Five local brands playing their part to be more sustainable

From deodorant bars to reusable pads, these products are ideal gifts for your environmentally-aware friends.

Celeste Lim

Yogurt lover with a Spotify playlist for every mood.

Published: 9 December 2020, 12:19 PM

The season for gift-giving is fast approaching, but some of us are a loss for gift ideas. 

In that case, why not consider supporting some Singaporean entrepreneurs who have put their best foot forward to help conserve the environment?

Here are five local brands with sustainable alternatives to your usual products.

1. Smood

In hot and humid Singapore, it’s not uncommon to start perspiring the moment you step out of the house. To mask our ever-present odour, most of us simply spritz on some deodorant daily.

But did you know that spray-on deodorant is harmful to both the environment and your body? With that in mind, the team at Smood decided to make their own natural deodorant bars.

Smood’s scented deodorant is made with six ingredients: Beeswax, cassava starch, coconut oil, lavender essential oil, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and shea butter. The 25g bars are small to ensure they remain fresh for as long as possible, and can last for about three months with daily use.


Smood’s deodorant bars are made in fresh batches every weekend. PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM/@SMOOD.SG


As part of the Zero Waste Packaging Initiative, the bars are wrapped with baking paper, tied with scrap fabric, and packaged with old boxes and containers. They also sell deodorant holders made of sustainable eco resin.

You can purchase the deodorant bars on their website

2. Refind

In 2019, 75,000 tonnes of glass waste was generated in Singapore, of which only 14 per cent was recycled. Glass waste sent to landfills remains there indefinitely, while glass collected through recycling programmes is exported overseas as there are no glass recycling plants in Singapore.

That’s where Refind, an art glass recycling studio, comes in. 

Refind aims to repurpose Singapore’s used glass and raise awareness on the “value and magic of glass”, by making beautiful glassware and glass art. In turn, this will reduce the number of single-use glass bottles that are disposed of.

Refind sells a large variety of items all made from repurposed glass, including shot glasses, bottle vases and bespoke rings. They also conduct workshops, where interested participants can try their hand at making new products out of their old glass bottles.


Refind can turn your favourite bottle of alcohol into a cocktail jug. PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM/@REFIND.SG

You can check out their products and experiences on their website.

3. sōsu

It’s no secret that Singaporeans love their coffee

Coffee beans are carried in biodegradable jute bags, which are made of natural fibers similar to cotton. However, these jute bags are usually used as a single-use packaging material before being discarded.

With that in mind, the team at sōsu reached out to local coffee roasters to collect their jute bags. After sorting, cleaning and sewing, they use the thick jute material to create their key product, gift pouches.


sōsu also provides jute packaging to local businesses, as an attractive alternative to single-use paper fillers and gift wrappers. PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM/@SOSU.CO


You can shop for their jute products here.

4. Frank Skincare

You may have heard of the term “green beauty”, which is made up of skincare or make-up products consisting of pure ingredients. Choosing “green beauty” means you are consciously choosing products that do not harm the health of the environment and people.

While many skincare brands contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment and your skin, Frank Skincare is completely natural, non-GMO (Genetic Modified Organism), organic and paraben-free. 

Founded in 2015 as a unique skincare solution for weather conditions and skin types in Southeast Asia, Frank Skincare sells facial care, body care and even eco supplies such as reusable swabs and bamboo washcloths.


Frank Skincare tries to use recycled or recyclable packaging material for its products. PHOTO CREDITS: INSTAGRAM/@FRANKSKINCARE


You can shop on their website here.

5. The Period Co.

It’s calculated that an average of 17,000 pads, tampons and pantyliners are used per lifetime. Not only does that add up to an exorbitant cost, it’s also terrible for the environment, as these disposable pads are made of 90 per cent plastic and clog up landfills.

As sanitary products are essential for everyone with a period, it is impossible not to purchase them. However, you can be kinder to the environment by using reusable pads, menstrual cups or period panties from The Period Co..


The Period Co’s cloth pads are made of breathable fabrics that can keep you comfortable throughout the day. PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM/@THEPERIOD.CO


Although they cost more than a pack of disposable pads, the products are a one-time purchase that can last for years with proper care. In the long term, they actually cost less than repeatedly purchasing single-use disposable pads. 

You can browse the various products here.

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