Frangipani is an online zero waste store that ships to quite a few countries – Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, the Philippines, Brunei and even New Zealand.
All of the soaps are handmade with natural ingredients. This post is not sponsored by them. I just happened to find the shop through social media and thought I’d get a few things to try (and also to take advantage of the free shipping deal).
Note: There’s free shipping for Malaysia for orders above RM120 (or $30). Or for Singapore for orders above SGD 70.
Here’s a link to the store. I find the website a tad slow in loading but it’s not unbearable.
Want to see what I got? Basic personal care stuff, really.
Basic Zero Waste Haul from Frangipani
Starting from nothing in my current kit except a body soap bar, I decided to get the following from the store:
- Dental silk floss
- Recharge dental silk floss
- Organic charcoal-lemon toothpaste refill
- Zero waste oral care starter kit (slim bamboo brush with horsehair bristles, organic mint toothpaste)
- Greasy/with Dandruffs Hair Shampoo bar
How much was this stuff?
The entire haul cost me just under RM120 (~$40). Which seems like an incredibly large sum to pay when you’re used to buying all the commercial plastic-y alternatives.
But if you think about it, some people would pay a few hundred for a bottle of perfume or a single eyeliner stick, so it’s entirely based on your perspective and what you prioritize in life.
Pssst! – save money and go plastic free on your period (switch to eco-friendly menstrual products)!
There are quite a few zero waste online stores besides Frangipani but I was mostly intrigued by the 100% biodegradable toothbrush. I hadn’t seen any till then that were 100% biodegradable. Most bamboo brushes still make use of nylon bristles. The price range is usually around RM20 ($5) too.
These bristles are made from horsehair. The supplier site claims no horses were harmed in the making of the brush.
The other products listed on the Frangipani site were interesting too:
Like the solid toothpaste.
There is one other flavor besides mint and charcoal-lemon. Neutral is for pregnant ladies and those with ultra sensitive skin. If there was another plant alternative to silk floss, I might consider that instead but so far, the only zero waste one I’ve seen is silk floss. 100$ natural and biodegradable.
After 3 days of waiting patiently >.< :
Delivery experience from Frangipani
I put in my order on June 20 (Wednesday). Received a notice from the store on Jun 25 (3 working days later) that the order was complete and had shipped out. A tracking number for GDex was also provided.
The package arrived on June 26. By the way, I had it shipped to Ipoh. The store is based in Kuala Lumpur, I think. So, no problems with delivery.
Love the packaging!
Have to mention that the packaging was totally plastic-free by means of a cardboard box and some paper. The individual products had their own organic pouch, cardboard box or biodegradable paper.
Note: If you pay a little more, you can have your shampoo wrapped in organic beeswrap instead of biodegradable paper. I chose the latter but my shampoo bar came in a box. Not that I have an issue with that, I don’t.
Initial Review of Products from Frangipani
Already loving that fact that all the goods were not packaged in plastic. <3
The shampoo bar was rather gross looking but clay is a main ingredient so it’s to be expected =p. The floss seemed little – hopefully I can stretch its use. The toothpaste smells amazing. My mum immediately grabbed the charcoal one since she’s been looking for a new whitening toothpaste.
I did read a comment on the Frangipani shop page that the head of the normal-sized toothbrush was pretty large so I ordered the slim one. And it is very small. Maybe too small for my giant teeth. Haven’t used it yet as my plastic toothbrush is still okay.
Note: For most of these, it is stated on the shop’s care instructions that keeping them dry after use is important in order to prolong their lifespan. The bamboo toothbrush should last as long as a regular toothbrush.
Now, on to the actual reviews:
Dental silk floss from Frangipani (Agooday)
First of, I think the actual supplier is Agooday. They have a lovely website selling other zerowaste products as well. Everything’s in Chinese but it’s still readable with Google Translate. They sell this floss for about RM20 (~$6.6). On Frangipani, the floss costs RM21 (~$7) . The 2 ingredients are silk and beeswax (to coat the silk).
The bottle is a little glass jar with a metal cap. On top of the metal cap is a tiny grove that holds the start of the string and also acts as a blade.
The refill roll comes in a small paper bag.
The string is 30 meters long according to the description on the Frangipani website. They quote 3 months use. As of 30 July 2018, I’ve used it about 10 times already. I use it every other day or when I have something stuck in my teeth.
Note: To get the most of my roll, I do rewash and reuse them until they break (which is usually the second use).
Of course, I like that the string will biodegrade.
Is it easy to use?
There’s nothing much to say about the floss. It does what it should. And you use it like a regular floss.
And I’m sure someone out there would want to know what it tastes like:
It doesn’t have any flavoring.
Got big teeth or braces? You should note the following:
Unlike the commercial dental floss, the string is not a consistent thickness.
There are parts that are thinner or thicker than the rest of the string. I have large teeth with little gaps in between and I find that the floss occasionally gets stuck. This is the only thing that bothers me (besides the price).
I will still be looking out for another brand if possible but I will not be going back to the synthetic flosses any time soon.
Update (18 Sep, 2018): Used it about 20 times and there’s still a lot of the string left.
Ever used a shampoo bar before?
Greasy/with Dandruffs Hair Shampoo bar
Straight off, I have a greasy head that’s prone to dandruff.
I previously used the Sebamed anti-dandruff shampoo and that worked fine. But, that comes in a plastic bottle.
So, I had to find another alternative:
Hence, my search for a good shampoo bar. I’ve tried other solid body bars before and some worked fine for my hair too. But I was curious to see what a specially-formulated bar for the hair could do.
This is the one from Frangipani.
Does it work?
After around 10 washes, I can say that it seems to be doing the job of keeping the dandruff at bay. I wash my hair every other day.
But how do you use it?
Rub wet hands over the soap a few times to get some of the product out. Then massage onto scalp and rinse off after a few minutes. Don’t expect a lot of lather.
What about the smell?
It smells lovely and minty but the smell doesn’t last.
Will it dry out my hair?
It doesn’t seem to add much moisture to my hair (or make it drier) but I apply coconut oil to the ends of my hair every other day too.
How long will it last?
I keep mine in a container so it doesn’t get wet and air it out whenever I’m not taking a shower. It’s quite crumbly when it’s dry and pieces can fall off.
This is what it looks like after 10 washes or so:
I think it’s more or less the same size as when I first got it.
Update (4 Sep, 2018) – I had this stubborn patch of dandruff that didn’t go away despite a few uses of this shampoo bar. My boyfriend suffers from dry scalp and this shampoo bar didn’t work for him even when he used it daily for about a week. In the end, we succumbed and went back to the Head and Shoulders anti-dandruff shampoo. Goes to show how many chemicals are in commercial shampoos – one use, dandruff eliminated. Kinda scary.
I’m not saying this shampoo bar doesn’t work. It really depends on your own scalp health.
100% Biodegradable toothbrush with bamboo handle and horse hair bristles
What to like about it:
- 100% biodegradable
- handle is smooth and nice to hold, no risk of splinters
- brush size is ok (this is the slim head)
- cleans teeth
- should last as long as a regular toothbrush
Some things to note:
- the bristles are very densely packed. So even if you get the slim head one, it will work.
- the bristles are hard so brush gently like you would with an electric toothbrush
- you need to keep this brush dry (lay it flat over a cup or bowl) after use so that it does not grow black mould
- yes, it is more pricey than a plastic toothbrush (e.g. the average price of a bamboo brush is around RM20 or $5)
Update (18 Sep, 2018): Used this brush for 5 or 6 times already. Not seeing any bristles fall off yet.
Update (9 Oct, 2018): I’m honestly trying to like this brush but still not used to it. If anybody could recommend another bamboo brush with biodegradeable bristles, I’d be much obliged.
Update (24 Feb, 2019): Toothbrush still in good shape. And I think I’ve used a third of the toothpaste after a couple months’ of usage.
The Solid Toothpaste by Frangipani – Mint and Charcoal Lemon
Update (9 Oct, 2018):
To use it, you just dampen your brush and swirl it around the toothpaste to pick up some. It won’t become a paste but there is a little bit of foam.
So far, it tastes pretty weird but is not repulsive. Not a strong flavor at all. The peppermint smell fades away quickly. Like the bamboo toothbrush, it takes time to get used to. At least I’m not allergic to either of them. I don’t have sensitive gums so I can’t vouch if this toothpaste helps on that account.
The charcoal lemon toothpaste doesn’t really taste of anything. You do get a hint of lemon smell though. I’ll have to check with mum and see how she likes it. She decided she wanted to try it out.
Update (24 Feb, 2019):
While I have gotten used to both the bamboo toothbrush and the mint solid toothpaste, I wouldn’t rely on this brush (and toothpaste) alone to keep my dental health in check. Use it in conjunction with dental floss. And I will still do my yearly (or biannually) check ups at the dentist.
Some of my teeth are more prone to tartar than others. Not sure if that’s the fault of the toothbrush, toothpaste or my brushing method. Currently looking for a natural (and plastic-free) alternative to clear that up.
I’m very thankful that this shop exists! It makes going zero waste in Malaysia a lot easier.
The starter kits in her shop are super convenient and while the prices might shock those who have only ever been buying the cheaper plastic alternatives, the quality of the products is worth it.
And I feel good that I can wholly trust the Frangipani founder to ensure that all her products have minimum impact on the environment.
A great weight off my shoulders! She’s also a very active member in the Malaysian zero waste community and now has her own physical shop in Kuala Lumpur.
What are your favorite zero waste shops? Leave a comment below.
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