Better Basics is a company that creates sustainable personal care and cleaning products. Their refillable products aim to reduce plastic waste in our homes. We spoke with Samantha Rayner, Co-Founder and CEO, to find out more about what they do.
What is your business called and what does it do?
We are Better Basics, and our mission is to make it easy to eliminate toxins and plastic in your home. Our personal care and cleaning refill line, along with reusable and biodegradable home goods make it easy to make more sustainable choices. At its core, our philosophy is that you don’t have to compromise on design and function to make a better choice for the environment. We worked tirelessly to design our product line with Better Standards, which means we have done the research for you. Our products reduce plastic and are biodegradable, vegan, cruelty-free, and free from petrochemicals, parabens, artificial colours, and fragrances.
What made you want to do this work?
I was trying to reduce the amount of plastic in my home but noticed that my recycling bin was continuously piling high and it was very inconvenient to make a better choice. I had to make a special trip to a special store, and oftentimes the products left a less-than-desirable experience. My business partner Caitlin experienced the same problem, and we knew we weren’t the only ones who must feel this way.
My background was in consumer product marketing, and I saw how much packaging waste there was and how in order to make a change, we would have to design the products with a sustainability mission at their core. I knew I could design a better system, and with Caitlin’s e-commerce and business skills, we could create our own brand. That is how Better Basics came to be.
What problem did you want to solve with the business?
Sadly, the concept of recycling plastic is a bit of a farce. Only 9% of the plastic we put in our recycling bin is actually recycled into something new. The rest is incinerated, ends up in landfills or our oceans and waterways. Plastic also lasts forever and leaves nasty microplastics everywhere – in our earth and even our bodies. Our reliance on plastic is a real problem. From the way it is created to its end-of-life outcome. I had always wanted to switch to refillable options for all my products to reduce waste from packaging, but I could never get around to it. And I wanted the refill containers to be durable and not made of plastic. That’s how we came up with the idea for our stainless steel dispensers and misters, along with at-home refill jugs made from recycled cardboard and lined with a small amount of recycled plastic.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
Our clientele are conscious consumers who care about the ingredients and packaging of the products they bring into their homes. We have a lot of young, passionate advocates who have found Better Basics, as well as busy moms and working professionals who care about the quality and convenience of our online delivery and subscription model.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
Better Basics is a product company—we formulate, design and sell our sustainable personal care, cleaning and home goods across our website and through strategic wholesale retailers across Canada including The Bay, Well.ca, Spud grocery stores, and local lifestyle boutiques.
We have a subscription system for online customers who want to set up a recurring order and never run out of their soap or cleaning products again.
We are sold online at www.betterbasics.co and you can find our products in various retailers in Vancouver including Spud, Be Fresh, Organic Acres, Flourist, Welks, and more.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.
Why are your products better?
For every refill jug you purchase you are saving 4 plastic bottles from the landfill and you are getting a clean, simple product that performs. You know you aren’t bringing any toxins or chemicals into your home. Plus, our essential oil scents smell like heaven.
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
The best part of designing Better Basics is hearing how it has made our customers’ lives better! We have heard how much they love the product performance or the fact that we’re helping them cut down on plastic waste.
The worst part of what we do is trying to get the word out there when we are still so small and up against the biggest mass, fast-moving consumer goods competitors.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
It’s just soap.
Where can we follow you?
You can find us on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?
Osei-Duro, beautiful, hand-dyed garments
Flourist, bakery and provisions