The Evolution - Happy Planet Box Review

Surprise eco gift anyone??  Then say hello to Happy Planet Box! 

You all know I love an ethical subscription box, so of course I was thrilled when The Evolution reached out to me asking if I wanted to test their newly launched Happy Planet Box.  It has been ages since I opened up one of these as I have had to cut back on expenses, but I am such a fan of services like this as they offer great value for money, new green goodies to explore, and a real pick me up that has me feeling fab all week long!

The Evolution is an online eco friendly retailer that specializes in plastic free and low waste products.  From bathroom staples to travel essentials, skincare to laundry, this is a place where you can get it all!

"We thought we were too busy to be eco-friendly, too pre-occupied with daily commute to look for high quality products which are good not only for us but also for the environment. // This is why we have created The Evolution, a place where you can find all that you need for your busy modern life, but which will not ruin our planet. // Things which you can reuse. // Things which will not end up in the landfill. // High quality items which will help you reduce the amount of waste your family produce. // Things which will make you feel good about yourself. // Being eco-friendly is not difficult but it requires our thinking to evolve."

I actually had a browse of the brands they carry and the products on offer, an I have to say I was immediately bookmarking the shop to return to when my funds are a bit healthier.  They carry names I know and love like Heavenly Organics, BamBaw, Ben & Anna, Fushi, Beauty Kubes, Georganics, Friendly, White Rabbit, and Nathalie Bond, plus many I have not yet discovered which is always exciting.  There is definitely a lot to choose from here, and I already have several items on my wishlist like the Reusable Washable Paper Towels and Hair Conditioner squares.

And now on top of all this, The Evolution also offers a selection of subscription boxes!  Customers can choose from a few dental edits which include everything you need to keep your mouth and teeth healthy and fresh, as well as a seasonal collection that is delivered quarterly.

Each box follows four rules set by The Evolution: each product is vegan, cruelty free, and natural; there will be a variety of sizes (both full and sample); everything will be good quality and long lasting; the packaging will be eco friendly as well as upcycled or recycled when possible.  They also promise to value small businesses who have a passion for the planet and the community - how wonderful is that?? 

I was sent the summer curation of Happy Planet Box, an edit that includes a bit of everything - wellness drinks, skin soothing treatments, soap...  It's definitely a great mix, and I think everyone is bound to find a new favourite inside.  And with five green goodies to choose from, you may even find a few!

Suma Alter/Native Handmade Soap (95g/£2.50):

First up in the Happy Planet Box is a bar of plastic free soap from Suma.  This Alter/Native bar comes in twelve unique scents, ranging from herbaceous notes like eucalyptus and tea tree to more fragrant florals like rose and geranium.   I got the perfect summer scent sent in my box: Grapefruit & Mandarin.

The bars are handmade in West Yorkshire near the Suma base by two former employees who have a passion for traditional soapmaking as well as sustainability.  They make sure that the products are as eco friendly as possible, opting for a cold-process approach that generates zero by-produce and allows for a ton of versatility in crafting the blends.

"The traditional cold process method takes 2 days; the soaps are then allowed to cure for 21 days. As little energy as possible is used throughout production; they pour, cut every bar of soap using a mixture of Yorkshire grit and elbow grease, and each bar is individually boxed in recycled and recyclable cardboard boxes."

The soaps share a base of olive oil, coconut oil and shea butter, and then draw on the natural benefits of pure essential oils and naturally released glycerine to create an aromatic, healing, moisturizing bar that is free from plastic and from anything artificial!  And I have to say, the Grapefruit & Mandarin version is a delight, so I imagine the other eleven are pretty special too.

It is a fresh and energizing soap that carries soft citrus notes, and I love how it gently lathers to provide a thorough wash.  The bubbles are silky and generous for a sulphate free formula, and while this gives a squeaky clean feel my hands never feel dried out or irritated.  This is a lovely little bar soap, and I will be tempted to try more of the scents in future for usre!

Naturally Evergreen Exfoliating Soap Saver Bag (£4):

I've tried out soap saver bags in the past, but I am always happy to get a new one to try out since they are so handy.  Basically, a soap saver is designed to make your bar last longer - it helps with hanging up the product so it can thoroughly dry, avoids it getting mushy, reduces the waste from melting/washing away, and provides a gentle exfoliation when in use.  I also find that soap savers help create a gorgeous lather much more easily as the friction of the fibers generates a light foam that you can then wash with.  Or, as The Evolution suggests, pop those random bits of soap you are left with towards the end of a bar into the soap saver bag and give them new life!

This was the first item from Naturally Evergreen I've tried, and I was happy to find that the brand delivers on quality.  Based in Bristol, Naturally Evergreen is dedicated to providing solutions to single use plastics, reducing waste, and offering eco friendly lifestyle staples.  They have everything you need to restock your kitchen and bathroom, with items like bamboo cotton earbuds, loofahs, reusable wipes, and more.  Their soap saver bag is one of many fab sustainable alternatives, and I'm happy to have been introduced to such a lovely brand!

P.s. You can also grab this fab little bag with a bar of soap - the bundle saves you a bit of money as well as helps out the planet!

Cosy Cottage Mango & Lemon Foot Balm (30ml/£7):

My feet tend to get real beat up in summer as I say bye bye to shoes and go barefoot most days.  So seeing a jar of foot balm inside the Happy Planet Box made me very happy as it meant I had no excuses - it was time for a full on foot pamper!

The Cosy Cottage, founded in 2015, is all about crafting plastic free skin and bodycare treats that are safe for the environment as well as for customers.  Their waterless formulations use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, and the range has a growing number of vegan friendly products - yay!

"Cosy Cottage Soap’s story begins with Clara producing handmade soaps in the kitchen laboratory of a 350-year-old cottage in Ganthorpe, Yorkshire. Yes, the Cosy Cottage is real! ​// Founder, Clara, became increasingly aware of the potentially harmful effects of detergents like SLS, preservatives like parabens and other additives found in many commercially produced skincare products whilst recovering from illness in 2015. ​// Using her knowledge as a qualified chemist and an Associate of the Royal College of Science, Clara began by producing natural soaps free from sulphates, free from paraben and free from palm oil, from home. It's these roots that continue to shape Cosy Cottage Soap ethos.​"

This was my first experience using any Cosy Cottage product, and I have to say I was happy about how delectable the foot balm smells and how lush the texture is.  It's so moreish, with notes of candied lemon that add the perfect level of tart tang.

Inside the jar the pale yellow product looks pretty compact, but that is just an illusion - this is a melt on contact formula that is ultra smooth and has a great glide to it.  While the description mentions exfoliating properties due to the natural sugar crystals within mango butter, I found the combination of coconut oil, sunflower oil, mango butter, and aloe vera juice made for a pretty glossy experience actually.  This is not your average balm, and gives a nice twist to a traditional skincare staple.

That being said, I find it on the slicker side so I had to be careful not to use too much or it had a hard time sinking in and drying down.  Because of this, I prefer applying in the evening before bed and then popping some foot 'mask' socks on - it makes for a wonderful restorative overnight treatment!  I can then wake up to soft, soothed, refreshed skin which is just what I want from a foot balm.

Heavenly Organics Organic Orange & Grapefruit Facial Oil (50ml/£10.50):

I've had the joy of using a few Heavenly Organics creations in the past, so I was so pleased to find a bottle of their plastic free Facial Oil inside my box from The Evolution.  Heavenly Organics is a vegan friendly organic beauty brand that pride themselves on holding ethics and morals at the core of everything they do.  With over 100 products the choose from, all of which are in sustainable packaging, this is a brand where you can pick up all your skincare and haircare goodies!

"With the plastic free and zero waste revolution firmly underway, we’re proud to have been pioneering the way from the start.  Not only do we use glass and aluminium containers, we also offer refills in compostable bags.  Furthermore, how your products are packaged when they arrive on your doorstep matters to us.  That is why we use recycled cardboard boxes, recycled card wrapping & paper tape.  We even pad out our boxes with reused newspaper.  Our trade orders are even despatched in cardboard boxes saved for us by our local shop."

The Facial Oil actually comes in six different blends, all of which contain a base of jojoba and sunflower oil, and the perfect fit for summer is what came inside the Happy Planet Box - the Orange & Grapefruit version of course!  This is a slightly zesty and super uplifting product that has a sunny sweetness to it that softens the entire aroma and makes it all the more comforting.  This is a dose of happy, and one that is very much appreciated in these strange times.

Heavenly Organics' oil is on the lighter side, and the anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties provided by the essential oils make this a great pick for those with acne prone skin.  It's moisturizing, packed full of antioxidants, and rich in vitamins that protect and nourish the skin's natural barrier making it a great all-rounder when it comes to the skins needs.

I'm finding this a refreshing oil so far, and I like how bright and juicy it smells - it's like a perfume and skincare treatment all in one!  My skin has responded well to the blend, and I don't find the essential oils too strong which is always a worry for my fussy face.  I'm mainly using in the evening as I try to avoid wearing citrus oils when out in the sunshine as I worry about photosensitivity, but I find this actually works out well as I end the day with an elevated mood and soothed mind.  Heading to bed with a positive energy has proven really beneficial as I find myself waking up with a better mindset too!

Clipper Organic Green Tea (x3):

As a little added bonus, The Evolution included three individual sachets of the well known Clipper green tea inside the summer Happy Planet Box.  These freebies were a nice little surprise, and I found myself enjoying a warm cuppa in the afternoons instead of my final coffee.

Clipper Teas are pioneers in the industry, being the first fairtrade tea company (1994) as well as the first to switch to completely plant-based, biodegradable, non-GM and unbleached bags (2018).  They offer a wide range of organic drinks, all of which are natural and never contain artificial ingredients and all of which are totally delish.

Their green tea is no exception - this is a fairly light green tea, with just the right amount of bittersweet and vegetal notes so you get that expected flavor without being overwhelmed.  It's a lovely taste, and just what I want from a green tea!

The Evolution has definitely kicked off their subscription box with a bang, and I think it was a lovely edit for summertime.  Fresh, crisp, and energizing, the aromas all capture the scents of summer and the formulations are ideal for healing sunkissed skin.  I love the variety included and how many smaller brands were spotlighted (including two I have not before tried!), and I think that the selections were ideal for the season.  I am definitely excited to see what they put together for the next edit!

What do you think of the summer Happy Planet Box?  Do you spy any products you would love to try, or any new brands you would like to check out in future?  I am always keen to hear what is on your mind, so let me know! xx

1 comment

  1. What a lovely box! That facial oil looks great - I'd love to try it out :)
    Jenna ♥
    Stay in touch? Life of an Earth Muffin


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