Save the World Twice a Day…With a Toothbrush
TIO is a toothbrush made with the environment as much as your oral hygiene in mind
The world is moving toward sustainability, which can mean developing products that we never could have imagined 20 years ago. But sometimes, it means reimagining everyday products, which is exactly what Ben Beck and Fabian Ghoshal have done with their toothbrush design, TIO.
After the pair studied together in college, Beck’s first internship was with a major German toothbrush brand, while Ghoshal went to work for a startup that used bioplastics to produce sustainable packaging. They put their heads together and came up with an idea for a super-sustainable toothbrush.
“Everyone has a connection to the toothbrush,” said Beck. “And you throw away toothbrushes a lot.”
In TIO’s Kickstarter video, Ghoshal estimates that every German uses 400 toothbrushes in their lifetime, resulting in 5,700 tons of plastic waste produced by toothbrushes and their packaging each year.
TIO has a replaceable head, which saves an estimated 70 percent of plastic waste because the body is reuseable. Additionally, the entire product, including its packaging, is made from bioplastics, reducing the carbon footprint.
It was important to Beck and Ghoshal that the product and the packaging communicate sustainability and practicality.
“Everyone has been in the situation where you’re standing in the toothbrush aisle trying to figure out which toothbrush you should buy,” said Beck. “The design isn’t use-centered anymore, it is design oriented.”
Not with TIO. Even the packaging is minimal. The only part of the toothbrush that has packaging is the “upper” or the hygienic part of the toothbrush, which saves 60 percent of packaging waste. The packaging also doubles as a travel cap.
Beck and Ghoshal raised €41,076 from 1,453 backers through their Kickstarter campaign, which closed in June. The pair is wrapping up the production phase of the project, and hope to distribute TIO to their beta group, the Kickstarter backers, by November. After that, they hope to make TIO available online and in stores.