overall rating:



Matthew Sambor
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The Woobamboo signature toothbrush is definitely a more sustainable option than traditional plastic toothbrushes. The consumer can expect a longer lasting brush that is technically fully recyclable and won’t contribute as much waste. Woobamboo appears to be a very environmentally-minded company that aims to contribute to a more sustainable future through innovation and the use of eco friendly products/processes. I think that it is important for Woobamboo to discuss more about their current manufacturing and sourcing processes. Woobamboo’s signature brush gets a 2 planet rating because it is a very sustainable product, but there is not enough information about the company and their use of non-biodegradable nylon bristles. 

What it's made of:


The Woobamboo signature toothbrush is made out of 100% FSC Certified Sustainably Harvested bamboo and recyclable nylon bristles. According to the FSC website, this certification means that the bamboo has evaluated by an independent third party regarding social and environmental standards. Aspects such as conservation, working conditions, and community relations are taken into account. I wanted to look into FSC certifications further from third party sources to explore how reputable the certification is. I found that there is evidence of FSC certified areas reducing deforestation, reducing air-pollution, and increasing the wellbeing of local areas. However, the impact does not appear to be too tremendous, and the FSC has been criticized for greenwashing, illegal logging, and not slowing deforestation. In regards to the FSC certification, I would say that it is better to have one than to not because the FSC has some merit relating to sustainability. Woobamboo goes into more detail about the bamboo used in the brush on their website. Their handles are made from Moso bamboo, which is fast growing, stronger than oak, and not a part of the Giant Panda’s diet. Nylon can be a tricky material to evaluate from a sustainability perspective because it is long lasting and recyclable but it is not biodegradable. It would be more promising to see Woobamboo using already recycled nylon to create the bristles considering bristles are very small and do not require a lot of material. Lastly, The Signature toothbrush is packaged in a 100% biodegrade box made out of recycled paper in an eco-friendly aqueous coating. 

How it's made:


Woobamboo uses Moso bamboo for its handles. Moso bamboo is actually a bamboo supplier with a wide range of products. Besides their FSC certification, the manner in which they harvest bamboo is promising. When a bamboo tree is ready to harvest, the tree does not die, but in fact grows back even larger. Moso bamboo has also been evaluated by Delft University of Technology, who found that all Moso bamboo products are carbon neutral or better. Woobamboo claims that the handles are sanded and sealed by hand using a vegan soybean wax to ensure smoothness and to keep their product BPA and phthalate free. Unfortunately there is no sourcing information regarding the use of nylon bristles and whether or not customers are recycling the toothbrushes. It is pointless for Woobamboo to use recycleble nylon if it is not being recycled.

Who makes it:


Six years ago Woobamboo was a small start-up founded by three friends in Florida. In six years they have grown into over sixty countries and replaced around five million plastic brushes with bamboo ones. However, this really means that they have sold over five million bamboo brushes but not technically replaced them. On their about us page, Woobamboo talks about working towards a healthier planet, and their desire to continue to innovate in a sustainable manner. As a consumer I would like to hear more about their nylon sourcing and reasons for using that material. I would also like to hear about the resources used in the production of their toothbrushes and other products. It is clear that Woobamboo is passionate about sustainability so I urge them to continue their journey by being more transparent and exploring new bristle materials. As a small and passionate company I would expect them to take consumer feedback in to account going forward.