Why we're making the switch to a Safety Razor

by Emily Carlstrom

It’s estimated that over two billion razors are thrown away in the U.S. on a yearly basis. That’s roughly 1 million pounds of plastic waste. In Australia, keeping in mind our slightly smaller population, the numbers are comparable - and no less concerning. 

So, we’re borrowing from the boys - or their grandfathers to be exact, to normalise and promote a simpler and sleeker way to shave (that’s also zero-waste). Enter the safety razor, a simple and effective approach to shaving that bypasses the glitz and glamour of high-tech shaving technology and keeps it simple. After all, shaving is simply removing hair.

Historically, shaving was a visible status symbol. The safety razor was invented so simpletons, who perhaps could not afford a professional barber, could take hygiene into their own hands. Fast forward a few hundred years, and we’re at the peak of modern shaving. Shaving is currently a multi-billion dollar industry that uses strategic marketing to encourage men and women to continue shaving on a consistent basis, while replacing their entire razor every few weeks.

Kappi Rose Gold Safety Razor - click here to view

Razors are considered to be ‘planned’ products that are carefully designed for disposal and wear over time, which hooks customers into replacing them every so often.  The promotion of disposable razors is not only harmful for the environment, but also expensive over time. 

Traditional disposable, or mainstream razors, tend to be created from a multitude of materials: plastic, steel and rubber. That conglomeration of materials, as well as plastic-heavy packaging isn’t conducive to easily recycling razors. Modern razors also include questionable additions to boost up their appeal. For example, the addition of small lubrication strips to ensure a smooth shave are becoming more commonplace. But that lubrication? It’s generally made from polyethylene oxide, a toxic substance that can cause serious skin irritation.

While we’re apprehensive of the culture of use and dispose shaving, it’s important to acknowledge that we’re also entering a renaissance of shaving, if you will. There’s a rise in the use of safety razors because the blades are cheaper and the razors themselves will last years or even decades with proper care. Large companies like Gilette are listening to customers and offer a ‘Terracycle Razor Recycling’ program in the U.S. In the U.K., BIC tried to normalise eco-design through recycled plastic packaging and cardboard. While these programs sound good, they also skirt around the main issue: that disposable razors, regardless of recycling or reuse initiatives, still end up in landfill. 

So, we pledge our loyalty to the safety razor, a delightfully simple and waste-free alternative to a notoriously wasteful and unnecessary industry. Kappi’s Safety Razor’s design is beautiful in its simplicity: using corrosion resistant, brass alloy materials for the razor itself, you’ll only have to replace the stainless steel blades every 5 - 7 shaves. Safety razors are designed with one double-edged blade to ensure a closer shave, avoid irritation and in-grown hairs. Our Safety Razor is an investment piece, however, the long-term cost savings speak for themselves. Not just for you but also for the planet. For example, our 10-Pack of blades costs $6.95 V $20 for plastic razor refills.  Used blades can be stored in a glass jar and when full recycled as 'sharps' - click here to find your closest drop-off point. Be careful of throwing blades in the bin as it could be a hazard due to the sharp nature of the blades. We're working on a recycling program for the blades so stay tuned!


Click here to see our razor recently featured on Spell's Plastic Free Home Hacks Blog 

We get a lot of questions from customers on how to actually use a safety razor. Which comes as no surprise, since we’re conditioned to using disposable razors. Playing with and putting together anything with sharp blades isn’t intuitive. Using a safety razor and getting into flow of changing the actual blades takes getting used to, but that’s why we’re here, to hold your hand and guide you….

How to use a Safety Razor: 

  1. Unpack your safety razor
  2. With dry hands, hold onto either side of the razor head and unscrew the handle anti-clockwise to loosen. The base will disconnect from the head. 
  3. Once the razor is disassembled, carefully unwrap the blade and place it onto the head of the razor. 
  4. After the blade is in place, reassemble the razor by screwing the handle clockwise to tighten.
  5. Get shaving! For a smooth shave, we recommend soaking your skin with warm water, using a shave cream/gel/oil (or bar of soap) and take it slow! Be especially careful when shaving around ankles, knees etc. Use your razor on an angle (different for different areas) and apply very little to zero pressure. 
  6. Once the blade begins to dull, replace your blade and put your used blade in a glass jar to store and eventually recycle.

If you’re more of a visual learner, we’ve also put together a short and sweet video outlining how to change the blades:  

How To Use Your New Safety Razor from Kappi on Vimeo.


Blog post written by Katherine Guerrero for Kappi. You can check out more of her work here.

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