How An Eco-Friendly Toothpaste Tablet Is Disrupting The Oral Care Space
PSFK sits down with Lindsay McCormick, who founded the eco-friendly subscription dental hygiene brand Bite Toothpaste, for a look at why oral care left much to be desired—and how Bite is meeting new consumer demands for sustainable and non-toxic options
These days, consumers want to improve their environmental impact, but without disrupting their own routines too much. As a whole, shoppers are beginning to question why so many products are so needlessly wasteful.
That's where Bite comes in—it's a new toothpaste tablet company that's one of the rising stars of the rapidly evolving personal care industry. PSFK sat down with founder Lindsay McCormick to chat sustainability, toothpaste formulas and audience engagement:
PSFK: What inspired you to start Bite?
Lindsay McCormick: I was traveling all the time for work, and I was going through those little toothpaste tubes. It felt so wasteful, so I started looking into alternatives. In my search, I learned about all of the terrible ingredients that are in most toothpaste. I couldn't believe that I was putting that in my mouth every day, twice a day.
I experimented with over 100 different ingredients until I finally came up with the formula. I made a Shopify site, and it looked pretty terrible, to be honest. My boyfriend came in and gave the whole thing a facelift. I figured only my parents and a few of my hippie friends would buy it, but almost immediately a few zero-waste bloggers started writing about it. Other outlets started picking it up. Sales just went through the roof.
How is Bite unique from its competitors?
What makes us different is our relentless pursuit of sustainability. We package all of our products in glass bottles with aluminum caps, which are meant to be kept and refilled with our compostable refill packet.
We almost had to set up an entirely new supply chain for this. An example is our foaming agent—tableting companies had never really worked with it before. We had to figure out a way to work with glass bottles and aluminum lids; you can just throw those in a scrambler the way you would with plastic. Every bit of our product had to be done in a very specific way to be aligned with our values.
What is your company's commitment to the environment? How is Bite better than traditional toothpaste?
I started this company as an advocate. I was working in TV, and I loved my job, but I saw this problem of toothpaste tubes ending up in landfills. Harsh chemicals not only going in our bodies, but also down the drain. When I realized how much our daily habits add up, I knew that I had to make a change.
That's why I was so dedicated to not only using the best ingredients, but the best practices and the best materials. We want it to be something that people liked to be a part of, and they like having on their shelves. We want to inspire people to question their everyday routines.
How do your consumers engage with you? How are you building a community?
We love talking to our customers. We love listening to them. We're hyperactive on Instagram and Facebook, and that's the way we talk to them. When I first formulated Bite, I used a small amount of palm oil. Our customers were like, “You should really take a look at this.” They were right. We entirely reformulated to be palm oil-free.
Bite is uses a subscription-based model, correct?
We have a subscription-based component, but people can buy one-off bottles. Our subscription is really cool because you get four months of tablets in a glass jar. Then your subsequent four months come in compostable refill packets, which means that glass jar is the only jar you'll ever need.
What's next for Bite?
At this point we don't have any plans to go full retail. We still have a lot to do in toothpaste. For some people that might sound like a super narrow thing, but there's so much stuff that gets me excited. We're excited to continue and learn with our customers, and make products that are better for the planet and our bodies.
Lead image: Bite