Switch Fresh Has Invented a Refillable, Reusable Deodorant Stick

©. Switch Fresh

It might not be zero waste, but it's 96 percent plastic reduction and we really like that!

Switch Fresh wants to change the way you buy deodorant. This brand-new company, which is still in fundraising mode, has come up with an ingenious design for a reusable and refillable deodorant bottle. After buying the bottle, all you’ll ever need are replacement cartridges, which come in a various formulas, scents, and sizes.

The whole idea behind Switch Fresh is to cut down on the excessive plastic packaging that is generated by the personal care industry – something that we TreeHuggers support wholeheartedly. Buying replacement cartridges instead of new deodorants or antiperspirants could reduce plastic usage by 96 percent and provide an alternative to the 800 deodorant bottles that the average American uses over a lifetime.

waste comparison

© Switch Fresh -- How much waste is left over? Regular deodorant stick on the left, Switch Fresh on the right

Switch Fresh’s design gets rid of the twist mechanism that takes up most of the space in a deodorant stick. It uses external gliders – a smart, simple solution – to move the cartridges up and down, with access at both ends. This means you have two scents in one bottle.

Switch Fresh diagram

© Switch Fresh -- How refillable deodorant works

The entire product is made in the United States. The cartridges are manufactured in Illinois and the containers in Minnesota. When TreeHugger asked company founder Antoine Wade about choosing domestic production, he wrote:

“Of course it’s more expensive, but we can’t build the economy if we’re always looking for the easy way out.”

Wade explained that Switch Fresh’s priority lies more in reducing packaging waste than creating an all-natural product, but one of the formula options (among more conventional ones) is made with coconut oil, beeswax, arrowroot flour, and tea tree oil. He assured TreeHugger that other natural options will be available when the product is delivered this summer.

“Packaging is our key driver since most natural deodorants are still made in the same bottles that end up landfills.”

He’s right on that account. I do get exceedingly frustrated by green cosmetics and skin care companies that manufacture fabulous products with practically-edible ingredients lists, but continue packaging them in plastic that looks like it’s straight off a department store shelf. The industry is in need of some serious packaging innovation.

"The reusable Switch Fresh bottles will eventually cost $10 each, with deodorant cartridges costing $2.50 to $3.99 each. For the Indiegogo launch, the company is offering both the bottle and a cartridge for $10 total."

The company plans to offer a subscription service so that multiple refills will arrive at your home when needed, shipped in cardboard boxes.