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Route’s Favorite Products: June 2020 Roundup
Folks, we made it through June.
This year has been nothing short of historical, and there’s still an entire second half left to reform, reshape, and reimagine the world we live in. There are opportunities around us to lift each other up and craft a more inclusive society—and we don’t believe this movement toward being better is just a flash in the pan.
It’s here to stay.
And while creating a more caring environment is happening out in the real world, it should also be happening in our digital world. With in-person shopping disrupted, it’s a time of adapting in order to keep supporting the shops you count on most. These are online stores built by people just like you and me. Why not lend them a little ecommerce love and show support when they need it most?
While we can’t be sure what else 2020 has up its unending wizard’s sleeve, we can be sure of one thing: We love this month’s roster of favorite products.
- Paw.com – PupRug
- Fresh Heritage – Beard Growth Vitamins
- Dippin’ Daisy’s Swimwear – Face Masks
- Floafers – Posh Driver / Country Club Driver
- Thinx – All-Star Set
- Stash Tea – Mug, Tea, and Infuser
- Altman Plants – Succulents & Cactuses
- We’re Really Not Strangers Card Game
- UNTUCKit – Wrinkle-free Button-down Shirts
- Skulls Unlimited – Replica Dinosaur Skulls
- Judy – Ready-to-Go Survival Kits
- Last word
Paw.com – PupRug ($149)
If you were like most people in the U.S. over the past couple months, you suddenly found yourself snug as a bug in your house with some type of stay-at-home order in place.
Some people started baking bread for the first time ever. Other people turned to simulating a different life where they befriended animal villagers and dealt in Bells. And everyone else? Well, we adopted dogs.
(Or maybe some of us did all three of these things. What a time to be alive.)
Shelters across the country were emptying cages left and right while big-hearted people took advantage of all this time at home to make new friends with li’l doggos.
What’s a better way to help a new bub feel at home than buying them a new bed? Paw.com is the place to go when you want Fido to rest his furry little head on a plush memory foam bed that looks like a cheetah hide—his favorite.
Fresh Heritage – Beard Growth Vitamins ($30)
There’s no denying the power of a nice beard. We’re talkin’ about beards that look well-kept, groomed, and cared for.
When a beard looks its best, it’s really one of the best accessories a man’s face could have. But when a beard goes totally rogue, is left to fend for itself, and starts housing week-old toast crumbs—well, that’s just gross.
Fresh Heritage is here to make your beard better. Inspired by a trip to Morocco and a couple brothers learning about traditional grooming habits and secrets for men with coarse or kinky hair, this brand is making proper beard care a priority.
And as a personal care company for men of color, its products range from complete beard grooming kits, proprietary beard oils, and even daily gummy vitamins formulated for better coarse or kinky beard growth. (Because what you put in your beard is just as important as what you put on your beard, or something like that.)
While these goodies have perfected the art and science of growing fuller, softer beards sans the use of chemicals and bad stuff, Fresh Heritage gives this world much more than better beards. A portion of its revenue goes to providing college scholarships to inner-city high school students. We’re also pretty fond of their values:
“We exist to help men of color like you build new traditions in your personal grooming habits that inspire confidence and commitment to yourself, your family, and your community.”
This month, treat yo’self to a softer, thicker beard, helping out high school students, and a heckuva lot of newfound confidence. You deserve it!
Dippin’ Daisy’s Swimwear – Face Masks ($10)
As big of a surprise that 2020 has been, one downright heartwarming surprise is how many helpers have stepped in. Dippin’ Daisy’s is one of those helpers.
While they’re helping you make the most of your summer by slippin’ into any of their uplifting swimwear pieces, they’re also one of the stores that have shifted their gears in times of need.
The brand has used their resources for the ultimate good—mask making.
Dippin’ Daisy’s “Buy One, Give One” program provides a free mask to frontline workers for every mask you buy. They’re averaging 5,000 free masks EVERY WEEK.
Sure, this summer is gonna be a weird one. But why not make it as good as it can be by slipping into some sleek swimwear, staying safe with a matching mask, and helping the frontline workers who need our support more than ever?
Floafers – Posh Driver / Country Club Driver ($59.99)
Ever heard of a Floafer? It’s OK–We hadn’t either.
But now we have! And we think our lives are definitely better for it, just like yours is about to be.
Floafers is ushering in a new era of EVA foam footwear that can, as they say, go “from the beach to the mountains to the boardroom.” Can so much fashion and versatility really be rendered into a shoe? Yes.
Plus, Floafers are here just in time. They’re easy to slip on your feet so you can slip outta your house and get a breath of fresh air. Made for men, women, and kids, anyone can reconnect with the outdoors and remember all the good that’s out there. Whether you spend your summer camping out, traversing new beaches, or taking a walk around your neighborhood, do it from the comfort of Floafers.
Thinx – All-Star Set ($89)
Alright, folks, if you’re a person who doesn’t get a period, this next fave might not be for you. But for everyone who does, well, you’re in for a treat.
If we want to talk about a brand keeping the greater good at the forefront, let’s talk about Thinx underpants. Not only is Thinx a female-owned, -led, and -run business, but it’s also a first-of-its-kind maker of period underwear.
“Oh, like the medieval period?” No, we’re talkin’ menstruation.
Because few things are worse than worrying about your period leaking through your pants when you’re at work or the gym or just enjoying life, Thinx underpants was created to alleviate that stress. These miracles “can serve as a complete replacement to traditional period products (like pads and liners), and you can also wear Thinx as a back-up to tampons and cups.”
Not only is Thinx great because it has a knack for erasing period stress, it’s also a brand that’s focused on:
- Sustainable manufacturing and eco-friendliness
- Advocacy for gender equity
- Employee well-being
- Female empowerment through programs like Women Go Beyond
- Teaching factual, unbiased puberty education in all 50 states through the EveryBody curriculum
- Menstrual equity and the Thinx2020 campaign (because 84% of young people have either missed class or know someone who has missed class because of lack of access to menstrual products)
Seriously, even if you don’t have a period, odds are verrrrrrrrry good that you know someone who does. Do them and the world some extra good by treating yo’self with Thinx.
Stash Tea – Mug, Tea, and Infuser ($24.85)
Like we were saying up top, 2020 has been a cornucopia of uncertainty, so it’s important that we take time to be kind and help each other out.
However, you can’t help anyone until you take care of yourself. This is where Stash comes in. Taking the time to steep a cuppa tea, leisurely sip it, and take a few deep breaths before diving into your day is just the self-care your body and mind need right about now.
But Stash Tea provides more than a hot bevvy bent on meditation and relaxation. In their own terms, Stash provides A Little Bag of Crazy. They even have a whole poem that expands on that mantra, and here’s the intro:
“Tea is quiet, predictable, and tame. Stash on the other hand…
Well, we’re a little unhinged.
And we’ve always been.
A tea company set on combining flavors in ways no one has before. Hell, even “normal” flavors have some kind of weird or wonderful twist.
No, Stash isn’t a bag of tea.
It’s a little bag of crazy.
And it’s about time we show it.”
And when you look at their googley-eyed, bold marketing approach, you can’t help but to agree that yeah — there’s a little bit of crazy stashed in there. (Just look at that meta image!) But Stash is also here to empower and nurture a better tomorrow, which is exactly what we all need a huge heckin’ mug of right now.
Oh! And on top of all that, Stash is a Certified B Corporation, meaning they’ve made a commitment to social and environmental responsibility by treating their people and planet right. Plus, their packaging is plastic-free, 100% compostable, and non-GMO (even the little tiny ingredients).
Altman Plants – Succulents & Cactuses ($7 – $11.50 ea.)
Remember what we said last month about how we wanted the responsibility of a plant?
Well, now that things are “opening up” and we’re learning our way around this new reality, we’re discovering that we still want the calming effects of greenery but we’re not ready to be full-time plant parents quite yet.
Don’t get us wrong. We love the veritable jungle some of us have created in our one-bedroom apartments, but any more needy green things asking for water and attention every day and, well, some of us will probably stay single forever.
Anyways, the answer to our need for more plants without the will to water them every day is simple: A cactus.
Altman Plants doles out “living treasures.” And by that, we mean they sell more than 250 varieties of resilient succulents and cactuses (that need minimal attention). Baby Toes? String of Bananas? Rainbow Elephant Bush? A billion other fun succulent nicknames? Well, Altman Plants has it all.
They’ve got you covered no matter what your aesthetic: minimalist, classic, alien, undersea, or Dr. Seussian—it’s all there. And there’s really no one more delightful you could make a purchase from. Altman Plants is run by husband and wife Ken and Deena Altman, and they’ve been slingin’ succulents since 1975. Now they’re the largest breeder in the world.
So while the responsibilities of the outside world creep back, turn to Altman Plants to keep beefing up your roster of plantlife without tacking on any more responsibility than you need right now. And remember: Take time to stop and sniff the Peruvian Old Lady.
We’re Really Not Strangers Card Game ($30)
If you’re like some of us (single, living with the company of just a cat and two house bunnies), staying at home has meant sitting around and facing our feelings, once and for all. Is it uncomfortable? Sometimes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.
Thankfully, there’s now a fun way to confront your emotions all while confronting other people.
Fantastic! “We’re Not Really Strangers” is the name of the game, and it reveals just how important and refreshing it is to have meaningful and vulnerable conversations with people.
This card game helps facilitate conversations in a way that is completely authentic and challenges you to think about yourself, think about others, and think about how you think about thinking about yourself and others (inception – woah).
Does that make you uncomfortable? Good, it probably should. But the point is, that with gamified and thoughtful facilitation, these conversations become easier in a short amount of time, which puts you in touch with other people (remember other people?) and yourself.
The game is simple: It involves two to six players, 150 question cards divided into three levels, and lots and lots o’ feelings. Created by model and artist Koreen, the mission of this game is to help people deepen their existing relationships and create new ones.
There are more than 100 positive, 5-star reviews and counting, so we have a hunch that people are feeling liberated, connected, and refreshed after a round or two.
UNTUCKit – Wrinkle-free Button-down Shirts ($79 – $99)
Did you ever think an untucked button-down shirt looked weird and long?
To be honest, we hadn’t either until we noticed how much better an UNTUCKit short looks in comparison. Really, wow! Look at how sloppy that untucked shirt on the right looks!
UNTUCKit is a brand built on making shirts that are actually designed to be untucked. With all the good stuff listed above, like being the perfect length and having contoured hemlines, it’s the ideal solution for anyone wanting to wear a nice shirt without feeling obligated to tuck.
The Closet Essentials Collection is stuffed with neutral-colored wrinkle-free shirts, which means when you treat yo’self to one, you’re also treating yo’self to a happy future free of ironing.
Skulls Unlimited – Replica Dinosaur Skulls ($152 – $312 ea.)
Go ahead. Judge us. Judge us for thinking dinosaur skulls would be a great addition to our decor; we’ll similarly judge you for thinking they wouldn’t be.
At Skulls Unlimited, they’ve got a wide variety of creepy (but justifiably very, very cool) osteological specimens and replicas.
Primarily, they cater to educational, medical, and research communities, but again, we pose the question: Who wouldn’t want to decorate their house with one of these bad boys? Rawr.
Skulls Unlimited is the real deal. Since 1986, they’ve been selling ethically sourced specimens to museums and educational facilities, becoming one of the most reputable suppliers in the world. They’re renowned for their quality, professional services, and large variety of natural bone specimens, and what else do you own that could make those claims?
Again, these are all ethically sourced—no animals are poached or harmed for their bone material, and every animal collected died of natural causes. Given that everything is already apocalyptic, why not just take it one level further?
Judy – Ready-to-Go Survival Kits ($45 – $250)
We’re not saying that right now is the best time to start putting together a survival kit if you don’t already have one ready to go, but we’re also not not saying that.
Seriously though, let’s talk about Judy. It’s a business completely centered around being prepared. From hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and more, Judy offers foolproof survival kits that are ready to go with you at a moment’s notice.
Judy kits range from dopp bags to tubs that help 1 to 4 people have the essentials they need in an emergency. We’re talkin’ dust masks, gloves, wet wipes, drinking water, glow sticks, grub—anything you could need to keep you safe until you’re out of trouble’s path. Their biggest option, The Safe, is equipped to feed, hydrate, and care for a family of four for three whole days.
Plus, their bold orange branding isn’t just for trendy looks—it’s also for safety. When disasters happen, you might only have a couple seconds to grab what you need and bug out. The bright orange equipment is easy to spot and nab as you’re on your way out the door.
Judy also offers endless survival tutorials and will deploy texts and tips right to your phone when disasters are afoot. So, this month, why not treat yo’self with peace of mind? Ready, set, Judy.
2020 Is Going to Get Better. We Can Feel It
While the first half of 2020 has been full of plot twists and wild turns, the second half is full optimism and hope.
Communities are banding together for real change, people are helping each other adapt to this new (temporary) reality, and we’re all finding new joy in things we used to just overlook.
One way to find joy is treating yo’self with any of the goodies from this roundup. Help yourself, help a friend, and even help the greater good. Most of these brands are finding their own ways to chip into bigger causes, and that’s what helping each other is all about.
Oh, and make sure your purchases get to you with Route. Download the app and track your treats from the moment you hit “Buy” until they’re sitting on your doorstep. We love this roundup of products, and we know you will, too!