Let’s talk about body hair. We all have it, but for women, the concept is a bit taboo. Many can remember the age where they first learned how to shave, most likely with a cheap, plastic razor that left behind battle wounds and razor burn. However, the era of shameless hairy legs is finally here, and Lisse, the clean, sustainable, and cruelty-free safety razor company—founded, owned, and run by one woman, Amy Mitchell—fully supports it. “I’m very pro-body hair,” Amy says. “I do not think that you have to shave your hair to feel beautiful or good about yourself. It’s just more of a case of if you want to shave, then [Lisse Safety Razors are] a more sustainable way of doing it.” Love that!
It was a friend of Amy’s who first told her about safety razors a couple of years ago. “For me, personally, I’m a big climate change activist, always looking at how I can reduce my carbon footprint on earth, and obviously trying to reduce my plastic waste,” she explains. She purchased a safety razor online and enjoyed the shave, but all of the brands that she found on the market at the time were targeted towards men. She thought there might be a gap in the market, because while she did want to reduce her waste, she also liked things that looked nice.“I think when something’s branded nice, it does make that switch seem more approachable. Also … because we [women typically] shave a lot more of our bodies than men, I wasn’t comfortable DMing or emailing these male[-led] companies being like, ‘Hey, how do I shave my bikini line?’ … So, I just felt there was a need for a more female-led [safety razor] brand.”
Safety razors may not have been on your radar, but disposable razors are actually pretty harmful to the environment. They’re typically not recyclable, because they’re made with multiple materials, not just plastic. And, it’s estimated that in the U.S. alone, 2 billion disposable razors and refill blades are thrown out yearly. “We have to change it up. It’s so, so wasteful, and we have these big brands now sending plastic razors on subscription, which just kills me in all the ways because 1. you’re offering a cheap, throwaway product, and 2. you’re mailing it every week,” Amy says. With a safety razor, you’re only changing out the single blade, and Amy refused to do a subscription service no matter how good it would be for business because “the most effective, economical way is to buy one big pack [of blades], and that’s it. You’re done for multiple years, because they’re really small, you only get [them] shipped once, and you only get one carbon footprint shipping to you.” Even then, Amy’s shipping materials are all post-consumer recyclable or compostable—no plastic to be seen.
Now, you may be asking: What sets Lisse Safety Razors apart from the rest (besides the gorgeous rose gold and matte black colors)? Well, not all safety razors are made equally. Lisse does a lot of third party testing on its razors to ensure that the ingredients and metals that are being used are safe for consumers, free from any harmful chemicals or metals. Unfortunately, with the rise in popularity of safety razors since Lisse’s launch, Amy has found that “there are a lot of brands on the market now entering with much cheaper quality materials, and … toxic heavy metals.” She has also tested multiple other well-known safety razor brands, and their results were … not good. “Not that I’m going to name and shame brands, but it’s scary because, from a consumer point of view, they all look the same, right? They’re like, ‘metal is metal,’ but it’s not always the case.” If you’re going to make the jump to a safety razor, Lisse truly is worth the investment, and the five-star reviews speak for themselves. Plus, Amy truly cares about the cause. “I’ve never been about just selling products,” she says. “I really want to create a brand to help educate people [on] how to pick products that aren’t going to damage your health, and that are going to have a positive impact on the environment and your body.”
Lisse gives back by giving two percent of its gross razor sales to Femme International, a charity that Amy supported personally before she started her company. Femme International empowers young girls in East Africa through menstual health education. Femme International runs programs where “they go into schools, educate classrooms of girls at a time, and provide them with reusable period products.” These girls would otherwise have no clue what their period is, be shamed because of it, and often not have the funds to purchase the supplies they need. Amy is vocal on Instagram about female empowerment and equal rights. “I am a white, cisgendered, straight woman, so I know with that comes a lot of privilege, and that my life has been a lot easier than other women’s. So, I think it’s my job to help lift all women up,” she says. Finding ways to make a difference motivates her more than making money, at the end of the day.
For those new to shaving with a safety razor, Amy has a How-To highlight on Lisse’s Instagram, where she shaves with the Lisse Safety Razor in various places so you can see it in action. Her two pieces of advice for beginners are to use short strokes and zero pressure to start. (There’s also a page for newbies full of information on the Lisse website.) And yes, you can shave everywhere.
Lisse also sells shave oil and shave soap, and you can shop the entire store here!