There is a shift happening in the beauty industry as more consumers demand an eco-friendly and sustainable future. Answering this call is the team behind LastObject. Having created the world’s first reusable, sustainable, and eco-friendly alternatives to single-use products you’d find in your bathroom, they are helping us change our wasteful habits. Launched in 2018 with LastSwab a reusable tool that’s just like a cotton bud, co-founder Isabel Aagaard talks launching a startup and what we can expect in the future.
What has been your relationship with beauty growing up?
Growing up beauty was always part of my daily routine. Actually, it’s often been a group activity — what I remember most is getting ready for big events together with friends or family.
Talk to us about the toll beauty has on the environment?
As soon as something becomes part of your daily routine that means it creates waste every day. It might not seem like much, but when you add it all up it can have a huge effect. So many products are produced unethically, wrapped in plastic and shipped around the world. Then think about all the products of poor quality that were discarded after one use, and all the tubes, wrapping and boxes created to hold the product.
How did you come up with the concept for LastObject?
LastObject started from the desire to create reusable products to replace everyday single-use items. Me and my two Co-founders, Nicolas Aagaard (my brother) and Kaare Frandsen, started researching single-use items that were the biggest source of household waste. It became our mission to fight for a less trashy world by providing consumers with quality alternatives to these single-use items.
What was the first product you designed and launched?
Our first product was LastSwab, the first reusable, sanitary alternative to single-use cotton swabs and q-tips. The inspiration came when we started researching the most harmful ocean pollutants. Cotton swabs were surprisingly one of the most significant. In fact, 1.5 billion cotton swabs are produced daily only to be thrown out after one use. We designed the swab to look and feel similar to the single-use swabs so that people could easily switch to a reusable item that lasts up to 1,000 uses.
How was it received?
We were blown away by the response people had to LastSwab. We raised $1.3 million through the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. Today we’ve sold over 500,000 LastSwabs and are in eco-friendly stores all over the world.
How has your product offering expanded?
At the beginning of 2020, we launched our second product LastTissue, which is the modern take on the handkerchief. Each pack comes with six tissues in a carrying case made of silicone.
At the end of August 2020, we will launch our third product, LastRound. LastRound is a reusable cotton round made of 70% wood fiber and 30% organic cotton, making it more sustainable than a 100% cotton option. Unlike other reusable cotton pads on the market that are cloth, LastRound is soft on the skin and feels just like single-use rounds used for makeup removal and applying serums.
What sets LastObject apart from other eco brands?
We are solely focused on creating alternatives to single-use objects. Our products are thought through in design and materials. We focus on creating designs that last so they don’t wind up in the trash.
What’s the best way of taking care of your LastObject investments?
We create carrying cases to help protect the items so that they last longer. The best way to make sure they last is to wash them gently with soap and water.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
We launch all our products individually on crowdfunding platforms to be sure they can live on their own. So every time a campaign is successfully funded, that’s our biggest achievement.
What’s next for LastObject?
We will probably stay in the bathroom department for a while yet, but our main focus is creating products that really make a difference to their single-use equivalent.