After months of buying essentials from more local producers, many Londoners will be hoping to carry on their good, more sustainable, shopping habits developed during lockdown now life is - hopefully - getting back to ‘normal’.
But with diaries getting steadily busier again, the smartest (and greenest) way to stock up household essentials is often signing up to a subscription box and have them delivered to your door.
Home deliveries don’t have to cost the earth: thankfully, many of your everyday necessities now come in biodegradable and plastic-free packaging - you just need to know where you look.
Lofty Box - for a mix of lifestyle and wellness products
London-based entrepreneurs Claudia Meller and Emily Joyce launched Lofty Box during lockdown and describe themselves as “a sustainable subscription box which brings brand new wellness, health, and lifestyle products straight to your door each month.”
The founders, both 30, wanted to help support their favourite young lifestyle brands and smaller businesses and enable them to reach more customers during the tough trading conditions of the pandemic.
An example Lofty Box might contain: a voucher for an online Core Collective fitness class, a packet of Indie Bay’s healthy pretzel snacks; a Little Danube homemade shaped soap; an Inside the Pantry dried mango pouch and an Amplify vegan, non-alcoholic spirit. The contents vary each month.
Boxes are packaged with plastic free, recycled materials, and often include items that cannot - or won’t be - sold by large retailers due to short shelf lives or imperfections.
Lofty Box is £8 a month. You can also buy the Discovery Box of sample and full-size items for £15 and a Luxe Gift Box for £25.
Leo’s Box: for home essentials
All your necessities, but planet-friendly (Leo stands for loving earth’s oceans). This sustainable delivery company was founded by 16-year-old Lysander Bickham - reason alone to subscribe - and promises to send the best hand-trialled, eco-friendly products to your door each month.
Select a monthly subscription and simply choose the products you don’t want to receive - options include shampoo bars, makeup remover pads, fabric conditioners and lip salves. You’ll receive four products per month and there’s a gift included in each box for an added surprise.
One-off beauty, kitchen and bee boxes are available to order too (the latter containing eco-friendly Bee’s wrap and bee-protecting hand cream).
The company buys in bulk directly from the makers, so it’ll save you money (at least £5 per box, according to the website), and for extra eco points it plants a tree with every box and supports the charity Plastic Oceans.
From £20 a month, leosbox.co.uk
Feel: for multivitamins
Feel’s eco-friendly in-house formula contains 33 of the most effective vitamins and minerals in their highest bio-availability and absorption rates. Each monthly subscription box contains 60 capsules: take two a day to look and feel healthier.
Deliveries are all paper packaging, are certified vegan and come in a biodegradable paper pouch.
From £11.95 a month, wearefeel.com
The Cheeky Panda: for toilet roll
No need to stockpile in Sainsbury’s (and bump into your ex on the way home). The Cheeky Panda saw demand for its toilet paper subscription service increase by 200 per cent in the month leading up to the current lockdown, after sales rocketed by 800 per cent during March’s quarantine period.
The subscription service offers an easy method of buying toilet paper without having to venture to the shops or risk empty shelves, with quantities of your choice delivered to your door at your preferred frequency. The paper is made from 100% virgin bamboo, saving the planet 1.6 tonnes of plastic, 140,000 trees and 15,000 tonnes of carbon.
It now offers eco-friendly anti-bacterial wipes and handy wipes, too.
24 rolls from £19.99, thecheekypanda.com
Hello Klean: for shower refills
This eco-friendly shower filter brand offers top-ups of its shower refills every four months. The refills fit the Hello Klean Shower Filter, which is proven to remove over 90 per cent of chlorine, as well as heavy metals and other chemicals (‘hard water’) from our water, which can help to improve skin and hair issues, such as psoriasis and eczema.
The filter itself costs £60 and the company currently offers your first refill for free.
The filter casing is aluminum, and its biodegradable packaging is made from hemp and recycled paper. Even the capsules are recyclable - simply dispose the ingredients as compost and recycle the old casing.
From £35 every four months, helloklean.com
Natusan: for cat litter
Cat litter adds an estimated 2 million tonnes to rubbish dumps every year, so Natusan offers a biodegradable litter that creates 65 per cent less waste and saves you up to £130 per year.
The company delivers monthly and collects your litter every month when dropping off the next month’s supply. Every time a customer places an order, the company plants a tree in the UK.
From £16.99, natusan.co.uk
Kiss The Hippo At Home: for coffee
Ethically sourced, carbon-neutral roasted coffee company Kiss The Hippo now delivers its batches to your home as a subscription.
Choose from 250g or 1kg, select the frequency from weekly to monthly and pick your coffee type - your coffee will be dispatched on Wednesdays, 24 to 28 hours after its roast date, and delivered through your letterbox. You can pause or cancel anytime and gift subscriptions are available.
From £36, kissthehippo.com
Nuddy: for soap and razors
British indie soap brand Nuddy makes soaps that are vegan-friendly, plastic-free and made in the UK, with fun names plastered across the packaging from “less bitter than your ex - FACT” to “this year has been rather mint-al”.
The company just added a sustainable plastic-free razor to its range, with the option of a monthly or bi-monthly subscription service so you’ll never run out of blades. Also included is a sustainable moisturising shave bar and a mystery gift.
From £19.13 when you subscribe (usually £29.00), nuddy.co.uk
Callaly: for period products
No more panicked trips to Boots - get tailored boxes of organic period products delivered through your door. Callaly will send you everything you need for your period from its range of organic cotton tampons, tampliners, pads and liners.
Get them delivered when it suits you, in absorbencies to fit your period - just schedule in your deliveries to fit your cycle.
The earth-friendly products are all wrapped in sustainable packaging.
From £3.65, calla.ly