The buy one, give one movement is going strong with companies like Toms and Warby Parker — now Bogobrush ($40) has entered the mix. They offer a fairly-straightforward concept: a subscription service delivering a simply-made, environmentally- and socially-conscious toothbrush every three months (and for every one you get, an American in need gets one as well). The toothbrushes feature an entirely-biodegradable design, thanks to their bamboo construction. This helps you avoid contributing to the 450 million toothbrushes thrown away annually in the USA, all while helping spread good dental hygiene.
What makes the Bogobrush different from other toothbrushes?
Today’s toothbrushes are over-styled pieces of plastic that are going to be around for thousands of years after we throw them away. Bogobrush’s biodegradable design means that you can literally bury it in your backyard, and it will return safely to earth without the next generation having to worry.
From a functional perspective, today’s brushes are loaded with rubber grips, and shaped in a way that is really only comfortable to hold in one or two positions. The way we brush our teeth however requires constant movement of the brush in our hand, so with Bogobrush we got rid of all the useless grips and gimmicks, and were left with a pure form that will fit in any hand, and comfortably reach any part of the mouth.
Why make a socially responsible toothbrush?
There are over 80 million people in the USA alone who lack basic access to oral care. Without a healthy mouth, there are dramatic consequences in nutrition and overall well-being. Supplying toothbrushes to those in need is just one small step towards addressing the issue, and we believe that if we can get people to truly care about the social mission of their toothbrush, it could be the start of something even bigger.
How will the brushes be distributed to those in need?
The donations of Bogobrushes to our partners will mean that they can focus on doing what they do best, providing care to those most in need in our communities. And instead of spending their resources buying toothbrushes to distribute, we can help meet their need with a beautiful product that we hope will make people excited about brushing their teeth.
Tell us a little bit about the development.
We brushed our teeth with everything from boar’s hair bristles, all the way to $300 electric gadgets. After talking with dentists and looking at studies, we realized that, more than any special sonic bristle, or expensive gimmick, just about the only thing that improved a brush’s efficacy was whether or not people cared enough about their brush to take the proper time to brush twice a day. So we set out to create a toothbrush that people could care about not because it cost them a fortune, but because it was doing good for people in need and our environment.
How many tries did it take to get it right?
We have a big box full of sketches, prototypes, and mockups that just weren’t quite right. We thought the product you use to start your day and finish your night deserved the same perfecting attention to detail as an iPhone.