Switching your habits to become more sustainable shouldn’t be hard – at least that’s what Sydney-based Rachel Sebastian assumed when she made it her new year’s resolution to go plastic free in 2018.
“But every time I tried to find products that were better, it just got overwhelming working out which one to try,” she tells Broadsheet. “The deeper I dug, the more loopholes I seemed to find, [such as] ‘eco’ products wrapped in plastic. It got me thinking about how much easier it should be to be ‘good’.”
That’s why Sebastian came up with Zilch, a fully transparent online marketplace featuring carefully chosen, zero-waste products without “any loopholes or bullshit”.
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“My main goal is to make [it] an easy and simple process for as many people as possible to make a positive impact with something as small as their daily routines,” she says. “With small steps we can make a big impact together. And we don’t need to compromise on style while we do it.”
Zilch has launched today with a range of everyday bathroom products, including organic mint toothpaste in a jar made by Newcastle-based company Love Beauty Foods and a natural shampoo bar from Shampoo With A Purpose.
“I love the shampoo bar because it is just one mighty bar that replaces six bottles of shampoo. But it can also be used as conditioner, body wash and face wash, so this takes four items in the shower [and replaces them] with just one,” Sebastian says.
Each product has been handpicked by Sebastian. All items are thoroughly vetted to ensure they meet her mandatory requirements: plastic-free, zero-waste, vegan-friendly, palm-oil free, cruelty-free, toxin-free, ethically made and Australian. It means the product range is streamlined and removes any hard shopping decisions.
“[I go] down a deep rabbit hole of research, making sure the products tick all the boxes. Then from the selection I have, I dig deeper to see how good those brands really are,” she says.
“A lot of the time I thought I was finding something that was the right fit, only to find out that they actually had palm oil in them. I started to see the patterns on websites when they weren't being completely up-front about the products.
“Then I’d go into testing phase and hopefully land a hidden gem that I love and has a really nice brand story. I love finding a brand that had a great story, that are making a difference in the community and have missions to help us all be better humans.”
Sebastian says there are already plans to expand the range to other areas of the house, including the kitchen and laundry, as well as covering other daily routines such as the morning regime or getting outdoors.
Prices for each item varies. There’s a minimum of three products per order, but the more you buy, the more you save. Buy three or more items and you’ll get 5 per cent off your total order; six or more and you’ll get 10 per cent off; and 10 or more and you’ll get 15 per cent off. Gift boxes with a selection of bathroom items are also available for $55. Once your order is placed, the items are packed in fully compostable and recyclable packaging (including a sheet of seeds to plant) and delivered using carbon neutral shipping.
As well as helping consumers reduce their plastic consumption, Zilch donates 10 per cent of all profits to The Seabin Project, which is dedicated to cleaning the oceans by capturing microplastics and other debris that end up in the water system.
Zilch delivers Australia-wide, or offers contactless pick-up in Chippendale.