It’s safe to say that razors can be found in most bathrooms in Australia, they form part of our everyday grooming rituals. So why are there so few sustainable options out there? The market is overflowing with plastic disposable razors and razor refills which are usually not recyclable, meaning they end up staying in landfill for hundreds of years.
Cartridge razors and razor refills are hard to recycle as they are made of several different materials such as steel, plastic and rubber which are difficult to separate in the recycling process. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 2 billion razors and refill blades end up in landfill each year in the USA, let us not forget all the plastic packaging these products come in. In addition, fossil fuels are used to make the plastic, depleting resources for a product that is used a few times then ends up in a landfill.
As consumers, it is up to us to make responsible choices and create change. Here are a few steps you can take to help make your razor use more sustainable:
- Shave less often – this is being made possible through developments such as laser hair removal, however this is not possible for all areas or skin tones.
- Use a safety razor with a replaceable blade rather than disposable razors.
- Replace your razor head less often.
- Buy a razor which is part of a recycling program – you will have to check your area to see what’s available to you.
- Choose a sustainable plastic free razor such as a metal safety razor or bamboo razor which takes safety standard safety razor blades.
For those who are in the market for an eco-friendly razor, they can appear expensive when compared to the supermarket razors, however, when you consider the ongoing cost of the blade refills if you buy a quality razor it will last forever and save you in the long term. Better still safety razors cause less irritation and give a smoother shaving feel, and prevents razor burns as the hair follicle is only cut once you are also less prone to ingrown hairs!
Pros and Cons of Safety Razors
Safety razors has both pros and cons depending on what you value the most.
- Easy on the skin: Safety razors give you a close shave because they use a single blade. Multi-blade razors first pull your hair and then cut it. This practice irritates the skin. You may notice redness and ingrown hair due to the same. This is not the case with reusable razors.
- Safe on sensitive skin: These razors can be used on sensitive areas too!
- Time saving: Safety razors give you a close and faster shave than their plastic counterparts.
- Economical: You can cut down on cartridge purchases with DE (double edge) razors.
- Environment friendly: They have a lighter impact on the planet. Metal and other raw materials are recycled easily.
- Getting used to takes time: It can be tricky for beginners to get used to the weight. Nicks and burns are possible in the learning phase.
- Travel: Many eco-razors come with travel pouches. But it can be difficult to carry blades while traveling.
Are safety razors better than disposable?
Eco-friendly razor can appear expensive when compared to supermarket razors. But the ongoing cost of the blade refills is more in the long term. A quality razor will last forever. Safety razors offer skin benefits too. They cause less irritation and give a smoother shaving feel. You can prevent razor burns and ingrown hair as well!
Does safety razor handle make a difference?
- Sustainability: All parts of environmentally friendly razors make a difference. They are made from sustainable raw material like bamboo and stain resistant steel. These are recyclable materials and do not end up in dumpsters.
- Utility: Length of the handle determines the ease of use. A long handle razor will allow you to reach tough spots. A short handle razor is suitable to shave facial hair.
How to use safety razors?
The design of traditional razor is different from steel razors. It will take some practice if you have just made the switch. Here are the steps to guide you through-
- Soften the skin: Begin with taking a warm shower to soften the hair. This will open the pores and you can enjoy a closer shave.
- Moisturise: Plant based shaving soaps moisturise and protect the skin against the blade. The blade will glide smoothly if you have ample moisturisation.
- Shave: Use short strokes if you are a beginner. Avoid quick swipes as you might not be used to the weight just yet.
- Rinse and apply moisturiser: Rinse the shaved area and pat dry. Apply natural oils to soothe any irritation.
- Wash the razor thoroughly: It is important to keep your shaving equipment clean. Rinse the razor with warm soapy water. Use a brush to clean any dirt.
Read on to find out more about the best safety razors for an effortless, low waste shaving experience.
Ever Eco Safety Razor ($44.95)
Made from ultra-durable brass alloy, these metal safety razors, among other personal care products, are made to last a lifetime. These razors take a standard double sided razor blade, so you should expect to get around 6-7 zero waste shaves per blade.
- Plastic free razor
- Double sided blade
- Quality finish and heavy feel
- Comes with 10 replacement blades
- The razor head does not pivot, so those used to a plastic razor head may notice this offers a different shaving experience.
- The price at $44.95 these razors are expensive, but they will are made to last
- Only available in two colours - rose gold and matte black
- They don’t sell replacement blades directly, so you have to find them elsewhere.
Ever Eco believes that living a low waste lifestyle should not be difficult or expensive. Their philosophy is to choose well and make it last and their razor does not disappoint.
Leaf Razors ($99-$149)
The leaf razors are safety razors with a difference. They have an innovative design which allows you to access hard to reach areas. They have 2 styles of razor – the leaf and the twig. The leaf has 3 replaceable razor blades with a pivoting head and long handle which is ideal for shaving curved areas and hard to reach places. The twig is a small safety razor which has a single replaceable razor blade, the small size means you area able to reach more areas than a standard sized safety razor.
- Stylish design which is enables you to access hard to reach areas like knees and chins.
- Available in a range of 6 different colours
- Comes with 10 replacement blades.
- More expensive than alternatives at $149 for the leaf and $99 for twig they are an investment.
- Only available in a few places in Australia
- The leaf requires you to replace 3 razor blades which can be a bit fiddly and also will increase the lifetime cost.
The Leaf Shave Razor might be a good starting point for those who want to invest in a premium product that lasts long and is backed by lifetime warranty.
BeEco Safety Razor ($28.95)
This quality plastic free razor is made with a durable brass alloy, which will last you a lifetime. The razor has a luxurious weighted feel for a gentle and closer shave. You can also find butterfly safety razor in rose gold at Beeco for the same price.
- Great value at $28.95
- Sleek and simple design, made to last
- Balanced weight for easy shaving
- Each razor with 10 double sided replacement blades
- Compatible with double edge safety razor blades
- Australian safety razor
- Recyclable kraft card packaging
- Only available in 3 styles – bamboo handle, matte silver or rose gold
Australian owned Be Eco sustainable razor is great for beginners who are not used to the weight of a stainless-steel safety razor. Pair with your favourite shaving soap made with coconut oil for the ultimate sustainable living shaving experience.
Earths Tribe’s Safety Razor ($60.00)
Earths Tribe simple double edge stainless steel razor for women boast simple elegance offering you a superior zero waste shaving routine. Their chrome finish quality razor comes with chrome or rose gold plating and offers a great plastic free shave.
- Sleek design
- Comfortable shave
- Stainless steel ensures durability.
- Only available in 2 colours
- Only comes with 1 disposable razor blade
- Slippery handle
- At $60 per razor, they are on the expensive side
Earths Tribe means you can help Australian owned business to grow further that provides quality sustainable products.
Go for Zero Safety Razor ($59.95)
With a body of zinc alloy and blades made from stainless steel, Go for Zero’s butterfly razors are beginner-friendly and plastic free. The double-edged blade allows you to save time and replace blades less often.
- Easy to use and replace blades
- Easy to grip handle textured handle
- Comes in a shaving kit with 5 replacement blades & a travel pouch
- At 90g this razor is on the heavier side which may be a turn off for some
Merkur Double Edge Safety Razor ($51-$124)
Merkur Double Edge Safety Razors are known for their quality German manufacturing. Merkur offers diverse range of razor head styles from a straight safety bar, open comb, or slant bar – so you will be able to find a style that suits your shaving needs.
- Environment friendly shave for entire body
- Merkur offers complete corrosion protection.
- Recommend to use with shaving creams
- Variety of styles available to suit your shaving needs
- Can be difficult to source this safety razor in Australia, you may have to hunt around for one
- Generally they are all silver, but they do occasionally release other colours
Bambaw Razor ($48.02)
The zero-waste razors by Bambaw are sustainable and stylish. Each bamboo razor handle is made of a unique stem of bamboo. Therefore, each handle is unique and has it’s own personality. Bambaw offers great sustainable heavy duty razor option.
- Ideal for beginners, closed comb makes it for a gentler shave than an open comb razor
- Easy to grip bamboo handle
- Comes with in-depth user manual.
- Comes with a single blade, unlike some other shaving razor brands
- UK brand, will be shipped internationally.
In addition to the zero-plastic packaging, all Bambaw products are shipped carbon neutrality. Bambaw is a choice for eco-conscious consumers who are concerned about the environmental impact of each production process.
Gillette has been a shaving veteran for years. The DE razor comes in their classic style and is suitable for sensitive areas. The space between the blades allows you to get a clean shave in minimum strokes.
- Comes with a safety cap
- Finished with platinum to provide durability
- The pattern on the surface is designed for a solid grip
- Affordable alternative to some other brands
- Loading the blade can be difficult
- Offers less replacement blades
Gillette has been a household name for years. Their King C Razor honours the founders while celebrating traditional safety razors.
Founded by Flora and Fauna, Green + Kind brings you a range of ethical products. The three piece razor by Flora and Fauna is made of brass and zinc alloy. The razor comes in compostable box that can be used while traveling. The razor has a weight of 92g which can be a heavy to use.
- Has BCorp certification
- Compostable packaging
- Easy to insert and remove blades
- Does not include blades
- The head can snap off if not handled with care
Green + Kind is known to provide quality cruelty free products. They work with a vision to provide the best eco friendly products at an affordable price.
The closed comb of the razor makes it suitable for beginners. The razor comes with a chrome safety guide to provide extra protection. The balanced weight of the razor gives a quick wet shave.
- Affordable at $20.00
- Designed for beginners and provides extra protection
- Can break easily
- Only available at Woolworths
The low price of the razor has made Jack The Barber increasingly popular. It can be a good starting point for someone looking for budget razors.
Making the switch
Making a switch to safety razors can be intimidating at first and there are some important factors to be considered such as: what style of razor you need, whether you prefer wet or dry shaving, whether you are comfortable handling razor blades. Once you move away from disposable razors and cartridges, you will never want to go back.
We hope this blog helped you to choose your next best sustainable razor for an eco-friendly shave.