Ethical Product Review: The Giving Brush

Update: Because this is a post that is visited daily I want to direct any readers to the comments following the post. It’s unclear still what the labor practices are but good points are raised. I’m glad to hear that they might not be using the small plastic bags inside the cardboard boxes.

Toothbrushes are a major contributor to the massive plastic barge polluting the world’s water. Because of that, I’ve been on the lookout for an ethical alternative for a while. I was a bit nervous because dental health is hugely important to overall health and I didn’t want a brush that didn’t get the job done. Enter: The Giving Brush.

The Giving Brush Overview

The Giving Brush is made from wild bamboo and plant-based nylon. Bamboo is eco-friendly because it grows massively, four feet a day under the right conditions and one root can produce 100 stems, meaning it maximizes space. The nylon used for the brush’s bristles are plant-based unlike the usual plastic bristles on brushes that never break down.

At a glance, that’s pretty incredible, right? Um, yeah. It is. Toothbrushes are usually 100% plastic. And plastic is bad.

The rainbow design Giving Brush goes for $20 but is currently FREE on the website. You just pay shipping. And this is legit: I ordered TWO free brushes in the same order and was only charged for shipping. Shipping was about $10 from China to Vermont. $10 for two toothbrushes seemed reasonable to me, especially because it’s hard to find an ethical toothbrush.

Ordering Process

While the website is a bit minimal it’s easy to find, order and pay for your free brush. I paid PayPal but they also accept major credit cards (and minor ones like Discover and Diners Club) and even Apple Pay. Since ordering I have not had any weird charges or received the terrifying, “Your information has been compromised” message I was fearing based on the bad grammar and notice that my brush was being shipped from China.

How’s It Look?

The brushes look exactly as they do on the site. They are the size I imagined and the wood is smooth. It has a light wax covering. The colors are bright and the bristles are soft and well attached. I haven’t had to pick any out from between my teeth.

How’s It Work?

This was where I thought it would fall apart. The idea of using wood freaked me out. I also brush my teeth a ridiculous amount. I am a little less than halfway through straightening my teeth with invisible aligners which means that I brush and floss every time I eat plus I brush my aligners several times a day. The Giving Brush holds up and the soft bristles are an added bonus. I was worried they would be rough and when you brush your teeth 4-5 times a day that can get old. Fast. I also floss several times a day. You know your dental hygiene is on the decline if you start bleeding more when flossing the prescribed amount. I knew that this would be a sign the brush wasn’t doing a good job. My gums have not been bleeding since using the brush.

I keep my brush in the bathroom in a small glass (a tasting glass from a beer festival, welcome to my life) with Kris’ brush and some other dental-related tools. There has been zero issue with odor from the wood (even with the wax I was nervous) and no wear even though I’m sure the tip of the handle sits in some moisture during the day.

But Is It Ethical?

Here’s the one area where I am struggling. I love the brush and how it works. I’m delighted that I got it for free, that it exceeded my expectations and that I could see myself never going back to plastic. But I’m not convinced this is the most ethical toothbrush on the market. Here are my concerns:

  • Packaging. The packaging pissed me off. The brush came in a small, plastic bubble mailer (envelope, which I will reuse). In the mailer were two small cardboard boxes. When I opened one the toothbrush was in there. In a plastic bag. If The Giving Brush wants to raise awareness about plastic toothbrush waste only, it’s doing it. But if the brand wants me to believe they are truly eco-minded, they’re failing miserably. Because they are wasting plastic and adding to landfill and water waste. I was so dissapointed. And I’m not one of those “it’s cool to be green” people so this is definitely a reason not to buy another. At least not until they change this.
  • Labor. At this time I have not been able to find information about The Giving Brush labor practices.

Is It Worth It?

I’d like to discuss with The Giving Brush the option of moving to the cardboard box only or zero packaging aside from the mailer. Their website says they respond within 24 hours but it’s been over a week since I reached out to them and I have not heard back. I’ll try again but until I can learn more about their labor practices and discover a way to eliminate plastic packaging I would say it is worth it but not as much as it could be. I give them… toothbrush-311373_640toothbrush-311373_640toothbrush-311373_640 three out of five toothbrushes.


If you’d like to try The Giving Brush without having to pay for shipping and live in the U.S.A. I’ve got a giveaway for you! Here’s how to enter. You must follow the directions completely to qualify.

  1. After this post is published comment with “I want The Giving Brush!” below.
  2. After you have commented go to the connected Facebook post, tweet, Instagram post, or LinkedIn post and leave a comment about The Giving Brush.
  3. Email me using this link with your first and last name and two screenshots: one of your comment here and one of the social media comment. Doing that will enter you into a drawing for The Giving Brush.
  4. I’ll put all of the names into a hat and pull one on Sunday at 7 p.m. EST. The winner will be contacted via the comments on this post, a reply to their social media comment and a reply email. The winner must then reply to that email with their U.S. mailing address at which point I will mail their toothbrush within 48 hours via USPS First Class – the winner will receive a tracking number.
  5. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Who wants The Giving Brush?!


  1. You said you could find anything on labor well I got it for you: this brand Is completely unethical. You can find this exact brush on for a quarter!!! They marked it up costing 20$ are you kidding me?? It’s based in China and fuels cruel conditions of the abused and underpaid workers. This brand isn’t in it to help the environment they’re in it for profit!!

    • Sarah thank you so much for this vital update. I’ll change the post to reflect your findings. Appreciate the insight! Clearly will stay away from these guys in the future.

      • You have not changed the post above. I would not have know this info if I had not scrolled down and read the comments.

  2. I appreciate this post, as I’ve just received my free brush too. I wanted to let you know that my rainbow giving brush was on it’s own in a little cardboard box when I opened the package. It had no plastic. Maybe they took your advice 🙂 Thank you for this helpful review!

  3. I am just throwing some 2 cents into the top comment from Sarah, regarding labor and finding it for cheaper prices. I am not saying that the markup isn’t insane, but is clearly meant for retailers…who would buys 100 of these at a time. As I said, I understand the markup is ridiculous, because $00.25 to $20 anything is silly, but you will find with MANY items sold, buying in bulk will cost a fraction of what it would buying as each. As for the labor comment, as sad as it is, I don’t believe anything without sources being cited, who can in this world today? How do you know, Sarah, that the conditions of this manufacturer are cruel to workers? I am not trying to be a jerk, but if you are assuming this, it is not fair to anyone else reading this, who might pass judgement on the company. If you could provide evidence of this claim, then I am fully supporting your comment.

  4. I had come across this brush on Instagram, and went to check it out. I was surprised to find that it really was free! I just was notified yesterday that it was shipped; from China. It made me wonder as well, what ethical practices were attached to this, and if I was just being leery for no reason. I thought, for some reason, that I was ordering it from a small company somewhere that just got out of Kickstarter phase, maybe. I’m beginning to feel that I should have looked into it more. I’ve read so many reviews on other natural toothbrushes and they all have the same problem of not being well made. So, here I am, looking up more on this brush and came to this site. Thanks for writing about it! And thank you all for sharing your comments. All helpful. I will continue my search. I’m a bit sad that it’s so hard to find eco-friendly, ethical, (mostly) affordable products for anything, really. I wonder why it isn’t the way to go from the beginning? Ah well. Thanks everyone! Later!

    • Thanks for stopping by and your thoughts, Rochelle. It’s crazy that ethical products aren’t the standard – I totally agree.

  5. I went to go order some “free” toothbrushes and bamboo straws. Standard Shipping was $44! And after reading the comments- no thanks.

  6. Hi just read yr review, thanks. Have you heard of Bamkiki it’s an Australian company who do bamboo toothbrushes and they donate a certain any of each toothbrush to a eco friendly cause. Might be worth a look.

  7. I bought the rainbow brush and a three pack at the end of April. There has been no update to the order since the 5th of May and it is now the middle of July. I have only received one message from Giving Brush customer service saying it was ‘on its way’ in response to a complaint email, but no dice. That was two weeks ago now and still no update as of July 16th. In future I would just purchase this product from Amazon instead of the retailer. So far not impressed.

    • Hi Kaitlyn, has this issue resolved since this post? I ordered a brush in January and after emailing them multiple times, they told me it was “lost in shipping” and will mail it ASAP. Its been five months and they wont respond to my emails or website complaints and so far havent seen many comments from people saying theyve had the same issue.

  8. Hi, I ordered the bamboo brush and the bamboo straw and both were coming wrapped in two plastic bags… so if you are looking to buy this products because you want to stop consuming plastic, then this is not a good idea. I do not recommend it. I think it would be better to go to a local store in your town/city if there is any that sell these products.


  9. Can anyone tell me how long it took tom get theirs? I ordered mine on Jan 7, was told it shipped on the 14th and I still haven’t gotten it. And I’ve also emailed twice and messaged with no reply. Can’t track it once it arrives in US. I bought to when they had the water brush promo. with free shipping. Spent 11,98 on the 2.

      • I’m starting to think the package got lost in the mail. I even messaged them on Facebook and got a reply that it’s probably at the post office? Which it’s not. I don’t think they’re going to refund me, maybe they will just send me 2 more.

      • I came home last night and the package was in the mailbox. 1 month it took. The toothbrushes came in paperboard boxes,no plastic over brushes. They were shipped in a plastic envelope. I doubt I’ll ever order from them again though.

  10. This company is just a eco-front for cheap goods produced in China. I made the mistake of not reading the smaller print on their FACTS page. The bristles are NOT plant-based, as stated. They are of typical Nylon 6/PET, which is stated right below the planted-based claim in large header above. They then go on to say that they are recyclable. They are ABSOLUTELY NOT recyclable, due to their tiny size. No recycling facility can deal with something that is like a microfiber thread. These tiny particles, once out of their brush and thrown into a recycling bin, will only get dumped in on facility’s floor, often open to the elements, where they can easily be swept or washed away by rainwater, ending up in sewers, waterways and – you guessed it – the ocean. Misleading people that these types of plastics are recyclable (and after claiming on same page that they are plant-based) is unethical and just plain greenwashing. I emailed them three times on this issue, and 6 months later, the site remains exactly as is.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.