We all need to make changes if we want life on Earth to continue. These can be big things like getting rid of your car or going vegan, but they can also be little changes, like switching your wasteful cartridge or disposable razor for a more sustainable alternative. It might not seem like much, and it isn’t, but enough of these small adjustments over time can amount to a big reduction in your overall environmental impact.
Sustainable razors are built to last and don’t rely on disposable plastic cartridges for a close shave. In theory, this means that a single razor handle could last you a lifetime, and the metal blades you use with it can be recycled easily and effectively.
There are a number of brands out there offering long-use safety razors that can help you curb your consumption. Some work with natural materials like bamboo to make their products while others take inspiration from the classic stainless-steel razors of yesteryear to create tools that’ll last for life.
In this guide, we take a look at the best ones and the reasons why you should make the switch to sustainable shaving.
Why Go Sustainable?
Are sustainable razors going to fix the climate? Of course not. But they’re a step in the right direction at least. You might not know it, but the simple act of shaving every day with a cartridge or disposable razor is extremely bad for the planet. These products are built to be thrown away, the manufacturing process is complex and expensive, and the fact that they’re made from mixed materials makes them impossible to recycle. As a result, they end up piling up in landfill sites or floating in the ocean.
According to The Independent, in 2018 approximately 5.5 million people in the UK were using disposable razors. Extrapolate that globally and you’ve got a hell of a lot of waste plastic.
Opting for a reusable razor made from a recyclable or natural material like steel or bamboo is a much better option. The handle can last indefinitely and the blades can be recycled again and again. If everyone made the switch it would amount to a significant reduction in plastic waste.
Furthermore, there is the reduction in emissions wasted by having a razor delivered to your door each month (for those on a subscription plan). A single person’s razor subscription can generate roughly 3.6kg of CO2 emissions per year.
What Makes A Razor Sustainable?
So, what exactly is a sustainable razor? In short, it’s any razor that’s either designed to be reused for life, or that is natural or fully recyclable. So, we’re not necessarily talking about tools made from all biodegradable materials or anything like that, more ones that are built well and designed to last. Steel in particular is a great material as it’s strong, durable and can be recycled again and again without losing any of its properties.
Most importantly, a sustainable razor shouldn’t be made from plastic or have any plastic parts. This means that while a traditional cartridge razor is reusable, it’s not sustainable as the cartridges it uses are made predominantly from plastic.
The Best Sustainable Razors For Men
Henson Shaving doesn’t just make any old razors. These precision engineered shaving tools are made with the same high-grade materials and attention to detail that the Canadian company has been using to produce parts for the aerospace industry for decades.
The AL13 is the brand’s signature model. It features a finely milled handle made from lightweight aluminium and no-flex blade housing for the most precise shave possible.
On top of that, it’s been designed to leave the perfect amount of blade protruding (33 microns to be precise), which means you’ll get a super-close shave with virtually no risk of accidental bloodshed.
Shoreline’s competitively priced, plastic-free safety razor is an excellent option for budget-conscious customers who want a great shave without harming the planet. It’s made from long-lasting materials and has a robust build that’s designed to stand up to daily use and deliver clean shaves for life.
It’s also available in a selection of tasteful colours to brighten your bathroom up, and there’s even a bamboo version for those who prefer the natural look.
Jungle Culture is another brand specialising in colourful reusable safety razors. They’re built using durable materials, feature a textured anti-slip grip and have no plastic parts whatsoever.
Each razor also comes complete with its own stand and travel pouch, all made from environmentally-conscious materials, of course.
Founded in 2018, Acala is a relatively new brand dedicated to eco-friendly grooming gear. First and foremost, it’s an online store offering sustainable lotions and potions from leading brands, but it also produces its own range of grooming tools, creams and serums, including bamboo safety razors.
They’re made using sustainably sourced bamboo and are available to buy with or without blades. Each one comes with a three-year guarantee too, and most importantly there are no plastic parts.
If you want a proper traditional safety razor from one of the biggest and most established names in the game, look no further than Merkur. The company was set up in Germany over 125 years ago and has been producing high-quality single-blade razors ever since.
They’re pricier than some of the alternatives, but they have the heritage and experience behind them to justify a slightly elevated price. There are lots of different styles of razor to choose from too, as well as all sorts of accessories and extras to ensure you get the closest, least irritating shave possible.