Get To The Bottom Of This Debate: Is Who Gives A Crap Toilet Paper Good?
When you think of adopting a more sustainable lifestyle, your mind likely goes to composting, reusable bags, and package-free cosmetics—but what about your toilet paper?
What's more, toilet paper is one of the biggest contributors to PFAs in our waterways. And if these toxic "forever chemicals" weren't worrisome enough, many brands uses brightening agents and detergents to get that signature cloudlike look and feel. Not exactly something I want to be wiping around my nether regions.
Could an eco-friendly toilet paper deliver the same plush feeling as regular rolls—or was my bum destined to a lifetime of thin, scratchy sheets in the name of sustainability.
Premium Bamboo Toilet Paper
- 100% bamboo materials
- 2-ply is plush & soft on skin
- Adorable packaging that you won't mind displaying in bathroom
- Extra long rolls that last 2 days longer than typical roll
- No plastic packaging used in shipping or stoage
- More expensive cost up front
- Must buy large amounts at once
- Certified B corp that donates 50% of profits
- Opts for carbon neutral shipping
- Bamboo is a recyclable resource that grows similar to grass (unlike trees that take years)
What makes Who Gives A Crap special
My first introduction to Who Gives A Crap came at a friend's house a few years ago. A sustainability advocate with an environmental science degree, she'd been sold on the brand's efforts to reduce toilet paper waste by opting for recycled or renewable resources.
I remember clocking the vibrant packaging—which stood out even then—and noting the sheets felt pretty solid for a recycled toilet paper. But what really stood out to me was the brand's mission.
Who Gives A Crap started in 2012 when the cofounders learned that nearly 40% of the global population didn't have access to a toilet. The trio decided to launch their own toilet paper company that offered more sustainable products and donated 50% of profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in developing countries.
While I'd like to pretend that I signed up for a subscription right then and there, toilet paper was my roommate's responsibility at the time.
So when the brand recently appeared in my inbox and offered to send over a small supply, I jumped on the opportunity.
What I look for in a toilet paper
My requirements for toilet paper have changed dramatically over the years. As a child, I loved the plush, pillow-like toilet paper that puts your pipes through hell and back. When I moved to New York, I got my first taste of old sewer systems and realized that I either needed to give up my plush TP or put a plumber on speed-dial.
This changed the way I looked at toilet paper; I needed something soft-yet-absorbant, so I wouldn't waste a quarter of the roll trying to wipe up.
As I started to lean into eco-friendly products in my home, I also began to move towards recycled toilet paper options.
My final requirement: I never wanted to flush my money (literally) by purchasing the most luxurious option I prefered the mid-tier price point—not too cheap, but not too pricey.
- Soft & absorbant
- Not too expensive
- Sustainable or eco-friendly materials (with no dyes and detergents)
How I tested Who Gives A Crap
My experience with Who Gives A Crap
As you can see, I have lofty expectations of my toilet paper—but I can confidently say that Who Gives A Crap delivered on my needs (and then some).
How Who Gives A Crap products arrive
I was pleasantly surprised by the packaging, which didn't include any plastic. The box was super easy to break down, and it didn't require me to seek out any type of special recycling.
Unboxing Who Gives A Crap toilet paper
As weird as it sounds, my first impression of the Premium Toilet Paper was that it felt ... attractive? All the rolls are individually wrapped with in paper in fun patterns (all black-and-white). You're not going to want to tuck any of these rolls away under your sink, which is great because I don't have much room left under mine anyways.
If you thought the attention to detail ended there, you're wrong. There's even one gold roll in the bunch that serves as a friendly reminder to put in your restock order.
Using Who Gives A Crap products
About: 3-ply, 370 sheets
I'll be the first to say it: I used to have a prejudice against eco-friendly toilet paper—is it ever soft enough?!—but Who Gives A Crap changed my mind.
The premium bamboo rolls are just as soft as their high-end competitors, and I would argue they're actually more effective at wiping up a mess. That's because the cushioned feel comes from the bamboo material rather than an aggressive amount of ply (or sheets) of paper.
As a result, they're not too thick to reach into every last crevice. There's also minimal paper fiber shedding, like I've experienced with some brands.
About: 2-ply, 170 sheets
Similar to the toilet paper, these paper towels are made from bamboo combined with bagasse, a sugarcane byproduct that's considered waste. Instead of burning or burying the bagasse, the brand gives it a second life in these paper towels.
I was a little thrown by the size of these paper towels. They're shorter than your typical paper towel, which allows for more efficient shipping.
Despite the downsized display, I found these paper towels delivered on all of my needs. They picked up spills, removed streaks from my mirrors, and let my countertops sparkling. Even though they were double-length, I did feel they went about as fast as a regular roll of paper towels—perhaps due to the smaller size.
However I didn't feel bad about using these paper towels, like I have with ones in the past.
Is Who Gives A Crap worth it?
I've only used Who Gives A Crap products for about a month, but I firmly believe they're worth it.
Not only do you get a sustainable material that actually feels good on your bum, but the brand's active efforts to give back globally make this certified B corp a company that I want to support. Once my rolls run out, I even plan to sign up for my own subscriptions.
If you're asking from a cost POV, you might be surprised to hear that my answer is actually the same.
While the 48-count shipment may seem like a lofty investment up front at $68, the rolls last longer than supermarket brands because they're double-length. This means the cost-per-sheet is sometimes even lower than what you'll find on other name brand options.
And while I don't personally handle my own septic system, I do think it's worth noting the brand tests all products for disintegration and flush-ability (which could save you even more money in the long run).
What makes Who Gives A Crap products sustainable
If the most important thing on your TP wish list is sustainability, then you'll likely want to go with the brand's 100% Recycled Toilet Paper instead. It's not as luxuriously soft, but the fully recycled material is better for the environment.
Those who like to treat their bum to a plush wipe should stick with the Bamboo option. Sure, it's not a recycled material, but growing and harvesting bamboo is far less strenuous on the environment. It's also biodegradable and generally safe for most septic tanks.
An estimated 9.8 million trees are cut down each year to make our toilet paper—and it's a wasteful habit I just don't want to get behind anymore. Instead I'm signing up for a Who Gives A Crap subscription to get plush paper delivered to my door on a regular basis. It's a greener option that won't leave me feeling down in the dumps.
Braelyn Wood is the Deputy Commerce Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism from Northwestern University, along with a certificate in marketing. After interning at Bustle Digital Group and Cosmopolitan, her love of products (and a good deal) led her to the commerce space, and she joined Meredith Corporation as its first health and wellness-focused shopping writer. During this time, her byline appeared in Health, Shape, InStyle, People, and Travel Leisure, as she covered topics like workout gear, home goods, and coronavirus essentials to help shoppers lead healthier lives. In her current role, she helps readers find the best deals, uncover the latest launches, and understand which items are worth the splurge (or not) from her home in Brooklyn, New York.