I just ordered cotton swaps online from Amazon that are made from bamboo and organic cotton. Another product that we always bought standard from the supermarket around the corner. I recently became aware that these contained plastic and were packaged in a plastic box. And because it is time stop using single use items made from non biodegradable materials, also the cotton swaps needed to be purchased differently.
At the supermarket where I always go, I did not have an eco friendly alternative, so hence I went online.
Searching in Spanish for ‘bastoncillos’ (cottonswaps) and ‘organico’ or ‘ecologico’, I quickly had a huge list of products and suppliers.
The cheapest were 1 a 1000 pieces for €5,56 (€0,0056 per piece). But price is not the primary factor for me to choose a product. I also look at: 1 country of origin; 2 packaging and 3 the brand.
The cheapest ones come packaged per 100 in a plastic zip lock bag. I couldn’t find country of origin in the description and the product was not Amazon Prime, so I think save to assume that these come via regular mail from China which A, would take A LOT of time to arrive, plus I wonder where, how and by who this product is produced. Plus, I still end up with plastic (the packaging). So no, not choosing the cheapest option today.
Second cheapest was more or less the same story. The price was €0,0093 a piece, 66% more expensive. But also lot’s of plastic packaging that I could see on the product image and also most likely send from far Asia.
Now, about country of origin. When a product is from a European brand, that doesn’t guarantee that this products is produced in Europe. But at least there has probably been some control on import etc. And this is also why the brand of the product is so important, which we will come to in the next section.
Now after the two cheapest that I had selected which had a price of €0,0056 and €0,0093 a piece, the next in price were from a brand called Navaris. The price was 800 pieces for €10,99 (€0,0137 a piece) which is 144% more expensive than the cheapest. Navaris is a German ecommerce company that sell over 5000 products from household to cosmetics, sunglasses, and more. I went over their website and they had a couple of ‘sustainable’ish products. But they company did not seem to have the environment as focus at all. Still it being a German company, it adds some trust to the product. So I am pretty confident that the organic cotton used is indeed organic.
But eventually I decided to order the cotton swaps of Duamy. The price was €9,99 for 600 pieces (€0,0167 a piece, 198% more expansive to the cheapest, and 22% more expansive than the Navaris once). BUT: Duamy is a Spanish company (I am in Spain) and its primary objective is to reduce the consumption of single use plastic to improve the environment. Besides cotton swaps they sell bamboo toothbrushes, straws, carbon teeth cleaner (still have to try that! next review?) and reusable bags for gifts, fruit, dry fruit, cereals, toys or what ever you want to use it for).
Now this is a company that I want to support and help become more successful.
The economics of the story? Well, let’s say our household of 3 uses 1 swap per person per day (I think it’s less on average, but for the sake of comparison let’s go with it) about 3 per day, let’s say 100 per month in our household. So the 600 that I just ordered should last us 6 months.
The cheapest once are not Amazon Prime so I have to pay extra for shipping which according to my shopping cart would be €0,48 and it should arrive latest…. the 14th of January! Today is the 15th of December, ok, just before the holiday’s so not the best time. But that means they calculate 28 working days. And than it would come to €0,00604 a piece, times 600 as comparis, so I now pay €6,63 more… over a time period of 6 months, so a bit over a euro per month…
I gladly pay 1 euro a month to clean my ears, bellybutton, appliances and what not, with a little bit less guilty conscious.
So far this story of my conscious consumer adventures… Once I received the products, I’ll post an unboxing and product review video.