12 Eco Friendly & Zero Waste Razors S(h)aving the Earth
What’s the ultimate zero waste shaving solution?
Au naturale, zero…shaving.
And more power to you, if that’s your schtick!
But for those who don’t enjoy fuzzy features, we need an alternate solution to reduce waste and unwanted hair.
We recently explored ways in which you can create a zero waste bathroom, and one oft-overlooked zero waste swap is the razor.
Which is surprising because not so long ago shaving was, zero waste…hello safety razors. But these went out of vogue in favor of bright colored plastic sticks, which, according to the EPA, take about 1000 years to degrade.
A zero waste razor isn’t just a sustainable shaving method, but a smart investment. We’ve been using one for a few years now and love it.
Don’t think of them as geriatric; think of them as tried and true. A classic yet functional design, zero waste safety razors are making a comeback.
The rose gold razor by EcoRoots may actually have you looking forward to shaving. Razor aside, it ships plastic-free too.
While the Black and woman-owned OUI The People are redefining the antiquated perception of safety razors with their curved custom milled design.
For a natural edge as well as a sharp one, check out the chrome and bamboo razors by Jungle Culture.
If you have left over changeable razor heads, Imperium Shaving has sustainable razors and handles that are compatible with many name-brand razor heads.
Glide your way down to the bottom to discover what makes an eco friendly razor and why making the switch is a sharp idea.
*This post contains affiliate links
EcoRoots’s Rose Gold Safety Razor
Who said your zero waste safety razor couldn’t be elegant and functional?
EcoRoots’ sure is, and it includes five double-edged stainless steel replacement blades.
EcoRoots is a one-stop source for ethical online shopping.
Their range of zero waste beauty products are free of animal byproducts, animal testing, toxic ingredients and SLS. And they also happen to be mostly organic and palm oil free.
They use recycled and biodegradable shipping materials and, as a member of 1% for the Planet, support organizations like the Ocean Conservancy.
Albatross’ Metal Zero Waste Razor
Albatross creates one of the best zero waste safety razors for men and women.
Depending on your preference you can choose a long or regular handle to optimize the double-edge for the closest shave.
Albatross wants to save the world from plastic—or should we say shave the world.
Their ‘A Trillion Pieces of Plastic’ campaign is designed to support people picking up any discarded plastic they see.
If just 14% of the population picked up 1,000 pieces of plastic throughout their life, more than one trillion items of trash could be prevented from entering our oceans.
3. WELL KEPT
Well Kept’s Zero Waste Razor Women’s
Well Kept’s Dusty Rose and Cream Safety Razors are designed to reduce the 2 billion plastic razors hitting the trash annually in the United States alone.
While they’re at it, they prevent irritation, razor bumps, and ingrown hairs.
The sustainable women’s razors are made with solid brass and a single high-quality steel blade—both of which are recyclable.
About Well Kept
Well Kept was founded by “two badass ladies” who, after noticing that women’s razors were pricey and plastic, decided to make something different.
Not only that, but they’re 100% made in Canada and sent to you in plastic-free packaging, to boot.
4. OUI THE PEOPLE
OUI the People’s Refillable Safety Blades
Like many of the brands on this list, OUI The People makes nickel-free, stainless steel sustainable razors.
But they also provide tips for how to refill and recycle the blades.
With a curved design, the custom razors are milled to fit your hand while carefully removing hair. Especially suitable for those with sensitive skin.
About OUI the People
OUI The People isn’t just a clever name.
They’re a Black and woman-owned company that provides planet-friendly products for women, all while redefining the antiquated need to be “flawless” and “perfect” with their reConstitution of beauty.
Their products stop ingrown hairs, razor burn, and dry skin—in a zero waste manner, of course.
Available: OUI the People
5. UPCIRCLE BEAUTY
Upcircle Beauty’s Best Safety Razor Zero Waste
Chrome—not plastic—is what you’ll find in the unisex safety razor from Upcircle.
It’s durable, sustainable, affordable, and provides a silky-smooth skin without shaving years off our planet.
About Upcircle Beauty
UK-based Upcircle beauty may be known for their line of zero waste skin care, but they use those same values—vegan, cruelty-free, organic, circularity—in creating some of the best zero waste razors for us conscious consumers.
Everything is sent to you in 100% recyclable packaging.
Leaf’s Zero Waste Razor Option for Shaving
Sustainable shaving is simple with Leaf’s single-blade, fixed head safety razor.
Available in gold, chrome, black, and rose gold, these razors feature a chunky handle optimizing for grip and control.
A razor stand, replacement blades, and tin to collect blades for recycling are also available.
With 50,000 environmentally sustainable razors sold, this completely plastic-free razor maker has prevented 1.5 million disposable plastic razors from hitting landfills.
They also ship plastic-free, offset their carbon footprint, and support climate action non-profit work.
7. JUNGLE CULTURE
Jungle Culture’s Reusable Safety Razors
Jungle Culture mixes it up with a combination of chrome and natural bamboo in their unisex reusable sustainable razors.
They’re weighted and balanced to support those new to shaving (or new to safety razors).
You can also opt for chrome-only safety razors in a variety of pastel and metallic colors.
If you’re looking for a zero waste safety razor for travel, you’ll be happy to know that these razors come with a durable jute travel bag to keep the blade (and everything else) protected in your eco friendly luggage.
About Jungle Culture
Jungle Culture provides the world with eco-friendly and zero waste alternatives, all while supporting their farmers and artisans.
They’re also a member of 1% for the Planet and everything is shipped using zero waste packaging.
Available: Jungle Culture
8. IMPERIUM SHAVING
Imperium Shaving’s Vintage-Inspired Razors
Upgrade your shave with the hand-turned razors for men and women from Imperium Shaving.
They’re made in the USA from sustainably sourced, FSC-certified wood and plant-based, eco-friendly acrylics.
The wood grain and acrylic pour mean that each of the eco friendly razors for shaving is unique.
About Imperium Shaving
Imperium Shaving is a small artisan studio in Baltimore, Maryland committed to making stylish products at reasonable prices.
All products are made by hand, supporting the hard-working traditions of their city.
9. SHORELINE SHAVING
Shoreline Shaving’s Affordable Safety Razors
Shoreline Shaving makes plastic-free, reusable safety razors—in ten popping colors.
The bamboo or stainless steel sustainable womens razors are also suitable for men.
They feature a single, double-edge blade that reduces razor burn, tugging, pulling, and rashes. A safe and effective alternative to disposable razors.
If you’re new to safety razors, you can even get all the necessary supplies in one go via their eco-friendly shaving kit. It includes a razor, shaving soap, 10 blades and hessian storage bag, in a recycled gift box.
About Shoreline Shaving
Their name’s a giveaway.
With every purchase from certain collections, a donation is made to support the world’s coral reef ecosystems or to The Ocean Cleanup.
10. MERKUR OF SOLINGEN
Merkur of Solingen’s Adjustable Safety Razors
Six positions for a super close shave. That’s what you’ll get with the adjustable safety razor from Merkur of Solingen.
The regal brushed chrome and recyclable stainless steel blades make this a zero waste razor perfect for any skin type, men or women.
It isn’t the most inexpensive option on this list, but it will almost certainly last you a lifetime.
About Merkur of Solingen
The German brand has been committed to providing high-quality shaving products for decades. Twelve decades to be exact —they’re 125 years old!
No wonder they call one of their models “a timeless work of art”.
Available: Life Without Plastic
Bambaw’s Metal and Bamboo Safety Razors
Bambaw razors are made with stainless steel or stainless steel and bamboo.
Regardless, they feature a double-edge design via a single, recyclable blade (ideal for beginners).
Switching to one of these is a great way to start ticking off those budget shaving essentials for your zero waste kit.
Bambaw creates products that are reusable or biodegradable.
All purchases are shipped carbon neutral and support organizations committed to curbing plastic pollution and saving our planet.
12. LISSE SHAVE
Lisse Shave’s Plastic-Free Razor
How does no irritation, razor bumps, or plastic sound?
Lisse Shave’s ethical sustainable razors will give you all that.
Lisse works with third-party agencies to ensure their razors are free of toxic or heavy metals (unique, even among the most sustainable razors brands).
Their safety razors come in a few different colors and include several replacement blades and a GOTS-certified organic cotton travel pouch.
About Lisse Shave
Woman-owned Lisse Shave is not surprisingly all about supporting women. 2% of sales are donated to Femme International.
They only use recyclable / compostable packaging.
Available: Lisse Shave
13. ECO FRIENDLY RAZOR ALTERNATIVES
Using a super sharp, unprotected razor blade still sounds iffy to you?
To sustainably shave, you’ve got a few other options that are less likely to knick.
What’s an epilator?
It’s a machine with rotating wheels filled with tweezers that remove hair from the root. Sounds painful we know, but (from personal experience) it’s actually not too bad – and you get used to it.
Epilating provides a long lasting shave alternative and is designed to grasp hair that’s typically difficult to reach.
How sustainable are these?
Well, they require several moving parts and are made with multiple difficult-to-recycle materials, so they’re not a green option. But using what you already have is the best option, especially since some of these will last a long time.
Our Braun epilator is going on 17 years!
Another way you can use what you already have is by heading into the kitchen before shaving.
Sugar waxing involves using a sticky sugar paste (sugar, lemon, and water) and fabric or just pulling off the wax itself in a parallel motion.
You likely have all the ingredients you need, although kits are available through Etsy.
If you’re ready to dive in, check out this DIY sugar wax guide.
14. ZERO WASTE SHAVING SOAP
For a close and conscious shave, consider using a zero waste shaving soap that ticks the right environmental boxes: palm-oil free, cruelty-free, vegan, and natural/non-toxic.
- EcoRoots Shaving Soap: For a foamy, planet-friendly shave, reach for this organic, vegan, plastic-free, cruelty-free soap. It smells like lavender and citrus, too.
- Miel Botanicals Shave Soap: These creamy soaps are vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil-free, and all-natural, with scents like prosecco and craft beer. They come in reusable tins or as part of a kit which includes a vegan bristle, wooden-handle brush.
- Ethique Shampoo and Shaving Bar: For those who want a low-fuss option, this bar does the job for both hair and shaving. It is also cruelty-free, vegan, all-natural, and palm oil-free.
- Friendly Soap: This soap specialist makes cold-pressed natural shaving bars that are vegan, cruelty-free, and palm oil-free.
Tip: Don’t use pure coconut oil. When it gets cold and solidifies, it can clog both your razor and drain.
Instead, use it as an after-shave moisturizer, or try this recipe for D.I.Y. zero waste moisturizer.
For more ideas, check out our full list of shaving soap bars.
ZERO WASTE RAZORS FOR THE WIN
Let’s cut to the chase: disposable razors have got to go.
And no we don’t mean to the landfill, where 2 billion of them end up every year (in the US alone).
Sure, some traditional razor companies are attempting to reduce their impact:
But how many actually get recycled?
Not many. Which is why a zero waste razor (in whatever form it may take) is the only sustainable alternative.
What is a safety razor?
“Safety” razor may seem like a misnomer; they don’t look very safe. With no guards, plastic bumpers, or plastic of any kind, admittedly they’re intimidating.
A safety razor is an all-metal, no plastic razor (usually stainless steel or chrome) with a durable handle and double-sided blade. Instead of throwing away the whole head to change the blade, the blade alone is removable and replaceable.
There are also two types of blade access:
- Standard: screw off the whole head to remove the blade
- Butterfly: a simple twist at the bottom of the handle opens the blade compartment (just like a butterfly’s wings!).
How to use a safety razor?
Safety razors utilize the now somewhat dying art of wet shaving, which, as the name implies, means water is involved. Disposable razors often bypass this requirement due to the little strips of lubricated gel framing the blades.
Wet shaving is better for your skin and reduces nicks, razor burns, and ingrown hairs when done properly:
- Step 1: Prep your skin with hot water or a hot towel. If you shave in the shower, you’re already ahead of the game. Then apply your shaving soap for thorough coverage.
- Step 2: Gently press the flat head of your razor against your skin and tilt it to a 30° angle until one side of the blade rests against your skin. Maintain this angle (anything more will be too harsh) and, going with the grain of your hair, make short, feathering strokes.
- Tip: Do not apply any pressure. There’s a reason safety razors feel so weighty; their own weight is designed to apply all the pressure the blade needs. For more wrinkled, contoured areas, keep the skin as taught as possible.
- Step 3: After one full pass, re-lather and go again, this time against the grain for the final finishing touches.
Ladies, make no mistake: safety razors aren’t just for guys. They work on legs, armpits, and more, erm… sensitive areas, too. For an honest lady-look at how well they perform in these areas, check out this review video.
Once you get over the scare factor and with a little practice, a safety razor will give you the closest shave, without a doubt. You won’t look back.
What’s the difference between safety razors and straight razors?
Coming at you straight from the 1800s, straight razors are for those who really want to get into the art of shaving.
These are similar to safety razors, as they’re both wet shave methods that rely on the angle of blade for effectiveness.
A straight razor, however, is more suited for male facial hair, as the wide blade wouldn’t be very friendly on smaller, contoured areas (like armpits).
Because of the offset grip placement, straight razors have a slightly higher learning curve but give you the closest shave possible. There’s also more maintenance involved (honing and oiling).
But there’s no need for replacement blades, making the initial cost eventually worth it.
There are other sustainable razors options, too, like stainless steel razors with a pivoting head. Talk about a close shave!
While safety razors are a blast from the past, we’re looking forward to seeing modern takes on these eco friendly razors over the coming years.
Why zero waste razors can save you money
When’s the last time you did the math on disposable razors?
Unless you’re buying super cheap single-use razors, you’re forking out around $20 for a handle and a few short-lived blades.
Subscription shave clubs (which also yield monthly shipping and packing waste) cost an average of $10 per month.
Two months of that covers the cost of one of the most eco friendly razors (which will last a lifetime barring any unfortunate misplacements) and a year’s supply of blades.
A pack of 100 Shark blades costs a measly $6 and each blade lasts 2-4 weeks, depending on how frequently you shave. That’s roughly 4 years of blades for $6.
Caring for your zero waste razor
In order to extend its life it’s important to know how to clean a safety razor. After shaving, rinse thoroughly with warm water, ensuring all hair is removed (you might need to take the blade out).
Then shake out and store in a dry place to avoid rusting.
How to recycle your razor blades sustainably
Remember to recycle your old blade. This is critical to the whole ‘zero waste razor’ thing actually being…zero waste.
Due to cutting hazards, they can’t be dropped off with the rest of your curbside recycling. Check with your city council to find out where your community collects scrap metal.
For American shavers, scrap metal recycling locations are not always easy to find. You can always mail your blades to California-based Albatross Shave Shop. They’ll recycle any brand of blade for free.
In between recycling runs or mailings, collect used blades in a jar or “blade bank” like this one from ZeroWasteStore.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON ZERO WASTE AND ECO FRIENDLY RAZORS
So, are safety razors eco friendly?
Not only that, but they’re better for smooth skin and your wallet, too.
Considering all the types of eco friendly razors available, you’re sure to find one that works with you and your hair(less) needs.
Switching to one of these is also one of the easiest zero waste swaps you can make, cutting out (pun intended) an enormous amount of plastic bathroom waste.
Know someone with prickles or unwanted stubble? S(h)ave them searching by sharing this list of zero waste razors. Together, we can cut out plastic waste.