Mouthcare is a segment of the personal care industry that sometimes gets overlooked in the switch from conventional to better beauty. But you could argue that it’s more important to have clean, safe toothpaste, and a sustainable toothbrush than is it to have nontoxic foundation. The Humble Co., an innovative brand that bases its products not just on safety but also on their environmental and social impact, is the perfect partner to build out a nontoxic mouthcare section of your retail shop. Here, we chatted with CEO Jimmie Berggren to learn more about the ethos behind the The Humble Co.
Why is social responsibility core to The Humble Co. brand?
We truly believe that, in the enlightened days of 2018, all companies should prioritize developing products that are in fact good for consumers, humble towards our planet and socially responsible. It has been part of our brand since day one, actually even before day one, when The Humble Co.’s founder, Dr. Noel Abdayem, went to Jamaica as a dentist student to do volunteer work.
He then realized that when we are lucky enough to be born in an affluent part of the world, it should be our duty to take care of the less fortunate. Many children will never own any oral care products and we’re depleting natural resources and filling up the oceans with used plastic products.
To have the biggest impact possible, we work closely together with the Humble Smile Foundation, a global group of dental professionals who believe passionately that good oral care is necessary to lead a healthy life. The foundation implements projects all over the globe to serve children and communities in need. So far, we have helped over 150,000 children in over 30 countries around the world.
You’ve recently expanded the line to include toothpaste, gum and cotton buds. Tell us why those are important additions, and how they fit into the social responsibility ethos of your brand.
Making humanity-friendly as well as environment-friendly products that are socially responsible is part of the Humble DNA. It is a very natural progression for us to expand our first category of oral care products to include toothpaste, tongue cleaners, dental floss and floss picks, as well as other oral care accessories.
It is of course almost equally easy to look outside of our base portfolio and see that there are many products in today’s market that can be improved, products that don’t really have to be made from plastic. This is why we have released cotton swabs with a handle made out of bamboo, bamboo straws and biodegradable chewing gums, three products that are usually made of plastic and that play a big part in polluting our world, making it harder for all living creatures to lead a normal life.
Revenue from all our products supports our work with the Humble Smile Foundation, including our new additions.
The Humble Co. has a lot of certifications (vegan, cruelty free, certified organic, etc.). Why is that third-party classification/verification important to you as a brand?
The acknowledgment of unbiased, third-party certifiers is crucial for us. It gives us a multitude of benefits. We gain credibility when we can show that we are not only talking but actually keeping our promise of developing products that are good for you, humble towards our planet and socially responsible. It helps us when negotiating with retailers that want to sell our products. All our certifications, and as you mention we have quite a few, helps us to differentiate ourselves from companies claiming to do what we do but might not have the evidence to back it up. Lastly, but very important to mention, is the guidance it gives the consumer, who is more educated on these matters than ever before. They can buy our products with a clear conscience and know that we are the real deal.
What makes The Humble Co.’s original product, the Humble Brush, stand out?
Humble Brush is a toothbrush that is developed by dentists, that has a 100 percent sustainably grown and biodegradable bamboo handle, and part of its proceeds goes to the Humble Smile Foundation. It will clean just as well and last just as long as your regular plastic toothbrush, with the added benefits of being better for the environment and every Humble purchase funding projects for the benefit of children in need.
The Humble Brush is the only bamboo toothbrush in the market that has an eco-friendly packaging. Other companies put a bamboo toothbrush in a plastic blister, which, in our view, is doing something good but not really doing it all the way. One might even claim that it’s counterproductive since it depletes the initial purpose of replacing plastic.
If you want the true eco-friendly option in the market, the product with certifications to back up the claims, a product developed by dentists who know what constitutes a good toothbrush as well as part of the proceeds helping children around the world, then there is only one choice in the market—Humble Brush by The Humble Co.
What’s new/next for The Humble Co.? Anything you can share?
In our efforts to make eco-friendly products available and affordable for everybody in the U.S., Dollar Tree will sell a version of our toothbrush for only one dollar. We truly believe that everybody should be able to buy an eco-friendly toothbrush and contribute to a better world, no matter the size of their wallet.
Furthermore, we are increasing our reach in the U.S. with several new retail chains adding our products. Keep an eye out for exciting news coming this fall.
Finally, I would like to mention that we are currently expanding our product portfolio to include vegan certified and eco-friendly dental floss, interdental bamboo toothbrushes as well as the only eco-friendly flossers in the market—made from corn starch and vegan certified. Other additions are a toothbrush stand and a toothbrush travelers case, both made in bamboo.