Sustainable shopping for toiletries, gifts and homewares used to be tricky, time consuming and expensive. But there are an ever-increasing array of independent retailers going out of their way to bring us planet-friendly goods, and The Friendly Ape is one such place. Reasonably priced and offering a broad range of plastic-free, vegan-friendly items, The Friendly Ape have been kind enough to let me test out some of their products in return for an honest write-up.
To get a discount on your own shopping at The Friendly Ape, use the code TABBY10 to get 10% off orders of £10 or more – keep reading to find out more about the shop and some of my favourite items on offer.
What kind of stuff does The Friendly Ape sell?
This indie store has a comprehensive selection of eco-friendly goods, including:
- Plastic free shampoos and conditioners
- Body scrubs, deodorants and face wash bars
- Food wraps, produce bags, kitchen accessories and cleaning products
- Bamboo toothbrushes, children’s plates, and eco-friendly gift ideas
There are also bath bombs, bath soaks, body brushes, dish cloths… the list goes on!
Some of my top bargains
#1 The Natural Spa “On The Go” Travel Wash Sets – £6.95
Packaged up in a reusable, recyclable aluminium tin, The Natural Spa’s travel wash sets include a shampoo bar, conditioner bar, two mini soaps and an organic cotton face cloth – all for just £6.95. The envelope each shampoo bar comes packaged in is fully compostable, as is the face cloth when it reaches the end of its usable life, and even the paper label that comes wrapped around each tin uses compost-safe inks.
These plastic-free travel toiletry sets come in 6 different scent options; Winter Spice, Floral, Citrus, Fresh, Woodland and Earth. I sampled ‘Fresh’ which features Eucalyptus Spearmint shampoo and conditioner, plus a ‘Breathe’ soap and ‘Into The Night’ soap, all of which smell absolutely heavenly. And the shampoo lathers up beautifully!
#2 Organic Cotton Reusable Makeup Remover Wipes – £9.95 for 10 (including bag)
These are hands down the best reusable makeup pads I’ve tried, out of five varieties currently in my stash. Where other brands have fallen down – with fabric that doesn’t absorb makeup remover well, which is too rough for sensitive skin or which just moves makeup around rather than removing it – The Friendly Ape have managed to scout out reusable makeup wipes that are super soft, soak up properly and leave your face feeling fresh and clean.
I’m absolutely obsessed with these now, and as someone who wears waterproof mascara and eyeliner on a daily basis it’s also been nice to see these come out of the wash having shed most or all of the remnants of that. Other brands I’ve tried have often clung on to makeup even when washed by hand before going into the washing machine, including regular foundation and concealer, but these ones can be pinged straight into the wash and come out looking good as new (if you haven’t used waterproof eye makeup) or ALMOST as good as new if you have. Definitely recommend these if you’re on the hunt for face-friendly, eco-friendly makeup wipes.
#3 The Natural Spa Body Scrubs – £3.50, £7.95 or £32.50 depending on size
I tried the Rose Cardamom body scrub and woooowwww does this stuff smell amazing. With moisturising Apricot oil and various other essential oils in the mix, this scrub smells divine and leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth. I wish there was a way I could demonstrate the smell of something via the internet, because as soon as I opened the tin the fragrance from this stuff made the room smell about 100 times better, and it’s definitely the type of product where the next person in to the bathroom after you is going to come out asking which product they can smell so they can investigate it for themselves.
The aluminium tins these scrubs come in are, like the travel set, both reusable and recyclable – you can just soak off the compostable label and voila, a plain storage tin ready for reuse.
#4 EcoLiving Reusable Produce Bags – £6.99
I can’t be the only person who finds themselves at the supermarket checkout with armfuls of loose veg because they keep forgetting to buy produce bags and they don’t want to use the plastic ones. No? Just me? I shan’t believe it. Whether you’re just looking to expand your stash or you’re on the hunt for your first set of reusable fruit and veg bags, this trio from EcoLiving at The Friendly Ape are simple and effective.
With a bread bag included in the set, anyone who loves baked goods as much as I do will be pleased to hear that it’s not just fruit and veg you can store in these. The (non-netting) bread bag is also the perfect size for picking up a bakery loaf, or packing with a few loose bagels or rolls, and keeps things fresh when you get home. The bags do reduce in size very slightly after a 30C wash, but as they have a bit of flex to them it isn’t an issue – even if you are dead set on filling them to the brim on your next shop.
Get 10% off at The Friendly Ape
To explore the whole range for yourself, head over to thefriendlyape.co.uk – where you can get 10% off all orders over £10 using the code TABBY10
A big thanks to Anna at The Friendly Ape for sending me these wonderful bits and pieces to try!