Are bamboo wipes too much faff?

Are bamboo wipes too much faff?

Sometime during my undergraduate degree, I gave up going to Superdrug regularly to buy the cheapest pack of face wipes and ordered some reusable wipes. I'd gotten bored of the wipes drying out too soon or too many coming out of the packet when I just wanted one. Plus, the waste with each pack seemed pretty ridiculous. The ones I bought weren't anything special. It was a plain pack of white round wipes that came as a pack of around 15 with a waterproof zipper bag. I have no idea what fabric they were, but I'm pretty sure they weren't bamboo. Perhaps they were brushed cotton or something similar, either way they're still really soft. I haven't bought single use face wipes since.

At the time, there were three main factors affecting whether I was going to switch to reusable face wipes and I think they still apply. The first factor was whether it would save me money. Five years ago I worked out that if I used my pack of reusable face wipes for over a year, I'd start to save money. While it would never be a massive saving and it would take a long while before I started to save, I figured there was no time like the present and future me would thank past me. Then I bought a second pack of face wipes because I'd always forget to bring them to/from my uni accommodation and my parents' house, so I guess that one year mark became two years. Although, five years down the line, perhaps making that switch has helped my bank account, especially since I'm sure face wipes would have gone up in price since I was a fresher at university. I guess I've probably saved around £40 across the five years, which isn't huge but it's still £40 I haven't had to spend.

I liked the idea that you didn't necessarily have to put any additional money into these face wipes beyond inititally buying them. To wash them I pop them in the washing machine. As a student, it was a case of waiting until you were desperate to do a wash that would cost £3.50 per load and be done in a washing machine that was broken more often than not. The convenience of being able to wash them along with my clothes, using no extra water or energy was definitely appealing. It definitely was better than doing a 15 minute walk in the snow to the Galleria, especially when they temporarily closed the closest entrance to where I was living and it meant walking the long way round and freezing in the process.

The second factor that affected my decision to switch was their environmental impact. I made a few changes while I was at university to attempt to reduce how much unnecessary waste I was producing, especially plastic waste and this was one of them. Single use face wipes always seemed like a lot to regularly throw out and we weren't particularly good at remembering what day bin day was when we moved out of university accommodation so our bins often were rammed full, less to dispose of was definitely desirable. Besides, who wants to be throwing things out that sit around in landfill forever, if they don't have to?

My first year of university brought a large amount of travelling into my life. Sometimes this was trips back home or trips to Disney, but mostly it was trips to and from Kansas after welcoming a long distance relationship into my life. While travelling might be fun, having enough space in your bag for souvenirs and gifts is incredibly important. This meant that bringing at least one pack of face wipes took up just a little bit too much space compared to popping a few face wipes in my makeup bag. As a plus, reusable face wipes eliminated that last minute rush to make sure I even had enough single use ones to last the trip. If I'd used all of my reusable face wipes before the end of the trip, I could give them a good wash by hand and leave them to dry to get an extra use out of them without having to bring too many with me. Or when staying with my partner, it was easy enough to throw them in the wash with our laundry.

Our face wipes each consist of three different items: bamboo towelling, 100% cotton fabric and thread; which sounds far more simple and quicker than it actually is to construct. The side of our face wipes we like to call the "pretty side" is the 100% cotton fabric. We use a variety of printed fabrics for this side so there's hopefully something for everyone. That being said, if there's a particular print you're after, get in touch with us and we'll see what we can do. This side is more for decoration because the real star of the show is the bamboo towelling, but more on that later. We use 100% cotton fabric on one side to give your bamboo wipe a bit of character while being quick and easy to wash and dry. Hopefully, being able to give your face a wipe with something on it that you like, it may put a smile on your face every time you use it.

The main reason why we chose bamboo towelling for the side of the bamboo wipe that you'd use on your face is because of how soft the bamboo is. Considering how sensitive my own skin is, this was an absolute must, I always want to make sure we're producing products we'd be happy to use. We've found even after numerous washes, the bamboo does not get rough and scratchy unlike some bath towels and flannels we've owned in the past. This means you don't have to worry about them having a short life span and ending up needing to be thrown out after a few uses. It certainly wouldn't be a good reusable product if they barely lasted longer than a single use product, would it?

By mistake, we discovered that this bamboo towelling was really good for cleaning smears and marks off of screens and glasses. As someone who has worn glasses for coming up twenty three years, this alone could've sold the bamboo towelling to us. My glasses constantly have marks and dust on them and I've never liked those cloths you get when you go to the opticians.

Furthermore, bamboo towelling generally has a range of benefits, one of which is it is naturally antiseptic. For something designed primarily to be used on your face, this was another selling point to us. We've had a lot of customers tell us that since switching to bamboo wipes, they've experienced far less skin irritation, which we can only assume is down to this positive quality of bamboo towelling. 

When we first thought about bamboo wipes, the majority already out there were round, sewn just on the outside with a raw edge. This finish and method certainly is a quicker one than the method we chose, but this didn't feel right. For us, one of the main reasons to make bamboo wipes was to reduce waste for us as consumers and also any customers. Making round face wipes would have resulted in a large amount of excess fabric that would not be usable for many/any other products. To make a "waste-reducing" product that produced a large amount of fabric and bamboo towelling waste seemed counter-productive.

We weren't really a fan of that raw edge, it seemed too exposed to not fray throughout use and washing. For a product designed to go regularly in the wash, not having exposed edges was important to us. We see the convenience of making them round with the raw edge, but we don't want to create a product that is prone to snags and can only be used a couple of times, we want our bamboo wipes to last.

Instead, we sew the majority of the way round the bamboo wipe with the pretty side of the fabric against the bamboo towelling. Then we trim the corners and turn them out the right way. The final step is to topstitch around the bamboo wipe so that the turning hole is sealed and to provide a little extra strength to the seam of your bamboo wipe. By having two rows of stitching, one inside and one outside, holding the two materials together, we're more confident in them lasting you as long as possible. Why produce a product that's supposed to be eco-friendly if it doesn't last long enough to provide any benefits?

A few weeks ago we made over 350 new bamboo wipes so that we knew we were offering a huge variety of fabrics, with a decent number in stock of each. This means you can choose whether you'd prefer all your face wipes to have the same fabric or mix and match a range of prints to have a selection of your favourites. Plus, if you're looking for a handy pouch for when you travel, we have a range of double pocket pouches, where one pocket is made with water resistant fabric, so you can put your used bamboo wipes in there without making the pouch mucky, and the other pocket is made with 100% cotton fabric, for clean and dry bamboo wipes. We think these pouches are especially useful for if you're taking bamboo wipes when travelling, but they would keep everything organised and contained while home too.

If you've bought our bamboo wipes before, we'd love to know your thoughts. If you haven't bought them before, what fabrics would you like available or what ones have you got your eye on?

You can search our range of bamboo wipes here

All of our double pocket pouches can be found here

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