We hear a lot about sustainable and cruelty free products in womens toiletries and make up but very little where the guys are concerned. At Living Gentler we do as much as we can to support products not tested on animals, and whilst not being vegan we value sustainable, responsibly sourced products that avoid animal suffering.
Now Mr. Living Gentler is not all that on cosmetics but he does like a wet shave. We have already sourced a palm and plastic animal cruelty free shaving soap from The Friendly Soap Company.
But when it came to shaving brushes options are limited it seemed only Badger, Boar, or synthetic bristle and mixes of the same are available.
Mr. is not keen on badger hair, the animals are farmed in China and kept in terrible conditions then discarded and killed.
Boar is not much better, there is a mix of farmed boar (poor living standards), or hunted wild boar hair made available. Again this does not sit well with Mr.
Synthetic? Certainly a cruelty free option and great if we were vegan / vegetarian. But environmentally questionable. Brushes shed bristles, and bristles degrade over time this releases (microfibres) plastics into the water waste cycle. These fibres are to small for water waste systems to process so they then end up in the ecosystem.
As well as this there are also issues with the production of synthetic (nylon) bristle and the wider pollution this generates.
So the answer? Grow a beard… Mr. Has grown beards before so lets not go there!
So with more research we found horse hair brushes exist… The hair is harvested from the tail and main as part of grooming, it is as far as we can establish a cruelty free option. Mr. reports the later is good and the shaving experience fine.
We have sourced a Vie-long brush which uses cruelty free harvested Spanish horse hair combined with the shaving soap gives a good sustainably sourced shave.
As for the other component of the shave, namely the razor, Mr. has long used a twin edged traditional razor, all metal with replaceable metal blades so no plastic waste.
We carefully sourced cardboard boxed razor blades to minimise plastic to waste from redundant packaging.
Happy shaving all!