Local talent has hit new heights with these game-changing companies
B.C. isn’t just known for glorious scenery, delicious seafood and the world’s best hiking. It’s also a place of innovation, and no more so than in the lifestyle world. Here, six local brands that are shaking up their industries—and making great products for us, too.
1. Brüush – The electric toothbrush subscription service
BrüushTry an ultrasonic toothbrush, and you’ll never go back to a manual. But let’s be honest: Do you really change the brush head at the recommended three-monthly interval? Enter Brüush, a sonic toothbrush that performs as well as the market-leader (we tried it) at a considerably lower price of $99 including three brush heads. There’s also a refill plan where three brush heads are shipped to your door every six months ($24). A single charge of the toothbrush will last you two weeks, it has six different settings, and soft bristles so it’s gentler on gums. For every brush head sold, the brand donates a kit with basic oral hygiene supplies to a person in Africa.
2. Drinkfill – Zero waste refill stations for drinks
DrinkfillHere’s a clever way to reduce plastic usage. Bring your own container and refill it at a Drinkfill machine. These vending machines contain different flavours of kombucha and cold brew coffee, and are currently installed in office buildings around town, plus Langara College and UBC. The company’s sister brand, Soapstand, offers a similar service for personal-care products like soap and shampoo.
Vancouver-based brand founder Andy Chou hopes to eventually install the machines in shopping malls, grocery stores, hotels and airports around the world. “Cost, accessibility and inconvenience are some of the most common barriers people face when attempting to live a low- or zero-waste lifestyle,” Chou says. And there’s another advantage. “Refill stations use advanced vending machine technology such as intuitive touch screens and self-cleaning nozzles, making it easy for consumers to refill products into their own containers while minimizing human contact during the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. Mornings – Adaptogenic drops in an easy-to-swallow form
MorningsAdaptogens—herbal ingredients that supposedly help the body resist stressors—usually come in powder or pill form, and the packaging looks like vitamin bottles. Bailey Jelinski, founder of Mornings, turned that on its head. “I was looking for a way to integrate more adaptogens into my routine with ease and convenience that I felt like powdered adaptogens didn't offer,” she explains. “I also wanted a high-quality product that was beautifully designed that people would want to display on their counter or vanity and not shove away in a cabinet with the rest of their herbs and vitamins.” Her Vancouver-based brand has formulas for sleep, anxiety and immunity, all made from organic ingredients and in bottles that look more like posh facial serum than medication.
4. Plantsome – Home delivery plants, with an app to help you take care of them
COVID-19 got lots of people into plant parenthood, but our green friends require love and care. Plantsome, a Dutch brand that has its Canadian headquarters in Vancouver, is the answer. Fill in an online questionnaire to determine what suits you best—questions include whether you have pets, how much light is in your plant’s new home, and how green-fingered you are. Choose your plant and its pot, and it will be delivered in a couple of days—free, anywhere in B.C. if you spend more than $50. Download the app, upload your plant’s details including its size, and you’ll be given reminders on when to water it or add fertilizer. The plant even comes with a three-month guarantee, plus a giant box that kids love to play with.
5. Public Myth – Locally made, ethical, sustainable yogawear
Public MythA B.C.-based yoga firm... Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. Public Myth’s USP is ethical and eco-friendly production. Everything is made in North America (the majority in Vancouver) under fair-trade conditions, from sustainable materials like bamboo and organic cotton. The company has a minimal-waste policy and all packaging—even the tape—is recyclable. There’s no compromise on design, and there’s even a philanthropic wing to the business through the Shame on Hate collection, which raises money for the Heather Heyer Foundation.
6. Vessi Footwear – Completely waterproof, machine-washable sneakers
Vessi FootwearYou’ve probably seen these around town—the ultra-comfy knit sneakers that keep your feet dry, whatever the weather, thanks to an innovative fabric that’s both waterproof and breathable. Vessi, helmed by a Vancouver-based trio, has just launched its latest shoe. The Weekend Sneaker has a classic court-shoe silhouette that supports the foot, is completely machine-washable and vegan, and comes with an easy-pull tab at the heel, a much-requested feature for the brand. Preorder yours for $5 (this will be donated to mental-healthcare organizations) to get it before everyone else.