The thrill of getting fun things in the mail is real. If among the bills and flyers for the local Thai you receive packages of goodies you actually want or need, that’s a successful trip to the letterbox. Stick to this list, and you’ll be able to admire your fresh flowers while drinking the wine you’ve been sent and sharing with your mates the snacks you’ve received at that jigsaw-puzzle party you’ve thrown, while not giving a thought to the tampons, contact lenses and undies you need, because they’re already on their way.
From the couple that brought you a book-subscription service (Bookabuy) is another stay-in-and-get-comfy subscription. Puzzle Post delivers jigsaws monthly, every three months, every six months or once a year – depending on your level of enthusiasm. Members select what degree of difficulty they want (500 pieces for beginners, 1000 pieces for the more experienced and more than 1000 pieces for expert puzzlers), and can choose their puzzles’ themes (art, flowers and gardens, cars, food and drink, and fantasy are some of the options).
Puzzles cost between $39 and $83 per month and subscriptions are available on an ongoing or fixed-term basis.
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Getting flowers direct from the farm makes sense: they’re fresher, less expensive and the process produces less waste than those from Woolies or the nearby chain florist. Floraly is making it happen for those of us without a flower-farming connect.
Floraly offers three types of arrangements: a seasonal pick, a more premium bouquet and a bunch featuring just the one flower variety. Its subscription service is $110 each month for a bouquet, but one-off bouquets are available too. Your flowers are only picked once your order has been placed, and Floraly works with farmers across Australia, including East Coast Wildflowers in NSW, The Tulip Garden Nursery in Victoria and Robertson Flower Farm in Queensland. Orders for Floraly’s full-sized bouquets start at $40 and arrive in a box to keep them safe. It offers free next-day delivery to Sydney, the NSW Central Coast, Newcastle, Wollongong, Melbourne and Brisbane.
This service delivering big, big bottles of wine offers vintage whites, classic French reds and one-off local bottlings in magnums (1.5-litre bottles). So the next time you have mates round for a drink, you can either each drink more wine, or you can invite more friends. The service is by Carwyn Cellars, an independent bottle shop and bar in Thornbury in Melbourne. For $59 (plus shipping) you can get a magnum of either red or white delivered each month. For $109, you’ll get two. The Carwyn team is working with Australian producers including Vinteloper, John Duval Wines, Brash Higgins and Michael Hall Wines in South Australia; Two Tonne Tasmania; and Dormilona in Western Australia.
“Customers [are] super keen to drink magnums but they just can’t find them,” Ben Duval, manager at Carwyn tells Broadsheet. “Walk into most retailers and they might have a few but generally they’re pretty expensive.” Cheers, mate.
Act of Wine
This service brings you excellent vino selected by an expert panel of wine specialists that includes former Noma and MoVida sommeliers. And when subscriptions start at just $30 a month, what’s stopping you?
Act of Wine is by the bottle shop of the same name in Southbank in Melbourne. Sam Fitzsimmons is in charge there and he wants to make natural and orange wines more accessible to drinkers. The wines are all made without chemicals, using sustainable, organic and biodynamic farming practices. They’re vegan and okay for people who are sensitive to sulfite.
Subscribers can choose one, three, six or 12 bottles a month (for $30, $75, $150 or $300 respectively). Each bottle retails for around $30 to $40. Subscribers can expect a mix of regions and styles in each pack, so this is about education and exploration as much as it is about delicious wines.
Condimental’s Cameron Stephens, based in Sydney, puts together monthly boxes of pickles, sauces and preserves and delivers them to you. As a one-off buy ($59) you can get a Chilli Box that features small producers using local ingredients, and the selection includes a sweet-chilli sauce from Dingo Sauce Co in Fremantle in WA, and a chipotle sauce from Wild Grove in Huon Valley in Tasmania, plus three others.
On subscription you can get the Seasonal Box ($70 every three months) for a selection of condiments based on season, theme and flavours. Never suffer boring food again.
This direct-to-consumer subscription service for Australian-made daily lenses means you don’t have to worry about running out unexpectedly and having to wear your daggy glasses to that fancy event. Dimple is by contact-wearer Shaun Polovin. He switched to daily lenses when he realised they were more comfortable for him, but realised they were also more expensive. And that he was more likely to run out before ordering more. With Dimple you control your subscription online, selecting a schedule of every four, six or eight weeks, which you can easily change, pause or cancel. There’s no contract. But if you’re happy, it’s a set-and-forget situation making your life easier.
Dimple looks pretty in your bathroom cabinet, too. And because most contact-lense wearers need different prescriptions for each eye, Dimple has colour-coded the lenses’ powers, so there’s no more squinting at tiny numbers on the side of impractically made boxes to get the correct lense into the correct eye on a bleary Monday morning.
Polvin says the contact-lens market in Australia is dominated by four major pharmaceutical brands that control the supply chain and sell through optometrists. Dimple’s direct-to-consumer model means consumers get a better price because the lenses come straight from the manufacturer and don’t get marked-up along the way. A month’s supply – 60 lenses – is $45, which includes shipping.
Not being able to get your hands on a tampon or pad when you need one is a serious drag, and stressful. But what if it meant you couldn’t go to school or work? Or meant resorting to unhygienic, dangerous means of managing your period? Tsuno, a Melbourne-based social enterprise, is mitigating these problems by sending bamboo and organic cotton period products to you every month. Another set-and-forget that makes life easier and the post more fun. On top of that, Tsuno donates 50 per cent of its profits to One Girl, which funds girls’ education and menstrual hygiene support in Sierra Leone and Uganda. Tsuno also donates boxes of products to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne.
These boxes of tampons and pads are covered in gorgeous designs by local artists; you’ll want them on display in your bathroom, and so will the mates you buy subscriptions for. You can buy one-off batches of what you need or sign up for a subscription ($30 a month) to your specifications (mini, regular or super tampons; overnight pads, liners, regular pads; Hey Tiger organic chocolate; and Cuppa and Co organic tea).
Much like Tsuno, Adelaide uni students Eloise Hall and Isobel Marshall are on a mission to eradicate the taboo surrounding menstrual hygiene around the world. Their sanitary-product brand Taboo is aimed at making sure women have access to sustainable sanitary care and education so they can participate fully in society and education. Taboo pads and tampons are made from organic cotton and packed in recycled cardboard. It donates 100 per cent of its net profits to One Girl, which partners with organisations in Sierra Leone and Uganda that provide high-school scholarships and education programs to young women to help boost their employment chances. And part of the funds go towards educating men and women in developing countries about menstrual hygiene “so that women and girls are no longer made to feel degraded and dehumanised during this time” says Marshall.
Taboo’s products can be bought as one-offs or as a subscription service (either for yourself, as a gift, or for people living in the APY Lands or for someone who requires emergency care in South Australia). You can choose how many pads and/or tampons you want delivered, and how often (up to six months). Prices depend on how much you are buying and for how long, but a box of pads is $6.90 per month.
Undies are a necessity, so why not make buying them fun? And do good at the same time? New brand Bham is selling certified organic cotton women’s underwear made by women in China being paid and treated properly. They’re called Power Pants and you can buy them as a one-off or on subscription. And for every pair of Power Pants sold, $1 is donated to Tribal Foundation, an NGO in Papua New Guinea that runs programs for women who have experienced gender-based violence.
Power Pants come in sizes eight to 22. At the moment only one colour (pinky-beige) and style is available, but the company plans to add more to the range soon. Each pair also comes with an affirmation written on them. So if seeing “You are brave” or “I’ve got this” on your underwear when you get dressed in the morning is appealing, that’s a bonus.
The pants come as a one-off ($29), three-pack ($79), monthly ($24) or six-monthly ($129) subscription. And there is free shipping Australia wide.