing all their markups (you can see the full breakdown of their costs on their website). Their tampons and made form organic cotton, include a CBD-infused layer which aids cramping, and come in completely sustainable packaging. Daye offer a personalised service, customising tampon boxes to suit the customers needs to provide ultimate comfort. Easily sync your subscription with your period using their online tool, and benefit from being able to modify, skip or cancel anytime. Backers for the brand include Silicon Valley’s Khosla Ventures, London’s Index Ventures and Kindred Capital.
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