Overall, I would say the bamboo cotton rounds are a sustainable product and I appreciate the brand’s commitment to plastic-free, reusable products that can help consumers eliminate waste from their everyday life. Ultimately, reusable bamboo cotton rounds that are compostable are better for the environment than single-use cotton rounds. Reusable cotton rounds can also save consumers a lot of money as this item costs 17.50 USD for 20 rounds that will last a lifetime. However, The Earthling Co. makes so many empty claims about their supply chain, I have a hard time trusting this brand and ultimately, I cannot stand by a brand I don’t trust. As they claim to be “working towards transparency,” I hope to see this enacted very soon as they do sell so many amazing alternatives to single-use plastics.
These bamboo cotton rounds are made from 98% bamboo and 2% cotton. At first glance, a consumer might see bamboo and automatically think that means it's sustainable. However, looking into the bamboo industry, it’s not as black and white as one might think. On one hand, bamboo is fast-growing, requires no fertilizer and self regenerates, meaning there is no need to replant and the roots don’t need to be disturbed to harvest it. This is better compared to cotton, which requires a lot of water, fertilizers, and labor. Bamboo also produces 35% more oxygen than the equivalent tree mass and their roots help hold the soil together, preventing erosion and aiding in water absorption. On the other hand, bamboo is a monoculture, meaning when it is planted, all other plants are removed. Due to the rising popularity of bamboo products, large areas of land are being cleared which leads to the displacement of wildlife and a decrease in biodiversity. Most bamboo comes from China, meaning it has to be shipped to wherever it’s being used, adding to carbon emissions. China also does not have many regulations when it comes to farming, so bamboo cannot be fair trade certified as it is hard to measure how it is grown and harvested. It is very possible that bamboo farmers use chemical pesticides and fertilizers to increase yield and therefore profit, even though it is not needed for bamboo. It is unclear where The Earthling Co. sources their bamboo as they don’t provide any information on their supply chain. However, this product is reusable and compostable at the end of its lifecycle, removing a lot of waste from single-use cotton rounds, so I would definitely recommend these over single-use items.
The Earthling Co. is known for using zero plastic packaging for all of their products and having all their packaging be either compostable or recyclable. The box that these bamboo cotton rounds come in is completely recyclable and is made from 100% recycled materials. I admire this initiative as I’ve seen a lot of brands claim to be working towards zero- plastic packaging, but this brand is already doing it!
I was really disappointed by this company’s empty claims of transparency. The Earthling Co. claims to be “working to ensure total supply chain transparency, making sure all of [their] ingredients are sourced ethically,” however there is absolutely zero information on their website or anywhere else to back up these claims. The company does donate 1% of their profits to 1% for the Planet, an organization whose members vow to donate 1% of their profits to environmental causes. They also donate to many other brands such as WIRES (Australian Wildfire Relief), Carbonfund.org, and Black Lives Matter. While donating to environmental causes is great and most likely offsets their carbon emissions, they ultimately do not make any specific claims about how the products are made. I would really like to see what The Earthling Co. is doing within their own company to fight against climate change, not just the organizations they are donating to.
Similar to how it’s made, The Earthling Co. provides no information about who makes their products. As a brand that actively promotes itself as a “sustainable” brand, promotes low-waste living, and even outright claims that their ingredients are sourced ethically, I was expecting to see a lot of information about who makes their products. Unfortunately, I was only left with empty promises and disappointment. I really want to see this brand follow through with their plan to provide complete supply chain transparency, but as of right now, they have no information for me to give them anything above 1/3 planets.