Any product that decreases waste and plastic on this planet, in my opinion, is a great one! But I studied Consumer Science and I cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that comfort, choices, competitive pricing, consumerism, etc. all play a significant role in our choices. Making them more than just the desired black and white.

Old school safety razors and shaving methods, however, are in an elite category of their own. They trump any of their rivals – Here is why!

Environmental Impact?

Disposable plastic razors and their accompanied shaving cream cans are NOT recyclable or recycled at all – especially in a country like South Africa. 

Disposable and cartridge razors are made up of a combination of rubber, plastic, metals and foam making it impossible or not worthwhile to separate them into different materials to be recycled. Even if this is done, there is still a risk of one type of material being contaminated by another and it is easier to chuck it in a landfill, manufacture new ones and call it a day!

Same with the shaving cream cans, the combination of materials used makes recycling not worthwhile or impossible.


A 100% metal safety razor and blades, and trading the cans in for soap and a brush is the way to go. These options provide materials that are fully recyclable at the end of their life (metals), pose no everlasting harm to the environment (plastic-free) and these soaps are chemical-free and will not pollute any waterways and are better for your skin.

It is important to note that while plastic can be recycled it loses a lot of its quality and there is a limit to the number of times it can be recycled. On the other hand, materials like glass and metal can be recycled forever maintaining their quality.

These swops are a no brainer, but if I have not convinced you yet, take a look at the cost breakdown below.

Cost Effectiveness?

You will save thousands, literally. And if you shave often, then you will save hundreds of thousands, LITERALLY. There is so much information on the www about switching to safety razors, but little in an accurate South African context.

This comparison uses a baseline costing of averaging offerings on the internet and supermarkets and our prices on our site.

The average 3-blade cartridge will last you ± 8 shaves at a cost of R40, and one safety razor blade will last you 5-6 shaves, at just R3.33 – R4. You can already see where we were heading with blade cost alone.

The shaving soap goes a similar way. One big plus with soap and a brush is that you can apply the foam a 2nd and 3rd time from the same lather, whereas you cannot get the foam back in the can with a shaving can and you cannot re-lather with it!

You get the idea, but here is a simple breakdown of the approximate number of consumables required to set you up for a lifetimes worth (50 years) of shaving, shaving 4 times a week:

Amazing huh? Bet you are thinking a couple hundred for that initial purchasing of the razor isn’t so bad after all! You can click here to shop our razors and shaving.

How To Use?

3-Piece Safety Razors: Twist off the handle from the head of the razor, separate the head into its 2 pieces & ‘sandwich’ the blade between the 2 headpieces. Screw the handle back in & you’re good to go.

Butterfly Safety Razors: Twist the dial at the bottom of your razor until the butterfly doors are open. Pop in the blade & close, then it is ready to be used! So easy!

Clean your razor after each use & really well with an old toothbrush, water & soap from time to time to avoid the build-up of detergents & ensure smooth action.

Watch a YouTube video on how to use your razor if you are not 100% comfortable, but just go slow and be careful the first few times – what is the rush anyway? Before you know it, it will be normal, and you’ll have forgotten the times when your freshly shaved legs or face came at the cost of the planet!

All you’ll need to do is repurchase soap and blades, or you can stock up on these and bulk buy every now and then. Almost every supermarket stocks double-edged blades at their cigarette counters for extremely cheap! You will receive a set of blades with the razor you purchase but I suggest trialling a few of the razor blade types (Lion, Bic, Gilette Minora etc.) as they are all different from each other, and you want to find blades that are best suited to your skin/hair/beard.

Follow our Instagram page @rethink_redesign for more on how to use the razors & our other products.

Subscribe if you would like to receive emails on our swops, innovation & change & how to ‘less’!

Let’s continue to learn & grow together, rethink our choices & redesign the future.

Robbie x