Better Basics is #doingbetter
We all know that using sustainable products is better for the planet. But do we have to sacrifice style in the process? Absolutely not! These days, eco-friendly products are getting a big upgrade, meaning that consumers get to enjoy their sustainable swaps without compromise—and Canadian company Better Basics is leading the way.
A key consideration in anyone’s sustainability journey is determining if the changes will be sustainable for them to continue for the long term.
The truth is, there really is joy in using products we like—that feel good on our skin, that smell good, that look good in our home, and that are effective. When we find eco-friendly products like this, it’s a beautiful thing.
Samantha Rayner is the founder and CEO of Better Basics, a Vancouver-based company on a mission to reduce waste and make sustainable products that people love to use. Rayner knows how important it is to find products that live up to our standards.
“At Better Basics, we want to elevate your experience of the product and delight your senses. We want to help you make your home a haven,” says Rayner.
Better Basics’ signature products are refills (including hand soap, dish soap, and cleaning spray) as well as sleek stainless steel containers in three stylish shades to dispense the refill products. That means Better Basics products aren’t just enjoyable to use, with lovely scents and effective formulas, but the containers are beautiful to look at, too.
“Minimalism is our aesthetic. We don’t need a bottle with marketing on it screaming at us all day,” laughs Rayner. By mindfully choosing less visual clutter in our home environments, we can help calm our minds.
In addition to their refills, Better Basics products include shampoo, conditioner, cleaning brushes, and cloth bags—all equally beautiful.
Of course, Better Basics goes far beyond aesthetics. “Better Basics is my love letter to the world,” Rayner explains. She explains that after losing both of her parents to cancer, she became passionate about living in a healthier way. Not surprisingly then, health and sustainability are two important factors when it comes to Better Basics’ product formulation and packaging.
For example, Rayner prioritizes biodegradable ingredients such as a coconut surfactant, olive oil, and pure essential oils. All products are cruelty free and not tested on animals; plus, they don’t use sulphates, parabens, petrochemicals, artificial colours, or artificial fragrances.
Their refill packaging uses 80 percent less plastic than typical containers and features a 100 percent recycled paper exterior. Their other product and packaging materials include recyclable aluminum tubes, bamboo, and organic cotton.
So far, the company has diverted 1.2 million pieces of plastic from landfills, Rayner estimates. Looking forward, Rayner hopes to further expand Better Basics’ product line, as well as launch with even more retailers. It’s all part of their mission to #doingbetter, now and in the future.
Why buy sustainable products?
· When we choose refills, we reduce plastic packaging and other materials that require resources. Packaging that does exist may be more recyclable (or even compostable).
· Refilling also means you can choose any dispenser you like, so it can perfectly match your personal style.
· In many cases, you can buy exactly as much as you want. This helps save money too!
· Many products are formulated with sustainable sourcing and human rights considerations in mind. That means the product you’re buying may be more ethical as well as eco-friendlier.
· Sustainable products such as water bottles or cloth bags can be reused over and over again, eliminating the need for single-use items.
What can we refill?
More than you might think! Though not all carried by Better Basics, here are a few personal care and home care refill products that can be purchased—online, at designated refill stores, or at natural health retailers:
· hand soap
· dish soap
· all-purpose cleaner
· body lotion
· body wash
· laundry detergent
· washing soda
· cleaning vinegar
· essential oils
· carrier oils
Follow these tips to store refillable products in a way that complements (rather than clashes with!) your existing home décor.
· Minimize first. Ask yourself if everything needs to be on the counter, or if some items can be stored out of sight (soap pump containers on the counter, refills under the sink).
· Have a place for everything and put everything in its place when you’re finished using it to avoid clutter.
· Invest in some containers you love for your refill products. For example, use pretty glass spray bottles from second-hand stores; play with colour and fun patterns in your guest bathroom or powder room, but keep things neutral in your kitchen so they match your décor.
Not all containers can be safely cleaned and reused. For example, they may contain residue from previous products. Always exercise caution and never mix cleaning products.
Avoiding plastic makes more sense
Rayner explains that only 9 percent of our plastic waste is actually recycled. This statistic reminds us that even when we assume something is recyclable, that doesn’t mean it will be recycled.
Canadians discard more than 3 million tonnes of plastic waste annually. Most of this goes to landfills, waste-to-energy facilities, or, sadly, the environment, where it can harm wildlife and enter waterways. We need to be mindful of what we use and what happens to it.
Convenience is key
Rayner acknowledges that in-person refill shopping is sometimes challenging. One benefit of Better Basics’ model is that the products can be shipped right to your door, making refill shopping easier for busy families. Subscriptions are also available, so shoppers don’t even need to worry about reordering! The products are also available at many retailers for in-person shopping.