Why did we make Grin's toothbrush handle out of aluminum?
Plastic would be cheaper and easier to manufacture than metal. And you could keep it for a long time if it was well designed, right? Sure, but that misses the point.
Grin was created to make a toothbrush that uses less plastic. That’s it. That was the starting point. Less plastic in the toothbrush and less plastic in the packaging.
(During the design process we found a bunch of design flaws with disposable plastic toothbrushes. For example: Why do they always roll over when you put them down? And why are the handles covered in grooves that seem to only collect old toothpaste and bacteria? More about this here.)
During the design process we explored wood handles as well as other metals, but in the end, aluminum was the winner.
Why aluminum made sense
1. Along with glass, aluminum is one of the most recyclable of all materials.
Unlike many other materials, it can be recycled infinitely. That means our toothbrush handled can be turned into pure aluminum again and again once they reach their end of life.
2. Aluminum can be anodized.
We wanted Grin’s handles to be beautiful as well as functional. But paint or powder coatings can be toxic and harmful. So we anodized them. Anodizing is great because the colour is actually bonded to the metal toothbrush handle.
This means it doesn't chip or flake. It actually makes the handle more durable.
3. Aluminum is lighter than many other metals.
One of the considerations with making a toothbrush handle that is sustainable, isn't just the design and lifespan, but shipping. Aluminum is a very light metal so the amount of energy used for shipping is reduced.
The last thing I'll say is around the design. In the 90's I was a wannabe mountain bike racer (sadly I never was quick enough to go pro). Many mountain bike parts in those days were made of anodized aluminum. They were strong, light and looked awesome.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave a comment below.
Oh, and check out our lineup of eco friendly toothbrushes.