Since we can’t all live in a hermetically sealed bubble for the duration of the pandemic, sanitizing with certainty has become key to life. Finding the right tools can be a bit of a challenge, but several new products have emerged locally to offer convenient and green ways to stay clean and safe.
While cleaning might seem like an exhausting and never-ending task these days, these new players promise to make life a little easier.
Hale paper soap
If you’re familiar with Listerine’s paper mouthwash strips, you’ll understand the concept of new Vancouver-based HALE Living Co’s new paper soap. Simply take one of these tiny dry sheets and add water to form a lather, then rub and rinse. It’s soap on-the-go that’s ideal for public bathrooms, parks, the beach, and all the camping trips we’re going to take this summer.
Since antibacterial soap is no more effective than plain old soap, and hand sanitizer doesn’t rinse dirt or microbes off your hands, the option of dissolving, portable soap is worth keeping in mind. Add to that the reams of plastic sanitizer bottles being tossed in the landfill (tens of millions already and we’re barely a year into the pandemic), and any effective, environmentally-friendly, sustainable solutions to staying safe and clean are a bonus.
Choose between six scents (Calm Lavender, Sea Breeze, White Jasmine, Honey Lemon, Wild Rose and the newest, Unscented) or the “Hale Care Pack,” which includes one of each scent. Smells and sounds good.
In their decade-long friendship, Vancouver’s Samantha Rayner and Caitlin Rushton have shared more than just good times; they also have a passion for making the world a better place
The average household throws away five plastic personal care bottles a month, according to Rayner, who honed her leadership chops at Saje Natural Wellness and Lululemon. Despite her and Rushton’s best efforts to reuse, they found their recycling bins kept overflowing. But when they wanted to kick the habit, they couldn’t find an online refill and zero-waste company making its own products—so Better Basics was born.
Launching February 25 across North America, Better Basics introduces Set It & Forget It, a collection of three eco-friendly, sustainable refill cleaning products delivered right to your door. Hand and body wash, dish soap, and a cleaning spray all come in a paper jug shipped directly to you on a pre-selected, recurring schedule.
Their Simple Suds Rosemary Mint and Mandarin Cedar Basil hand and body wash, Dish Suds Lemon Rosemary and Mint dishwashing soap, and Citrus Spritz all-purpose cleaning spray are all made with natural ingredients such as coconut oil, aloe vera, and essential oils. The entire lineup is also cruelty-free and vegan, with zero petrochemicals or any of the Dirty Dozen. Each bulk refill promises to save four plastic soap pump dispensers, and use 80 per cent less plastic than a conventional refill jug.
And speaking of such jugs, Better Basics also offers soap dispensers and cleaning bottles designed to last more than a few weeks. The Ever Dispenser and Mister is a sleek, stainless steel soap dispenser and spray bottle in three colours of steel. Green, clean, and designed-to-be-seen.
With all of us stuck at home this past year, there’s been no part of the homefront that hasn’t been affected. Renovations and home sales are going gangbusters and every fashion designer worth their salt has thrown their weight behind sleek new homewares to pretty up the space you’re spending 24/7 in.
So we aren’t surprised to see that even the humble facial tissue got a makeover during the pandemic. The just launched female-founded Mouche is based on the idea that facial tissues can be pretty, practical, and sustainable to boot. Each three-ply sheet in the Anywhere Set—a set of four boxes in beautiful Marine, Blush, Goldenrod, and Linen colourways—is made from 100 per cent Forest Stewardship Certified bamboo and comes in a modern little box that renders those cheesy tissue-box covers obsolete. It’s enough to make you weep.
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day personal care
Way back in 1999, Minneapolis-based Monica Nassif founded Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, inspired by her Iowa homemaker mother. Since then, the eco-friendly line of cleaners and soaps—all made with plant-based ingredients (there’s even an ingredients glossary)—has grown into an international juggernaut found everywhere from Walmart to Well.ca.
This month, the brand launches its body-care line in Canada, which means we now have access to the body wash, body lotion, hand lotion, and a range of bar soap, including three new scents: creamy Oat Blossom, fruity and earthy Plum Berry, and fresh Rain Water. Like its other household cleaning goods, the body care line is cruelty-free and contains the same essential oils and thoughtfully derived ingredients found throughout the line.
AG Hair hand soap
Founders John and Lotte Davis came to the hand-care table with first-hand experience. Once a hair stylist in Liverpool, John sought to create a premium hair product that didn’t dry out his hands due to all the additives and chemicals he was immersed in all day. AG Hair was thus born without all the harsh chemicals so many of us have become so reliant on in our personal care routine.
Now Canada’s largest independent producer of high-end hair products (without parabens, gluten, or testing on animals), AG Hair added hand sanitizer to its stable at the start of the pandemic. And with Healthy Hand soap and lotion recently added to the Body Care Collection, it shows keeping hands clean and hydrated is vital not only to the hair salon industry, but also to everyone’s personal health as we navigate this new normal.
Healthy Hand soap is made with antimicrobial essential oils that help reduce bacteria on the skin, while aloe vera and cucumber extracts add essential hydration (since dry or cracked hands can allow in germs and bacteria and risk infection). The antimicrobial Healthy Hand lotion harnesses nourishing shea butter with hydrating hyaluronic acid, argan, and Abyssinian oils and is infused with soothing aloe and cucumber extracts.
Obakki hand soap
One of our favourite local labels is Obakki, founded by fashion designer Treana Peake. This purpose-led brand (Peake designs clothes to support her philanthropic endeavours) throws its hat into the green-clean arena by creating luxe soap that also offers sustainable income to female entrepreneurs in Africa.
Handmade in Canada with 100 per cent all-natural ingredients—no palm oils, artificial fragrance or colourants, parabens, sulfates or animal products—each bar is cold-pressed in small batches. Bespoke just like Obakki’s clothing.
This gorgeous soap collection includes Moringa Oil & Rose Clay, Shea Butter & White Kaolin, Marula Oil & Black Clay, Avocado Oil & Glacial Clay, Argan Oil & Rahassoul Clay, Baobab Oil & Activated Charcoal. Presented in millboard boxes made from 100 per cent recycled paper, they present so pretty that you’ll be tempted not to use them. But thanks to the power of a global pandemic, we give you leave to liberally lather.
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