Category: The Minimalist

The Minimalist – Bathroom Toiletries

What if you only had 3 toiletries to use daily?


I ran across an interesting startup Akamai, ‘Who’s goal is to encourage people to wash less, which completely aligns with my zero-waste message.

Like many topics, getting people to understand the importance of changing their habits for the better can be difficult, most prefer to stick with their daily routine. Imagine a bare or clutter free medicine cabinet and bathroom. To the average human, limiting your toiletries to 3 products may be impossible.

This is what US-based personal care startup Akamai wants to influence us to do, it’s quite unusualto ask customers to buy less.

Akamai, which started trading earlier this year, claims to solve all of your personal care needs with 3 products: A soap/face/hair bar, toothpaste; and a hair and body oil spray for fragrance and moisturizing. Akamai encourages customers to wash less often.

I agree with Co-founder Vincent Cobb, this isn’t his first run with a conscious concept. He’s known for an online store selling reusable products and says, the concept is a reaction against an industry set up to drive over-consumption; which isn’t sustainable.

“Typical personal care product companies want you to consume more of their products, so they say, wash your hair and body every day,” says Cobb. “We have been led into this false sense of what is required to have healthy skin, teeth, and hair.”

In agreeing with Cobb, this should be the opposite for several reasons including the use of fluoride in tap water for many nations. Subjecting your skin, teeth, and hair to such a harsh chemical daily is harmful. Please read more about, “The effects of fluoride in your tap water.

The UK beauty and personal care industry is worth £17bn, according to research company Mintel. Besides the luxury end of the market, most beauty products fall into the “fast moving consumer goods” category, which means,  retailers and manufacturers, rely on selling high quantities.

The rise of e-commerce, selfie nation, and beauty/fashion blogging have also boosted the steady growth and development of product lines, empowering an industry surge even during periods when the economy is unpredictable, according to market research firms. Let’s face it some people seem to care more about how they look, then if their bills are paid.

Convincing people that less is more when it comes to beauty and personal care is no easy task, says Ashenburg. “That sense of insecurity, especially among women, that I might not be smelling perfect is embedded in our culture – and advertising makes enormous use of that insecurity.”

Industrial growth comes at an environmental cost. More beauty products mean more chemicals and water used in manufacturing and more plastic packaging. Since the containers used are often hard to wash out, or to recycle, much of it ends up in a landfill, says Dustin Benton, acting policy director at environmental charity Green Alliance.

Akamai isn’t the first company to tackle problems with . Clothing company Patagonia, for example, famously ran a Don’t buy this jacket ad in 2011, and encourages customers to repair garments rather than throw them away.

Such companies face the question of whether calling for reduced consumption while actively marketing their products is really a viable fix for consumerism. Patagonia’s sales, for example, went up following its campaign.

Hopefully, Akamai is successful in using their products to change consumption habits for the better, I think they’ve started off with the perfect items. People will always need and seek products to clean their skin, teeth, and hair, but can be encouraged to buy less of these items.