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MediaJune 1, 2017

The Spinoff reviews New Zealand #25: Toothbrush subscription service Freshbrush


We review the entire country and culture of New Zealand, one thing at a time. Today: Don Rowe reviews a subscription toothbrush.

I do my best to avoid checking the mailbox and thus my first Freshbrush was partially eaten by snails. In hindsight that’s actually quite an endorsement though because I eat bamboo too and find it quite delicious. The second one was salvaged however and I have to say they do look pretty sweet. A nice grainy handle with a range of coloured bristles, the Freshbrush certainly signals a certain level of environmental wokeness to whomever finds their way into your bathroom.

I’m not sure about the subscription model however. I guess it’s cool that I don’t need to remember to buy a toothbrush every month (because everyone does that…), but being a mammal with a functioning metabolism I find myself at the supermarket fairly often – like at least weekly – and so buying toothbrushes has never been much of a tax on my day to day life. Thirty-two dollars plus postage per year is pretty cheap too, but it’s kind of addressing an issue that doesn’t really exist for 99.9 per cent of the population.

Pictured: Definitely not my bathroom.

Besides, what good is a toothbrush without toothpaste? Do I need to subscribe to a toothpaste subscription too? And how am I supposed to remember this on top of all the other subscriptions? Should I subscribe to a subscription reminder service? And why is the bottom of my brush turning black and moldy? Is the origins of that mold my flatmates’ mouths or my bathroom’s roof? Which would I prefer? And isn’t plastic more hygienic? I cut chicken on a plastic chopping board after all. Has capitalism gone too far? So many questions – questions which are definitely not reducing the stress in my life.

Admittedly the brush does feel pretty good, sort of like when you use a really soapy sponge to get the extra shine on a car. Now a subscription car washing service – there’s an idea. – Don Rowe

Good or bad: Good brush, intensely bougie idea.

Verdict: If buying toothbrushes is stressing you out, sign up I guess?

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