Dental Tribune International

Humble Brush: Charitable and eco-friendly approach to global oral care

By Kristin Hübner, DTI
January 07, 2016

STOCKHOLM, Sweden: Considering the more than two billion plastic toothbrushes that end up in landfills every year, wouldn’t anyone rather opt for an eco-friendly and sustainable alternative toothbrush, provided it has the same durability and brushing properties? Here comes the good news: there is an alternative and it is called Humble Brush.

It is an inspiring approach with which Swedish company Humble Brush set out to help improve oral health around the world. For every Humble Brush sold, the company donates a toothbrush or alternative oral care to people in need. Furthermore, its range of eco-friendly bamboo toothbrushes are sustainably produced and packaged in all-recycled materials.

The charitable Humble Brush approach to making a change does not rely on donations. Instead, its business model enables consumers to help producers at the beginning of the chain improve lives, simply by purchasing a toothbrush.

The brushes’ biodegradable bamboo handles are produced in collaboration with a small family business in China, which is where the bamboo is harvested too. “We are proud of our factory, which only employs adults with good wages and working conditions. The handles are then sent to a company that inserts the bristles and packs the brushes,” Humble Brush CEO Dr Noel Abdayem told Dental Tribune Online.

Bamboo, which is one of the fastest growing plants, has natural antibacterial properties that eliminate the need for any fertilisers or pesticides during cultivation. The brushes’ colourful bristles are free of the toxin bisphenol A and made from nylon, a material that degrades over time and can be processed through regular waste channels. In accordance with the company’s commitment to protecting the environment, all Humble Brushes come in fully compostable packaging.

Aside from their eco-friendly approach, Humble Brushes are no different to conventional toothbrushes and have been received enthusiastically by dental professionals and the dental community, Abdayem said. “Once they realise that the head is the same as a regular toothbrush and have tried the Humble Brush they embrace it as an eco-friendly, big-picture alternative for their patients.”

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Complementing the company’s mission to improve oral health is the Humble Smile Foundation. “The donated toothbrushes go to children in need as part of a comprehensive preventive school programme. It is imperative that children living in underprivileged areas where there is no option for dental treatment receive the means to prevent oral disease,” Abdayem stressed.

Together with partner organisations, the foundation currently operates at 15 sites around the world. With a help-to-help-themselves approach, its projects aim to raise oral health awareness and implement behavioural changes in order to address the critical lack of access to dental care in many of the world’s poorer and remote areas. This involves oral hygiene interventions, such as monitored toothbrushing and dietary adjustments, as well as general oral health education for caretakers and renovations to dental clinics. 

Founded in 2014, the company now has local offices around the world, including Finland, Latvia, the UK, Greece, Turkey and the US. “We are planning to open up in 25 new markets in 2016, making Humble Brush the world’s fastest growing brand in the oral care industry,” Abdayem said.

Humble Brushes are available in adult and child sizes, starting from US$4.99 (€4.60). More information about the company and the foundation can be found at www.humblebrush.com and www.humblesmile.org.

 

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