Review of Low-Waste and Sustainable Home & Body Brand Unscented Co.
When I began my main bathroom renovation, I knew I wouldn’t have access to a shower for multiple weeks. Clearly not an ideal situation, but I wanted the bathroom done, and I only had time on weekends! So on went the demo, and I became a LOT more familiar with my basement laundry room sink.
Coincidentally, the weekend that I demolished the bathroom, a package came to my door from Unscented Co. I’d been a bit bummed that there wasn’t a Canadian version of the amazing American brand, Public Goods – offering cruelty-free, environmentally friendly, hypoallergenic, refillable home and personal care items in beautifully minimal packaging – when Unscented Co., based in Montreal, reached out to me sharing that they were launching a new personal care products line. Shampoo, conditioner, bars, soaps, you name it. They gifted me a few to try (with no obligation to post), and curious about the quality, I said yes! If there was a feasible option for Canadians, I was going to test it out!
About The Unscented Co.
A certified B Corp, Unscented Co. is a Montreal-based company that puts sustainability first. They’ve partnered with stockists across Canada to offer locations with refill stations of their products, which can be found on their site with a handy map that customizes to your location. If you don’t live near a refill station, no worries! Their products (and refill boxes) are available at Canadian Tire across Canadian provinces. That means you can get a bulk-sized box of the product of your choice, and refill your container from it multiple times. The refill boxes are made from cardboard and interior bags which can be removed for the box to be recycled.
I’m super thrilled with Canadian Tire. When I moved into my home not far from one, I didn’t expect to see so many low-waste and compostable options there. But it’s where I pick up my paper green waste bags as well – they’ve made significant efforts to make environmentally conscious choices more accessible, even in rural areas. They distributed Unscented Co. products to 500 stores, cutting down on the carbon footprint of thousands of customers buying individually online. You can read the story of how Unscented Co. grew here!
The verdict on their body care line
Okay, so back to my demolished bathroom and serious lack of shower. There I was, opening the package from Unscented Co., and I thought: what a perfect time to test its efficacy—testing the shampoo and conditioner when all I had was a laundry room sink. If it kept me clean during this renegade washing, it’d be the ticket! So over the next 4 weeks, I used their products in that sink.
I’ll be honest, there was an adjustment period. My hair is used to the organic shampoo I currently use (which doesn’t have refill options) and my hair got greasy after a day or two with Unscented Co. But within 2-3 weeks, things balanced out and I’m back to washing my hair every 3 days without a problem.
As you can probably deduce from the name, their products are made without scents, which means it’s great for people sensitive to smells. I don’t mind it for the shampoo and conditioner, but for the body soap, I found it didn’t make me feel as clean as usual. I prefer naturally scented soaps that use blends of plants and oils based on your skin’s needs. Without a nature-based scent, I just didn’t feel like I had the same spa-like experience in the shower as I usually like. But! You could add a few drops of essential oil to their soap, and you’d be all set.
They also make a shampoo bar and bar of soap. I love the soap bar – it’s silky and simple. The shampoo bar lathers beautifully. Just rub it in your hands with a bit of water, put it down onto a dish, and use the lather on your hands like you would with a regular shampoo! My hair feels clean and fresh. I use the shampoo bar along with a homemade apple cider vinegar rinse which has witch hazel, a couple drops of argan oil, a couple drops of rosemary and distilled water. This rinse helps moisturize my scalp, especially in the cold seasons.
Completing your sustainable bathroom
I like to use a natural and biodegradable hand soap in my bathrooms for a VERY particular reason: it means I can hand-wash my reusable face cloths by hand in the sink, right after I use them. Hand washing a face pad or cloth ads less than 30 seconds to your nighttime routine, means you never have to add them to a load of laundry, and they’re always dry by the next night. Using a gentle, natural soap means that it’s safe to wash my face cloths and cotton pads – with absolutely no worries about chemicals or accidentally having a reaction.
The Unscented Co. hand soap was on sale at Canadian Tire, so I bought a refill box and have added it to my amber soap pump – meaning my hand soap re-stock was almost 100% plastic free.
A low-waste laundry room
One area that I haven’t been able to make zero waste in my household yet is laundry. I use a great all-natural brand that uses recycled plastic containers, but I’d like to move towards refillables. So I picked up a carton of Unscented Co. detergent! This is probably my favourite of all their products. Completely biodegradable and made with no preservatives. If you tend to like a fresh scent when you do your loads, try this trick: pour white vinegar into the fabric softener compartment, and add 3-4 drops of tea tree oil, plus 3-4 drops of your favourite essential oil. I use lemon – it ads such a bright, cheery mood!
I also have a few of their dryer balls.
- They reduce static
- They naturally soften your fabrics
- They’re made from renewable resources
- They’re natural, compostable, and contain no chemicals or perfumes
- They reduce drying time by up to 20% by helping to jostle and separate fabrics that would normally twist and cling together
If you want your clothes to have an extra-fresh scent, you can even add drops of essential oil to your dryer balls, which will evenly disperse it throughout your laundry. If you’re doing this, the oils should be added to the balls once the load is mostly dry.
I have a dryer that doesn’t automatically sense the load, so to test the reduction of time I decreased the duration of the load by one “notch” in the dial. Everything was dry! I consider that a win. I’ll be keeping an eye out on my hydro bill to see if it starts to make a difference.
All in all, I’m super happy I decided to say yes to testing Unscented Co.’s products, because I can share with all of you who have been lusting over American brands like Public Goods that they’re accessible near you, and they work!
Have any questions? Pop them in the comments section below!