A New Era Of Style

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Partnering with Simply Co. Detergent

We interview Lauren Singer of Trash is for Tossers on her new eco detergent.

-You have become an advocate at the forefront of the zero waste movement, can you tell us how this ethos lead to, and relates to, starting the Simply Co?

I have been living a Zero Waste lifestyle for four years now. In the process I learned how to make all of my own beauty and cleaning products and was blogging about it on my blog, Trash is for Tossers.

When I graduated from college I was working in government as Sustainability Manger at the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and was simultaneously running my blog. I was getting questions all the time from people asking for stores that sold products like the ones I was making because they didn’t feel that they had the time to do so.

I started doing research on products and found that there weren’t any cleaning products that were reminiscent of my own They had toxic chemicals, synthetic fragrances, and other additives that really compromised human health. On top of that I learned that cleaning product manufacturers in the U.S. are not legally obligated to disclose the ingredients of their products so we really have no idea what’s within.

We consumers have a right to know the ingredients we’re using in our homes and on our bodies. I then knew I had to do something, so I quit my job and launched The Simply Co. to provide people with organic and vegan products that I feel we all deserve: ones that are safe for our homes, our bodies and the environment.

-Our readers would be interested to know more about the environmental impact of typical detergents and clothes washing, could you give us some facts?

One of the biggest reasons that I suggest using The Simply Co. is because I founded the company on transparency and from a place of being so upset that we don’t have a legal right to know what is in the products we are buying. We will always list our ingredients on our packaging. Not because we have to, but because it is right. I think that fact alone is why it is so important to know your makers, especially when it comes to cleaning products because the truth is you never really know what companies are putting in the products you are using.

On top of that, we do know that many of them use ingredients like optical brighteners which can cause skin irritation, Triclosan which can be potentially carcinogenic, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) another potential carcinogen, and other preservatives like formaldehyde (yeah, the stuff that is used to embalm dead bodies), to name a few.

When it comes to products simple is best. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient you should probably look it up and/or stay away.

-What is Simply Co made of? How did you come up with the ingredient list?

Our laundry detergent contains just 3 or 4 ingredients (depending if you have unscented versus scented). Those are baking soda, washing soda, and organic, vegan castile soap. If you use the scented detergent it will also contain an organic essential oil.

I developed the recipe through living my Zero Waste lifestyle. I toyed around with dozens of different recipes and always came back to this one. It was made from ingredients that I had in my own home already and it only had 3 ingredients! When it comes to detergents it really is the most simple and effective one I have ever used.

-How often should we be washing our clothing in reality?

I only wash my clothes if they are stained or have a smell. I live in New York City and walk everywhere so I might wash my clothing more regularly than someone who doesn’t get sweaty running from place to place like I do.

-Does this detergent work for delicates and other special items of clothing? Is dry cleaning still required for some items or is it superfluous?

I wash everything with The Simply Co. detergent. I hand wash all of my silk, wool, and cashmere with it and then let it air dry. I also know many people who use it to clean their baby’s cloth diapers and musicians and athletes that use it post show or game.

-For the many of us living in cities without access to things such as clothing lines and lots of space, how can we sustainably wash and dry our wardrobes?

I live in Brooklyn and I’m not sure if they make apartments much smaller than the ones we have here. I hand-wash my delicates in my kitchen sink, let most of the water absorb on a towel on my floor, and then let them air dry over my dining table chairs which are made of metal, and then I will steam or iron as necessary. It’s not ideal, but it works perfectly for me and I don’t have to spend excess money, waste plastic wrapping, or expose myself to toxic chemicals at the dry cleaner.

-Finally, can we get your three favourite tips on leading a more sustainable lifestyle?

When it comes to leading a sustainable or low waste lifestyle three of my favorite (and easiest) tips are:

-Refuse plastic bags and carry a reusable bag (plus it’s SO much cuter).

-Say no to plastic straws. If you want to use a straw there are great stainless steel, glass, and bamboo alternatives that are totally recyclable and you can reuse them over and over indefinitely.

-Use reusable coffee cups. I’m a coffee addict and drink coffee every day and so by using my reusable coffee cup I prevent at least 365 disposable cups from going to landfill each year. Plus in a lot of coffee shops you get a discount when you bring your own cup so you can save money and the environment!

Merci Lauren. We are offering a free sample of The Simply Co. detergent on all orders through September with any clothing purchase from Rêve En Vert. Shop HERE.