Why the Public Goods Model Works to Benefit Everyone - Public Goods

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Why the Public Goods Model Works to Benefit Everyone

The Public Goods model is a simple but effective one.

When it comes to your typical beauty and hygiene brands, your shampoo goes a ton of places before it gets to you, and collects a huge markup on the way.

The result of this? A ton of added expense to you, the consumer. Public Goods strives to change that dynamic by getting products from the manufacturer straight to the buyer.

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So, not only do you save by the removed extra steps, but it comes directly to your doorstep in beautiful, simple packaging. Even better, the products are carefully formulated to be natural and eco-friendly — good for you and the planet. Public Goods did a LOT of testing on their products, and they did it ethically, which is important to anyone who cares about the adorable animals of our world.

The Public Goods concept benefits many different types of people. As a disability rights advocate, and a disabled woman myself, I think the idea is inclusive in a lot of ways.

For myself and many other people with disabilities, travel from one place to another can be time-consuming. When you’re busy, it can be difficult to get to the store. Having essentials delivered is something that always saves me time and allows me to focus on what’s important to me: my work and my education.

Having a disability is often really expensive.

Having a disability is often really expensive. Cutting out the middleman allows me to save funds I need for other costs such as doctor’s appointments, and I can still get quality products that are good for my body.

The simple, clean packaging is a big plus for me, too. I have a visual impairment, so busy, colorful packaging never helps. Public Goods packaging is easy to read, so I can know what’s in my hygiene products just like everyone else.

Making sustainable, natural, healthy products more financially accessible is more important now than ever. The impact humans are having on the planet is devastating, and chemical-filled hygiene and beauty products aren’t helping. Using more natural products where we can is a step in the right direction, but often the words like “healthy,” “sustainable,” and “organic” equal expensive and inconvenient. A Public Goods membership puts natural products within reach for a lot more people.

But, I don’t want you to simply take my word for it. I got opinions from some of the most honest people I know: my friends.

They liked the packaging:

“Packaging was beautiful. The branding on the product is as clean as the products made me feel.” – Kyle

“I like the minimalist product packaging.” – Rachel

They liked the products:

“I normally hate lotions and moisturizers. I liked these. There was no ‘waxy’ after feeling. Which I loved.” – Kyle

“Naturally derived liquid soaps tend to be thin and not have much lather due to the lack of sulfates. I was surprised at how well the body wash and shampoo lathered up. I didn’t have to use as much product as I usually do for naturally derived shower products.” – Rachel

And Rachel commented on her love for the model:

“I like the business method of cutting out the ‘middlemen,’ not only because it cuts down costs for the consumer, but also because less transportation means less carbon emissions. It also prevents potential interference with product quality (ex: rough handling by shipping staff/retail staff, customers handling/opening products only to put them back on the shelves, etc.)” – Rachel

The ideas behind Public Goods are beneficial not only to me, but people from all walks of life. Folks who live in rural communities can get quality essentials delivered. Busy families can get what they need and trust that the products are safe and healthy for little ones. Vegans can live their healthy lifestyle. Those with sensitivities and allergies don’t have to pay astronomical prices for what they need. Everyone can smell a little better, too.

In the end, no matter who you are, you can benefit from what Public Goods is doing. Everyone feels better when they’re leaving a lighter footprint on the environment.

Download Our Free Guide to Sustainable Living.

From reducing waste to recycling and upcycling, our e-book shows simple ways to make choices you can feel good about.

Comments (46)

  • Is the trial for two weeks or 30 days? When you click on free 30 day trial, it then tells you it’s a two week trial.

    • Hi Donna,

      It’s a 14 day trial now. Sorry for the confusion. I am in the process of updating all of our blog posts to say 14 days.

  • Do you offer free shipping? Or even free shipping if you spend a certain amount?
    Also, when you pay the membership fee, does that fee get applied to your first purchase?

    • We offer free shipping on orders above $45. The membership fee is not applied directly toward your first purchase, but it does help us keep prices down.

  • I’m confused, you don’t actually state what the membership/trial is for.

    Is it for access to the site so you are then able purchase products? Is the subscription fee redeemable in product?

    Don’t get me wrong, products look awesome & your ethos is great!

    Just not very clear on what the go is 🙂

    • Hi Lisa,

      Sorry for the confusion. Yes, the membership is to gain access to the online store and purchase products. The annual $59 fee isn’t redeemable for products, but it does allow us to lower prices.

  • Hi There! I’m curious as to where you source the products you sell. I see your distribution centers are in the US which is great. Where do the products come from? I’m interested but this is a big deal for our family. Thanks in advance for your response!

    • Hi Susan,

      Thank you for your interest!

      It really depends on the product. On every product page you can see the country of origin.

      The vast majority of our manufacturers are in the U.S. For a few products such as olive oil and bamboo-based products, we source from countries where those ingredients are easier to gather.

  • Hi Public Goods. I’m interested in subscribing but first want to know where your factory(ies) are located. Thank you kindly


    • Hi Emily,

      The vast majority of the manufacturers we work with are located in the U.S. If you’re curious, on every product page we list the state or country of origin.

      For our bamboo-based products, we source from China because the country has an abundant supply of the material. There are also some products we source from other countries because we are looking for the best quality. Our olive oil is from Italy, our ayate wash cloths are produced by a tribe of women in Mexico, our sea sponges are from Greece, etc.

  • Hello,

    I watched your pitch and think it is a great idea if you get the pricing structure right. I looked through the store and it seems as if the prices are actually much higher than a typical grocery store. I thought the idea was you could charge a coop membership then sell higher quality/better for planet goods at cost. It just seems more expensive than going to the store and getting it myself, even after the ethical markup. How do you justify paying a membership fee AND higher-than-store prices? As it stands I don’t see the point, but I want to hear your defense.

    • Hi Andrew,

      I hear you, and you’re right that we are more expensive than some stores. I like to think about our prices in terms of what you’re getting. For the type of premium and eco-friendly quality we offer, people usually pay much more. Think Whole Foods, Kiehl’s, etc. At Public Goods you can get that kind of quality for less.

  • Hello Public Goods! Your products look amazing and I love and respect your concept ! I want to buy a certain thing at least for a 50€ or so. Do you ship to France? Thank you!

    • We do! There is a vegan-friendly section of our site you can click on from our home page.

      All of our personal care and cleaning products are vegan, except the sea sponge (doesn’t have a nervous system or feel pain, but it’s technically an animal). Most of our food products are vegan, too.

  • We are interested, but a little confused by the payment structure. There’s a one-time membership fee AND a yearly fee? Is that correct? Or are the two terms being used for the same thing?

    • Hi Frank,

      Sorry for the confusion. You pay $59 a year for access to the store, and we are in the process of adding other membership benefits such as planting trees to combat climate change and reverse deforestation. There is one annual charge, and that’s it.

  • Hi! I’m looking for a zero waste option. If I order the shampoo refill do you guys let me send in the refill package for it to be washed, cleaned and reused in your factory or am I suppose to just throw the plastic refill package away?
    Thanks so much.

    • Hi Amber,

      Unfortunately we don’t have a take-back program. We’ll let you know if we launch one. In the meantime I recommend either throwing out the pouches or signing up for TerraCycle so you can upcycle them.

      If you want zero waste options, here are some of our products that are 100% biodegradable, compostable, reusable or recyclable, including the packaging:

      – shampoo bar
      – wool dryer balls
      – vacuum bottles
      – silk floss
      – bar soap
      – reusable cotton produce bags
      – reusable cotton tote bag
      – ayate wash cloth
      – sea sponge

  • I’m very interested as I just got out of another home delivery program. I got out because I was forced to buy 35 points worth of products every single month, in addition to a yearly $99 membership fee. If I didn’t put in an order, they took the money out of my account and sent me products totaling 35 points (averaging $90) anyway. I loved the products, but not the packaging and the fact that I was forced to buy monthly even when I had no need for more products.

    Is your membership the same way? Am I forced to make a monthly purchase, or can I purchase items on an as needed basis?

    • Hi Katrina,

      We don’t force anyone to buy anything. You can buy what you want, when you want, as much as you want, and in whatever quantity. You can purchase items as needed and pay $59 a year.

      • I paid for a lifetime membership on the 24th and still can’t get anyone at the customer service team to help me log in. I keep getting emails for activating my account but no matter how many times I set it up and change the password, I can’t login. I asked for a refund if we can’t get me up and running soon but that seems to be where the replies have stopped. I’ve emailed your team twice today and reached out on Instagram. Still, no login and cannot order your products.

        • Hi Crystal,

          We apologize for the inconvenience. I just flagged your message and am escalating the issue. Thank you for being patient!

  • We’re lifetime members and, now that we’ve placed several orders and tried many of the products, I can honestly say we love what you do as much as we love the how you do it. The only thing we worry about now is when you guys get really big… Do you anticipate selling your company to a larger conglomerate later down the line?

    • Hi Dee,

      Thank you so much for your support and the positive feedback! We don’t have any plans to sell our company to a larger conglomerate. I’d be very surprised if our founders decided to get acquired.

    • I’m afraid we aren’t, but I will let our team know that people have asked. Maybe we can develop a feature for accepting EBT.

  • I would love to sign up. I have looked at the offers on the crowd funding site. To make sure I understand, if I donate on any that offer lifetime membership, that means I pay that amount and will NOT have an annual fee?

  • Im really interested in ordering products – Ive never seen products for such low costs and great ingredients. Do you guys do any scholarship programs to help with the yearly fee? I cant really afford the big membership pricing. Single mom here! Thank you

  • Hi! I’d like to gift a year’s membership to my cousin this Christmas. Is that possible? What would be the best way to go about that?

  • I saw your ad on fb, and I ordered 2 products. I didn’t realize that I had to sign up for a membership to receive the items. Can I cancel it? I just thought it was a special going on at the time. Thanks, Melissa Moody

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