the unwash review
Tackling the overuse of single-use plastics has become a common mission for startups and established companies alike. Upon first glance, this new water bottle brand appears to be a traditional plastic bottle, but Cove hopes to change how we think about packaging water. Cove is an entirely compostable water bottle made from bio-based plastics that can be broken down over time. This is the first water bottle in the world that is made of biodegradable materials, marking an important milestone in innovation around eliminating plastic use. Nearly 500 billion plastic bottles end up on our waterways, taking decades to break down and leaving harmful microplastics that damage ecosystems and are unsafe for human consumption. This launch culminates four years of research and development for the product and has the potential to change how goods are packaged – which is exactly what the brand is hoping to achieve.
“By bringing a truly biodegradable alternative to plastic to customers and the industry as a whole, we can begin to reduce plastic waste in our communities.” – Alex Trotterman, Cove CEO
Cove’s bottles are made through a complex fermentation process, including feeding microbes food waste to produce polymer cells that can be used for plastic production, which is later then able to be broken down by other microbes (PHA). The brand has received biodegradable certification from TÜV Australia and estimates that the bottles take 1-5 years to decompose in a natural environment and 90 days in industrial conditions. Compostable and biodegradable products are a great solution to combating single-use plastics, but they still face their own challenges. These alternatives do not break down in a landfill, which is a common misconception. The water bottles also cannot be recycled, so they are disposed of properly in an industrial composting facility or at-home composting.
In December of 2022, the brand launched at the popular L.A. health food store, Erewhon, and plans to expand to other retail partners in the near future. The brand wants its product to be the start of a more significant change within the industry, and other companies follow suit by innovating their packaging to minimize the use of plastics. Cove’s current manufacturing facility in California can produce 20 million bottles of water a year. The brand plans to continue to scale its operations, including plans to move into an even larger facility. For many, there is no solution to single-use plastic water bottles as they are the only safe water source. Cove could be an absolute game changer in these communities. There are other alternatives, such as glass bottles and boxed water, but these sometimes lack the accessibility of traditional plastic bottles, which would be where we see Cove growing. Change for single-use plastic water bottles has to start somewhere, and Cove is committed to being part of the solution, which we hope picks up traction with consumers.
The Canadian-based brand, Before, is set on innovating personal care products with better ingredients and sustainable packaging. Before packages their toothpaste in plant-based materials that are completely recyclable, one of the first brands to do such for oral care products. Before is hoping to change this and offer an alternative that doesn’t lack the feel of using traditional toothpaste.
Cadence advocates for using less and being mindful of the number of products purchased. The travel capsules are meant to aid in the longevity of products with their water-tight and leak-proof design. Say goodbye to losing all of your products or forgetting something at home thanks to the hexagon magnetic system to keep your items in one place. The capsule system is buildable; you can start with one container or even six, then add more to your collection if needed, giving an aesthetically pleasing honeycomb look.
Skincare is only one part of the Haeckles ethos. The brand has a wide range of candles, fragrances, and hair care products. Initially launched in 2012 as a men’s skincare line, the brand diversified and found a large following outside its male products. The UK-based fan-favorite brand plans a more extensive international expansion due to high demand and interest in its products. With products for everyone and every need, Haeckles holds true to its values and continues to adapt to the needs of its consumers as they grow.