Sustainable Razors: FFS vs Estrid

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When I first dipped my toes into making sustainable swaps, a razor was actually one of the first things I bought. I found Friction Free Shaving (FFS) on Instagram (I believe) around 2018 and decided to buy a starter kit – liking the fact you only had to change the head and could post them back to recycle. At the time, sustainable razors like this seemed a little niche, with not many other brands on the market.

At the time, most brands took the ‘buy-use-throwaway’ business model instead. Fast forward to today and I’ve seen so many brands on the market now offering similar schemes to FFS…

Whilst this is amazing to see, it can get overwhelming with what’s good and what isn’t so much. Having used FFS for a number of years, and trying Estrid for the first time last spring I’ve built up enough of an opinion on the two. I’ll talk you through each and offer my fair opinion. If you’re yet to eliminate plastic from your shaving routine, take this as a first step…


Friction Free Shaving (FFS)

The first major positive of FFS is their blade recycling scheme. Like most sustainable razor brands, they offer a range of shaver handle colours and refill blades. However, FFS’ partnership with Carma allows for a circular approach to shaving. Once you have used up 12 blades, you can post them back to them. They recycle them all for you, meaning none end up in landfill; more on their recycling scheme here.

Other sustainable highlights include:

  • Their packaging is 100% recyclable, with their tubes (for products such as shaving gel) made from recyclable plastic ‘PP’. They even state ‘our cream tubes are made from sugarcane polyethylene, a 100% renewable raw material, and can even be recycled at home’.
  • Their partnership with Carma means with each new subscription, they help plant a tree with the Eden Projects.
  • The razors themselves are very durable and allow for a great shave. Each blade has two thin vitamin E strips, which adds to the smoothness (and means I don’t have to use much additional soap).
  • They’re 100% vegan.

Estrid

Estrid* may be one you’re familiar with, as they heavily advertise across their social media, with brand messaging placing them as an inclusive brand for everyone; whether you choose to shave daily or yearly.

Estrid has a number of highlights:

  • Durable handle, with interchangeable heads (with fun colours too!)
  • Their proudly 100% vegan
  • The blades have a lot of product on them, meaning they allow for a very smooth shave (& last a while too).

… but from a sustainability aspect, they do falter slightly in my eyes. Having used up two blades, I asked Estrid how I could recycle my blunt heads, and their response was:

We are looking at recycling opportunities and have previously done recycling analysis for this. However, there are some legal obstacles for this to be implemented smoothly. We are working on it and hope to present a solution that improves the environmental footprint for the entire category – in the future we want to be completely neutral and climate positive!” – May 2022.

Taking away the corporate speak, they basically say they do not offer blade recycling. This means that blades are placed in your normal bin and will likely end up in landfill. Meaning, there is waste involved when using Estrid – something that is not he case with Friction Free Shaving.

Which is better?

I see positives in both, having used them for a very long time. However, FFS have a lot more sustainable credentials including their blade recycling scheme, so I always will swing towards them. If Estrid were to introduce a take-back scheme for their blades, I may reconsider. However, at the moment, whenever I need new blades for my razor, I always continue with my FFS subscription (as I know where their end-of-life is).

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