It’s daunting to think about the number of disposable razors that end up in landfills every year. But luckily for us, there are so many great brands offering alternatives! And the sooner we can say goodbye to disposables and hello to zero waste razors, the better we and the planet will be!
Here at The Eco Hub, we are committed to finding the very best sustainable brands. We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission. Learn more here.
Why consider a zero waste shaving routine?
158.10 million Americans used disposable razors in 2020 and this figure is projected to increase to 160.16 million in 2024. The main problem here lies in the fact that disposable razors can't be recycled this is because they are made up of plastic, metal, and rubber. All those parts would need to be detached and most recycling facilities do not have that kind of technology in place, it's why we need to consider products that are made using the zero waste principles.
Not to mention the additional shaving products including creams and foams, which are not the best for the environment either. I know you’re probably thinking of recycling the aerosol cans but they contain hazardous chemicals that are harmful to your health and the planet. All of these factors may have you eager to take on a zero-waste shaving routine that requires minimal effort and lets you save a lot of money in the long run.
What is a safety razor?
Safety razors are made using long-lasting stainless steel or chrome, they are completely plastic-free, have a strong handle and double-sided blades. You can remove the whole blade to replace it which makes it more sustainable than its plastic counterpart, where you have to toss the whole head. You have two options to choose from the Standard, which is where you have to remove the blade by screwing off the whole blade. The Butterfly version is where you have to twist to open the blade chamber to remove the blades.
Our top picks for zero waste razors
The founders of this zero waste razor are two Adams on a mission to inspire more people to make the switch. They have a new modern design that includes three blades, and a pivoting head, that is very easy and safe to use. But there is the reimagined safety razor that has a single blade and includes one blade, precise control, and a fixed head at a lower price point.
This year, consumers contribute a major impact by keeping around 2.5 million disposable plastic razors out of landfills. They package and ship 100% plastic-free. On top of that, they record and aggressively offset the carbon footprint of the organization. And they proudly support climate action non-profit work like The Adaptation Fund. USE CODE: CPYOUTUBE10, CPINSTA10, CPTIKTOK10
Probably one of the most stylish sustainable razors you can get. EcoRoots Razor is made from zinc alloy and stainless steel. It comes with 5 complimentary blades and in two different colors, rose gold and black. In the future, you can always buy replacement blades they also carry organic shaving soaps, zero waste floss, plastic-free loofahs, and zero waste deodorant!
EcoRoots is a small business in Aspen, Colorado that focuses on eliminating plastic so all products are low waste, and cruelty-free and they even carry products from other small businesses that want to make an impact on the planet. Packaging can be repurposed, composted, or recycled and they are proud members of the 1% for the planet.
Well Earth Goods offers reusable sustainable razors made from stainless steel. They are available in two different colors, rose gold and gunmetal, and include 10 complimentary blades, which will last you years and years! They also carry a blade recycling container which they say you can tape up the opening and place in the recycling bin, please call your city before you do this.
Owners of Well Earth Goods, Jocelynn and Lee Anderson always strive to use eco-friendly products and minimize. Apart from sustainable razors, they carry cleaning products, natural body wash, plastic-free food storage containers, products for babies/kids, and much more.
All products are packaged using 100% recycled paper including recycled paper tape, labels, mailer envelopes, and paper for cushioning.
4. Grove Co.
This zero-waste online shop carries zero-waste razors from sustainable brands such as Leaf Shave and Bulldog. We mentioned Leaf Shave earlier but Bulldog’s reusable razor is another good one that is very compact, and made from recycled glass from durable beer bottles. It also comes with a fancy metal stand so you can keep it nearby and 5 tempered steel blades.
Grove Co. carries a lot of environmentally friendly home essentials, including cleaning products, zero waste bathroom essentials, self-care products for babies and kids, and eco-friendly pet products. They also have a pretty cool Beyond Plastic Plan that will have them eliminate plastic completely by the year 2025. Very proud to have removed over 7 million pounds of plastic from January 2020.
This reusable sustainable razor is made from stainless steel and it is very unique since it features a butterfly-style opening that is easy to insert a replacement blade. In addition, it includes 10 replacement razors in a cute hemp razor bag. There is a longer butterfly safety razor and the difference is only in the length.
Albatross has this take-back upcycling program that you can send back the blades once they are no longer of use. It also carries recycled silverware utensils as your go-to reusables which are partially made from the take-back program. All products are shipped in packaging made from recycled materials.
If you’re looking for a safety sustainable razor that is quality and very minimal then you found it. They carry the standard safety razor which is made of chrome-plated steel and the blade is not adjustable. It comes with one recyclable stainless steel blade. The best part is that It takes any brand of standard double-edge blades. This is probably the kind of razor your grandpa used! Classic!
The Founders, Chantal and Jay had the vision to live life without plastic as their business name. Thus, other than sustainable razors they also carry home essentials, skincare products, and products for babies and kids, including wholesale. All packaging is 100% compostable or recyclable.
Our all-time favorite is the zero waste pivoting razor by Leaf Shave which you will also find at the Package Free Shop. They encourage to have a zero waste shaving routine by having a plastic-free shave kit. The kit includes one of the best reusable razors, a shaving bar, and replacement razors packaged in a box.
Founder, Lauren Singer, and Package Free Shop’s goal are to make natural and plastic-free products more accessible, affordable, and convenient for all. They have tons of home essentials to choose from, natural skincare products, bundles, and much more.
Not to mention that their packaging is plastic-free. Package Free Shop considers all individuals for employment without regard to race, religion, age, sex, gender, disability, national origin, citizenship status, sexual orientation, and so forth.
Jungle Culture carries some of the best zero waste safety razors with various designs to make sure zero waste shaving is easier for beginners. There are traveling razors in rose gold and black, others are made from bamboo and reusable safety razors that are specifically for men, women, or unisex. In addition, they offer shaving soap bars and razor blades for additional purchase.
Jungle Culture is all about human culture from the farmers to the artisans that supply businesses in over 30 countries. They also have a team in the UK that can customize your eco-friendly products including coconut bowls, bamboo cutlery, bamboo cups, and reusable bamboo straws. They have created an ethical supply chain over the years and 1% of their sales is given to charities focused on environmental change and restoration.
Other ways to get rid of hair
You have a few choices here, you can opt to go au-natural and skip shaving altogether! Waxing is good too, but try to go with sugar waxing as there is way less waste. Or how about an epilator? Epilators have rotating wheels that grab the hair and pull it out at the root. I am too much of a wimp to try this, but Byrdie has a whole post on how to use these properly.
Best zero waste shaving soap
Etee's organic shave bar is the bomb, I just tried it and am in love already. It foams perfectly and is packed full of ingredients that will benefit your skin so much. Like Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, and Bentonite Clay just to name a few. Bye-bye razor burn, this bar soap is magic. You can also try making your own shaving cream.
Ethique's shampoo and shaving bar is another hit in my home. My hubby loves this one. It's also got great foaming action, it's got a lightweight feel and the ingredients are top-notch too. It's a multi-tasking vegan bar that can be used on your hair and your bod!
Common questions about zero waste razors
1. How to use a safety razor?
I am not going to lie, it took me a while to figure out how to use it and then have the confidence to actually shave my legs. You need to be careful the first few times you use a safety razor. I've cut myself a few times not paying full attention to what I am doing.
- Step 1: Get your skin ready by wetting it and then apply your favorite zero waste shaving cream.
- Step 2: Hold the razor at 30 degrees and then use short strokes (1-3cm) going in the direction of the hair, this will help to reduce irritation. Apply very gentle pressure when doing this, the weight of the razor will do all the work for you.
- Step 3: When the razor becomes clogged with soap and hair, rinse it and flip it around. Rise and apply good body butter.
Eco-friendly razors like these are not only for men, ladies you can use this anywhere hair grows.
2. How can a zero waste razor save me money?
Okay so a safety razor does have an upfront cost, but most do come with at least 5 blades, which should last you a long time, years in fact. If you take care of the razor will last you a lifetime. The average disposable plastic razor can cost anywhere from $8.99 to $35.99, you are really paying for the blades and in some cases, refills can run you upward of $20. And let's be honest, most don't just buy refills they buy the whole kit.
The bottom line is this razor will oat for itself in 1-2 months. Such an easy zero waste swap!
3. How do I recycle my sustainable razors?
Traditionally most people wrap the blades in the toilet paper and toss them in the trash, but please don't do this. It's dangerous to garbage workers and can pose a real threat to animals looking for food in a landfill. Keep old blades in a safe place until you can dispose of them correctly. Best to check with your local municipality on how to deal with metal waste.
Some companies do offer take-back programs so make sure you ask about that. Also, check out TerraCycle, in the USA, they have an ongoing mail-in program with Gilettes you can utilize.
Check with your local pharmacy, in some cases, they do offer sharps containers free of charge, just fill it up and then take it back. I am not sure where these end up but at least no one will get injured.
A final word on zero waste razors
Reducing waste and sending as little to landfills as we can is really the pinnacle of zero waste living. If you take a look at the 5 R's of zero waste you will see that REDUCE and REUSE are at the top of the list.
I hope I have made your life a little easier by sharing a few of my top picks to help you decide on the right safety razor and start your zero waste shaving routine.
If you found this post helpful, please help someone by sharing this article – sharing is caring 🙂!