It’s easier than you think, says expert Simon Chercuitte.
If you think getting your partner to spend more than two seconds on his grooming routine is a challenge, imagine getting him to care about the planet before the towel hits the floor, too. Enter Wise, a Montreal-based brand of natural hair products that’s working to change the way men (and women!) wash and style their strands. We caught up with Simon Chercuitte, co-founder and artistic director at Wise, to talk about green grooming, plus the new planet-saving products the brand has in the pipeline.
What is your best advice for getting men to spend more time on their grooming routines?
The first step would be to book a cut with a great local barber; this really creates an experience for your man and is often the turning point for guys to start taking care of themselves. A visit at the barbershop then becomes a routine, a ritual, a relationship of trust, and these are important concepts that can help inspire guys to take better care of themselves.
The next step is offering a set of men’s products that are top quality, natural, and feature a great design. Once guys try a product they like from a brand they can believe in, they’re hooked for life, and their grooming routine becomes a pleasure instead of a chore.
Your brand is based on the belief that grooming products and packing shouldn’t harm people or the planet. Why should men care about going green?
Well, we think everyone (not just men) should care about these things, as we feel it’s the logical step in the evolution of our knowledge of what’s good for us.
Many synthetic ingredients [such as parabens, colours and fragrances] have been proven to have health risks, ranging from hair loss and skin damage to cancer and reproductive issues. Eliminating these ingredients and replacing them with beneficial botanical extracts is the perfect way to both eliminate these risks and actually improve our hair and skin’s health. In other words: to look and actually be healthier. We also use so much plastic and other unsustainable materials in our day to day lives, which are often not recycled and end up in landfills or the ocean. Our grooming routine is a great place to cut down and eventually eliminate these materials, one step at a time.
What inspired you to use only natural ingredients?
We wanted to make sure to offer the highest quality products all the while being the most natural and eco-friendly that we can. That means choosing the right ingredients for functionality (hold, cleansing, etc.), without using harmful synthetics, and also integrating ingredients that have added value for our health (nutrient content, moisturizing, aromatherapy and the like). Each of our products has a star Canadian ingredient that reflects this philosophy, from the glacial marine clay harvested in northern British Columbia to the sea kelp from the Maritimes coastline.
What are some easy ways to make your guy’s routine greener?
There are two main ways you can make your man’s grooming routine greener: changing both the packaging and the ingredients used in his grooming products.
That’s why we developed our unique dual packaging line, so our clients can buy the glass jars and bottles first, and then the recyclable refill containers once they’re ready to restock. They can either use the refill packaging as is, or to replenish their glass containers. This reduces the amount of materials used in a grooming routine and encourages guys to be greener in their everyday lives while being eco-friendlier in their daily grooming rituals. Case in point: Replacing disposable shampoo bottles with our reusable shampoo-bottle-and-refill-pouch combination reduces plastic usage by at least 80 percent.
In terms of what’s inside the container, using products with natural ingredients inherently has less impact on the environment, namely thanks to the reduction and elimination of by-products associated to synthetic ingredient production processes.
We hear Wise is branching out into unisex products. Can you tell us more about what you have planned?
We’ll be focusing on men’s care for a while, but are moving away from the notion that our products are only for men (were actually taking the word “men’” off of our packaging). Plenty of women absolutely love our products, especially the shampoo, and we want to make sure to be as accessible as possible.
We have a conditioner, face cleanser and face cream coming out this fall, and a ton of other products in the pipeline for 2019. We’re aiming to be a one-stop-shop for all personal-care needs, and are excited to share all of our products with the world!