After my sister bought this product, I was curious to look into the company and the product itself, and what was different from previous reviews was that I could examine the packaging and item itself. The fact that there is no plastic anywhere in the product is a big plus, and the razor can last for years if maintained well. The only thing that needs to be replaced is the blade, which Bambaw also sells. I also found a blade container for sale on their website, so customers can store their used blades in one place so they can’t be reached by children or pets, and then dispose it all together for recycling. Bambaw uses stainless steel for their safety razor, which is the most recycled metal, and that gives me hope that most recycling facilities will take it and these razors aren’t just filling up landfills alongside regular razors. While Bambaw’s razor is much more sustainable that buying packs of disposable plastic razors, I wish that the website could be more transparent on what exactly they are doing that makes them “carbon-neutral certified” and where they manufacture their products. During this process, I kept wondering to myself why it is so hard for companies to gives out this information and list every detail. At first, I thought perhaps I am asking for too much, but I have come to the conclusion that consumers deserve to have all the information so they can hold companies accountable, and sustainability and transparency go together.
Bambaw’s metal safety razor is made of brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc. On the product listing, the razor is “corrosion-proof,” meaning that it can resist chemical or liquid reactions that could possibly corrode or cause rusting the material. Bambaw also warns their customers that some traces of nickel could be in the metal alloy, so those with nickel allergies should be cautious before using their razors. The design of the razor includes a double edge blade with a rifled handle, which allows for a better grip. The only thing that has to be replaced once in a while is the single blade, which is made of stainless steel, so it can be recycled. The entire razor can be recycled as well. Unlike plastic disposable razors, which can have two to five blades in the head, Bambaw’s metal razor only has one single sharp blade. The packaging is also a plus because it has no plastic lining and is instead made of cardboard. The user manual is online, eliminating the extra paper to be printed. I also found the design of the box to be very simple and clever. One rectangular piece slides off to cover the razor, and the box that is within that piece is also constructed to hold the razor in place without needing plastic wires.
Bambaw provides a “Production Process” section on their website, and although it is not extensive, the company shares that they utilize stainless steel in their products because it is the most recycled material in the world and even if it is repurposed or reused, it does not lose it's original quality. More research into stainless steel supports Bambaw's reasoning, because the material is “corrosion resistant and durable, has high-recycled content and recapture rates, and provides long service life and reduce resource use.” An average of 85% of all stainless steel is recycled, and while melting the metal to recycle it does release carbon emissions, recycling steel is way better for the environment in the long run, especially since we are not going to stop using metal anytime soon. By recycling steel, we are able to save more energy from extracting new raw materials and put that energy to use elsewhere. I like that Bambaw provides a link to the sustainability of steel, but I wish they could elaborate on where they source their stainless steel from or which recycling facilities they rely on. I also noticed that they don't explicitly say that they only use recycled steel, and they only talk about how the metal can be recycled, so it's hard to know if they are keeping true to what they say. Bambaw is also certified by CO2 Logic label to be carbon neutral in their supply chain and transportation. Working together with CO2 Logic, Bambaw maps out the journey of every product from production until the arrival of the customer to picture the emissions accurately. Similar to their section about stainless steel, Bambaw does not go into more detail on how they are lowering their carbon emissions. Instead, they mention a project that they have in Malawi that introduces highly efficient ceramic cookstoves to the community there, and these stoves use 75% less wood and lower their carbon emissions. I found this addition on their website kind of random, especially since they didn't give specific details about their own transportation methods or manufacturing sites. The project makes them look good, but they should be more transparent with the sustainability of their own production and also provide more evidence, links, or data. However, I'm glad that the company demonstrates that they are knowledgable about the resources that they use for their products and are putting in effort to become more sustainable.
Bambaw was founded by twin brothers Max and Augustin de Hemptinne, and the company is based in Brussels. According to their website story page, the pair wanted to find a way to combat the immense amount of plastic pollution that comes from buying and disposing everyday products. The company aims to spread zero-waste into the lifestyles of regular consumers by rethinking the design of products and making everything more simple. Bambaw also funds environmental research campaigns, such as 5gyres and the Plastic Soup Foundation, which both call for the radical decrease of plastic pollution and waste production. Bambaw has many products that uses bamboo as the main material, and they work closely with Indonesian workers that cultivate and prepare the bamboo for manufacturing. They collaborate with their partners in Indonesia and have even financially supported them to pay for equipment and tools. An aspect of Bambaw that I appreciate is how they sell “Spare Parts,” so for example they will allow you to just buy the razor head or just the handle. It prevents someone from just disposing their razor because one part is broken, and it gives folks a chance to keep using it and reduce waste. Their prices are also very reasonable, given how much longer they last compared to disposable razors, so it is worth the investment.